In one day, maybe even today, you could potentially consume 21 hidden sugars in your diet…with zero nutritional benefit.
It’s widely agreed, however, that limiting your sugar consumption can be sweet…for your health. It can help you avoid serious health consequences of obesity, high blood pressure, and for diabetics, high blood sugar levels.
But there’s a major component to be concerned about, both for diabetics and those at risk or already diagnosed with heart disease.
It’s called triglycerides, and it’s a type of fat (lipid) found in your blood.
When you eat, your body changes any calories it doesn’t need to use right away into triglycerides and stores them away in your fat cells.
Later on, certain hormones release the stored triglycerides to give you energy between meals. So…If you regularly eat more calories than you burn, especially “easy” calories like carbohydrates and fats, your triglyceride levels will be high.
Why is that a problem?
High triglycerides are often a sign of other conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, strokes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome — a cluster of conditions that includes:
- too much fat around the waist
- high blood pressure
- high triglycerides
- high blood sugar and
- abnormal cholesterol levels.
Sometimes high triglycerides are a sign of poorly controlled Type 2 Diabetes.
Keeping all that in mind, when shopping for food items, remember to avoid these 21 hidden sugars in your diet.
If the product has no fruit or milk products in the ingredients (which contain naturally occurring sugars), then all the sugars in the food will be added sugars.
And those “added sugars” are the bad guys. Here are their names:
- Agave nectar
- Brown sugar
- Brown Rice Syrup
- Corn Sweetener
- Corn Syrup
- Fruit juice concentrate
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Malt Sugar
- Maple Syrup
- Raw Sugar
- White Sugar
- Invert Sugar
In fact, include on your list of the 21 hidden sugars in your diet ANY ingredients that end in the letters “OSE.” They are all sugar molecules.
So, how can you lower your triglycerides?
Healthy lifestyle choices are the key:
• Lose weight. If you’re overweight, losing 5 to 10 pounds can help lower your triglycerides.
➡ Motivate yourself by focusing on the benefits of losing weight, such as more energy and improved health.
• Cut back on calories.
➡ Remember that extra calories are converted to triglycerides and stored as fat. Reducing your calories will reduce triglycerides. Follow the Glycemic Index when making your food choices. It’s the gold standard for Diabetics wanting to pursue better diets.
• Avoid sugary and refined foods.
➡ Simple carbohydrates, such as sugar, especially the 21 hidden sugars in your diet, and foods made with white flour, can increase triglycerides. Click here for a list of Low Glycemic Foods and Low Glycemic Snacks.
• Choose healthier fats.
➡ Trade saturated fat found in meats for healthier monounsaturated fat found in plants, such as olive, peanut, and canola oils.
Click Below to learn about cutting back on meat if you’re a diabetic.
➡ Substitute fish high in omega-3 fatty acids — such as mackerel and salmon — for red meat.
• Limit how much alcohol you drink.
➡ Alcohol is high in calories and sugar and has a particularly potent effect on triglycerides. Even small amounts of alcohol can raise triglyceride levels.
• Exercise regularly.
➡ Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most or every day of the week. Regular exercise can lower triglycerides and boost “good” cholesterol.
➡ Take a brisk daily walk, swim laps or join an exercise group.
➡ If you don’t have time to exercise for 30 minutes, try squeezing it in 10 minutes at a time.
➡ Take a short walk, climb the stairs at work, or try some sit-ups or push-ups as you watch television.
While there’s a science to creating these 21 hidden sugars in your diet and convincing you to stay away from them, you can outsmart them all.
- Shop mindfully, read the labels on all pre-made, canned and frozen foods, snacks, even on the items labeled “low sugar” and “no sugar added.”
- Look for that magic “ose” at the end of each ingredient and respect nature’s ability to provide what you need, without added flavors.