SUGAR: What to eat and what to avoid.
Figuring out how to eat sugar, when to eat it, how much to eat can be and what sugars to avoid can be complicated for most of us. Your physical activities and lifestyle should be the first guide on how much sugar to take. For instance, those who exercise 3-5 times a week can enjoy sweet treats in moderation. If you eat too little, you lack enough energy to work out. If you eat too much sugar, it eventually leads to weight gain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, inflammation, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity. This does not mean that sugar is bad for our bodies and that we need to completely cut it out.
Let’s dig deeper on Sugars.
Types of sugar
- Natural sugar
Natural sugar is found in whole and unprocessed foods. These foods are low in calories, high in water and fibre and have many vitamins and minerals. They are important for nourishing a healthy body.
Foods such as:
- Whole grains
The presence of fiber in these foods slows down the absorption of sugar in the body, which slows its impact on blood sugar.
- Processed Sugar
Processed or added sugars are any sugar that gets added to foods during processing, cooking or at the table. With these sugars, you consume calories without any nutrients or fibre. Examples of added sugars include corn syrup in soft drinks, packed foods, ketchup, bread and honey you add to your tea and smoothies. Our bodies digest these sugars quickly because they lack the nutrients, and fibre which can cause a spike in blood sugar.
How sugar intake impacts exercise
Research supports that fructose(which is sugar from fruit) assists in strenuous activities. Your body burns the stored glycogen during long and difficult workouts. This applies to hiking, running and long walks.
It’s good to add the natural sugars to your diet if you regularly workout. Together with proteins, natural sugars help in building muscle and speed up recovery.
Sugar is meant to be enjoyed but in moderation. Shiwan Adventures organises weekly fitness activities that you can be a part of and rewards yourself with your favourite sweet treats after the activities.