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Wellness Wednesday: Sugar Crash Course

I’ve always lived by the mantra, “everything in moderation”.

Or so I thought. 

In the United States, 80% of the 600,000 items sold in grocery stores has added sugar.

At that rate, I know I consume more sugar than I realize, even with mindful food choices.

But not all sugar is created equal. While both glucose and fructose are simple sugars, they are processed very differently in the human body.

Glucose is an excellent source of energy for all your tissues. Any excess is stored for on-demand energy. Fructose, on the other hand, is primarily metabolized in the liver and any excess is converted into cholesterol and triglycerides, which can increase body fat.

Because of this, some clients avoid all forms of sugar. But, the sugars in fruit and sweet vegetables come with a nice dose of fiber that helps us feel full plus essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients that block insulin spikes.

I recommend sticking with sugar in its whole food form and cutting out “added sugars” that are heavily processed, devoid of natural nutrients, and raise blood sugar without giving our bodies anything beneficial. Fructose in this form, like table sugar and high fructose corn syrup, is linked to declining liver function, hypertension, diabetes and more.

A lose-lose in my book.

My top 3 sugar sources?

Honey: Known for its anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. Raw is best!

Maple Syrup: Rich in B-vitamins and minerals, such as Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Potassium and Zinc.

Coconut Sugar: Packed with minerals, short chain fatty acids, polyphenols and antioxidants.

My new mantra?

“Everything, from the right source, in moderation”.

This week’s tip: Take an honest record of your daily sugar intake. If you’re like most, you’re consuming more than you think.

Bonus: Watch the documentary “Fed Up”.

- Lauren Pax is a Senior Instructor at DEFINE: Oakley and is a Certified Health Coach. You may contact her at [email protected].