Could this be undermining your health goals?

A Sweet Secret

You’ve likely heard by now that we modern humans consume far too much sugar and that it’s wreaking havoc on our health. From expanding waistlines to insulin resistance and diabetes, too much of the sweet stuff is not just making us fat, it’s also making us sick. On average, Americans consume 66 pounds of added sugar per year.

I recently read that there is added sugar in 74% of packaged foods in supermarkets (source). Aside from the fact that it’s best to shop to borders at the grocery store and eat real food, if you’re going to eat from a package, it’s wise to know what’s in there.

Hidden in Plain Sight

“But I read labels”, you say.

Unfortunately, just having an awareness that sugar may be keeping you from reaching your health goals is not enough. Reading food labels is fantastic and is an excellent first step in keeping unwanted added sources of sugar out of your diet. The fewer the ingredients in a food the better. Ingredients should all be things you can pronounce and are familiar with.

Spotting added sugar can sometimes be tricky. It’s in things we consider healthy, like granola or yogurt. It’s also in savory items, such as ketchup, crackers, and bread.

sugar

Product labels are required to list total sugar, but not to specify how much of that sugar is naturally occurring, such as in sugar and milk, and how much has been added. Keep an eye out for the following sources of added sugar while scanning ingredient lists.

The many names of sugar

  • Agave nectar
  • Barbados sugar
  • Barley malt
  • Barley malt syrup
  • Beet sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Buttered syrup
  • Cane juice
  • Cane juice crystals
  • Cane sugar
  • Caramel
  • Carob syrup
  • Castor sugar
  • Coconut palm sugar
  • Coconut sugar
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup
  • Corn syrup solids
  • Date sugar
  • Dehydrated cane juice
  • Demerara sugar
  • Dextrin
  • Dextrose
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Free-flowing brown sugars
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Glucose
  • Glucose solids
  • Golden sugar
  • Golden syrup
  • Grape sugar
  • HFCS (High-Fructose Corn Syrup)
  • Honey
  • Icing sugar
  • Invert sugar
  • Malt syrup
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltol
  • Maltose
  • Mannose
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Muscovado
  • Palm sugar
  • Panocha
  • Powdered sugar
  • Raw sugar
  • Refiner’s syrup
  • Rice syrup
  • Saccharose
  • Sorghum Syrup
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar (granulated)
  • Sweet Sorghum
  • Syrup
  • Treacle
  • Turbinado sugar
  • Yellow sugar
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What instructions is your food giving your body?

Health and healing starts in the kitchen.

Food is the foundation.

In this post, you’ll learn 3 key strategies you can begin using today to improve your health from the inside out.

Food is the information that tells our bodies which genes to express and which genes to silence. More specifically, there are certain components in food that encourage our bodies to turn on or off inflammatory pathways. Inflammation is at the root of nearly all chronic conditions.

We must move beyond the idea eating by numbers. Eating optimally for our genes is about more than eating a specific percentage of macros (Carbs, Proteins, and Fat). It’s about more than counting calories. It’s about learning which ingredients boost our ability to combat oxidative stress and quench damaging free radicals.

Most importantly, it’s about learning how to get these ingredients onto our plates in a simple and nutritious way. I’ll go into the biochemistry of inflammation in another post, but for now, just know that food is talking to your body in very specific ways.

food is information

The first step towards health is to start including more foods that quiet the flames of inflammation.

Simple Strategies

Below are 3 key strategies you can implement today to lay a foundation for better health and performance in every aspect of your life.

  • Reduce the damage of oxidative stress on cells and tissue. Eat foods to help manage inflammation, oxidative stress, blood sugar, and fats. This includes grapes, blueberries, apples, watermelon, cabbage, kale, onion, leeks, radishes, capers, and turmeric.                                                                                                                            
  • Feed your gut. A healthy gut is important for a variety of reasons ranging from immunity to mental health to glowing skin. To properly absorb nutrients from your food, you need healthy gut bacteria. The following foods support your gut health: kombucha, asparagus, bananas, jicama, yogurt, miso, and tempeh.             
  • Support your detox processes. Include these foods to aid in the production of antioxidants and to help your body get rid of toxic substances produced under stress. Include the following: beets, spinach, mushrooms, avocado, oranges, eggs, sunflower seeds, and brazil nuts.

Sustainable Success

By working with ingredients that directly influence our genetic expression, we can create a toolbox of foods that improve our health at the biochemical level. When we reduce inflammation in the body, the body can begin to heal itself.

Getting these foods on your plate every day can help you begin to break free from restrictive meal plans and diet dogma, and set you up for success over the long haul.

Much of what I’ve discussed here about how specific components in food interact with our genes is from the work of Amanda Archibald

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