If you keep up with the latest in nutrition (which, as yogis who care a great deal about their bodies, the chances are you do) then you can’t have failed to notice that sugar has become public enemy number one in health circles. It’s copping the blame for all kinds of ailments, from obesity and aging to autoimmune disorders and dementia, but is really a good idea to give up every last gram of the white stuff? Could eliminating that daily cookie honestly transform your life?
Of all the self-styled health gurus out there Sarah Wilson, the Australian former-editor behind the ubiquitous I Quit Sugar program, is at the forefront of the anti-fructose brigade. Wait. What? Fructose? Yup, the form of sugar commonly associated with fruit, is the absolute worst for you. Unlike glucose (the body’s preferred energy source) fructose is only metabolized in the liver and relies on fructokinase to kickstart metabolism. It’s also more fat-producing than glucose, and it doesn’t cause insulin to be released or stimulate production of leptin, a key hormone for regulating energy intake and expenditure. Sweet devil!
So how much sugar per day is ok? In his INlife talk last Tuesday, Dr Scott Jurica suggested 25 grams as the maximum advisable. And it’s not just the pastries and candy you have to watch out for; Some fruits are surprisingly high on the fructose front, despite being generally good for you of course.
High fructose fruits to limit:
- Banana, especially ripe ones (7.1 grams)
- Pear (11.8 grams)
- Apples (9.5 grams)
- Mango (16.2 grams)
- Watermelon (11.3 grams)
- Grapes (12.4 grams)
- Medjool dates and other dried fruits (7-20 grams per serving)
Low fructose fruits to include:
- Cataloupe (2.8 grams)
- Raspberries (3 grams)
- Lemons and limes (0.6 grams)
- Kiwis (3.4 grams)
- Apricots (1.3 grams)
- Passion fruit (0.9 grams)
Tips for reducing sugar in your daily diet:
- Two servings of fruit per day is great, but not so much if you’re also eating a croissant every morning and chocolate as an afternoon pick-me-up.
- Be aware that sauces and dressings are prime culprits when it comes to additional sweeteners. Check the label!
- Watch that evening tipple, which could increase your daily intake substantially. Red wine is the way to go when you do want a glass of something, as it’s very low fructose.
- Avoid so-called ‘healthier sweeteners’ like agave, which is 90% fructose. Opt for stevia or rice malt syrup instead, which have zero grams respectively.
- Eat the whole fruit rather than the juice, as its innate fiber content will help prevent a potential spike in blood sugar.
- Consume lots of protein and fat (which, contrary to what we once thought, actually has no correlation with heart disease after all). Salmon, avocado and coconut oil / milk are all very healthy, anti-inflammatory and will help satiate you for longer.
Having said that we’re against health scaremongering at Yoga 216! If you want an occasional slice of cake you go right ahead. Everything in moderation, friends.