Updated: May 4, 2020
Full disclosure: I grew up in the south in the 80's and 90's. Sweet tea was a staple as our dinner beverage. Coke's were the drink we had after school. Ice cream was a daily treat. And maple syrup/honey went on practically everything. We just didn't know any better, and it was sweet!!! I also grew up during the "low fat" diet trend, and believe me, I've had my share of 100-calorie snacks and rice cakes. I can't even imagine what my sugar intake was during those years.
Fast forward to 2020, and my sugar intake is hovering close to only 25 grams a day, no more than that! That is a drastic difference! But it was definitely a journey to get here! It's hard, when we are faced every single day with ads showing amazing food, and even some that have health claims attached to them...but are instead loaded with sugar. And it's not just straight sugar we have to be aware of, it's also the carbs we need to take into account.
Did you know that carbs breakdown as sugar (aka: glucose) in our bodies?!!! I KNOW (Monica Geller style)!! We eat a carb laden snack and our blood sugar spikes, and then it quickly plummets. Guess what happens next? You're starving again and raiding the pantry for some crackers or pretzels. It becomes a continuous cycle that can be hard to break. In the end those high carb/low fat snacks were wreaking havoc on our blood sugar, people! Now we know that when you add in a good amount of fiber and good fats to your meals/snacks there is more of a shift to balance your blood sugar. Want to know the bonus of adding in fiber and good fats? A more constant state of fullness! Seriously, once I eliminated the high sugar/high carb foods, upped my fiber and good fats...I was literally full for hours! It was crazy! I was so used to snacking every two hours, but I started to go hours without even thinking about food. There are SO many amazing benefits to adding in good fats and fiber to your diet...but that might be a blog post for another day. The take away from today: Be aware of the amount of carbs you are consuming, and try to up your fiber and fats (good fats)!
Here are some fats and fiber ideas to add to your meals:
Fats: any nut butter, avocado/avocado oil, hemp hearts, eggs, flax seeds, nuts
Fiber: chia seeds, flax seeds, leafy greens, almonds, psyllium husk