Monday, April 12, 2010


by Rebecca Talley

I rarely ever watch daytime TV, but today I happened to watch The Tyra Show while I did my aerobic workout (sometimes I just get sick of my DVDs and work out to a TV program for a change of pace since I have the moves all memorized after doing them for so many years). So today's program was about overweight teenage girls. All four girls were at least 100 pounds overweight. I can imagine the kind of harrassment these girls face on a regular basis because of their weight. I felt bad for each one.

Tyra's guest was some dude who's pushing a new lifestyle change that includes limiting your sugar intake. I'd read LuAnn's post on watching sugar--limiting it to 25 grams--with interest a few days ago so this program piqued my interest even more. This guy advocates only 15 grams and substituting food flavored with other types of sweetners for sugary foods. I'm still not sure if I like these other sweetners of if they're very good for you.

He said an average American ingests 130 grams of sugar per day. Since soda has about 40 grams it only take 3 sodas to do the job. These teenage girls were all ingesting twice that amount of sugar. He challenged them to not only reduce their sugar intake, but to up their carbohydrate, specifically fiber, intake. He said that sugar bonds with the food in our intestines and it makes the food sticky and leads to constipation because it's harder to get rid of it when there's a lot of sugar present. He also said that increased sugar intake promotes belly fat. (I thought I could just use the "I've had 10 babies" excuse).

This is the same basis for the South Beach Diet. Cut out processed sugar and white flour and increase fiber through beans, fruits, and vegetables.

Anyway, like LuAnn, I looked at some of the foods I thought were sugar safe. I was surprised that non-fat milk has 12 grams of sugar per serving. However, I'm still confused about how to differntiate between the sugars. I've heard that the sugar naturally produced in fruit is not the same as refined sugar. I would think the sugar in milk is more comparable to that in fruit because it's naturally part of the milk.

Today, I have not had any sugar. I've stuck to vegetables, beans, salad, nuts. But, I do have a nasty sweet tooth that in the past has lead me to eat candy, ice cream, etc. So I need a sweet option. I've never been a soda drinker and for the last several months I haven't had much refined sugar because I've been sticking to the SB Diet.

I have questions, though. Is the sugar produced in fruit actually different? Do you count that toward your sugar intake? Or, is it just the refined sugar that needs to be controlled? What about these other sweetners (like stevia) are they bad?

I'm going to the CFI author dinner on April 22nd and I want to look good--no, make that amazing--in my red dress I bought for my son's reception. I'm hoping I can take off a few pounds before then.


Sandra said...

Stevia is fine, but sometimes leaves an aftertaste. I prefer Xylitol to replace sugar in baking, Agave nectar is great as well.

I LOVE cut up strawberries or peaches, smothered in heavy cream and sugar. I really needed a replacement. I still use the fruit, but pour coconut milk and a bit of agave nectar and it is fabulous!

Here are some places to get some good recipes:
(sorry, I don't know how to make a link in a comment so you get the whole url)




Anna said...

I have decided to cut out soda pop completely. I do have sugar here and there, and I'm sure it adds up to more than I think.

But that soda pop just has too many quickly drank calories in it.

My husband HATES sugar additives. I don't quite understand the whole thing about them. I hear wonderful things from some people and awful things from others. Makes it hard to know what to think.

Jenn Wilks said...

I definitely think some of them are better than others. But my husband substituted diet root beer for other sweet snacks when he first started doing the Atkins diet, and developed horrible joint problems to the point that he was going to have to give up basketball. When he did some research on joint problems and Aspartame came up as a big culprit, he cut it out and the problems went away.

As far as natural fruits, I think it's plain old nuts-o for people to cut out fruits when they're on a diet because of the "sugar" content. God packaged those babies up in perfect portion sizes with perfect balances of nutrients and he gave us a sweet tooth for a reason.

For ME, if I had a sugar craving and an apple and a candy bar had been drilled into my head as being both BAD, I would take the candy bar. Because if I'm going to eat something forbidden anyway, go for the "good stuff." You know??? I think what LuAnn was saying, too, is that it's 25 grams of "added" sugar. If the milk carton doesn't list any form of sugar in the ingredients list, I personally don't think it counts.

Sorry, I didn't mean to rant so much! LOL.

Good luck with Operation: Red Dress!

Rebecca Talley said...

Thanks for the comments and the links. I finally lost the 3 lbs I gained while on vacations. Yay!

Jenn--love the Operation Red Dress :).

Lu Ann Brobst Staheli said...

For that sweet tooth, I really like Sugar Free Reese's Peanut Butter cups. One satisfies my cravings for sweet and chocolate all at the same time.

Shanna Blythe said...

I know that Stevia is a 'natural' sweetener that doesn't harm the body like aspartame and other non-natural sweeteners.

When it comes to sugar, I'll never give it up. EVER. BUT, I am planning on focusing more on using Stevia when I can, and limiting my daily sugar intake--only have a couple pieces of candy versus way more.

I think the one thing you can do is to pay attention to the Word of Wisdom. It encourages eating fruits and vegetables, so why worry about the sugar in them? They're good for you, but as always, in moderation!