You’ve heard of low-sugar and low-fat diets, but which one is actually better for you? We all want to reach and maintain our goal weight, but there is a right way to do it so that we improve our overall health as well?
We’re offering a look at sugar and fat, how they affect our health, and how to modify their use in order to reach your optimum health and weight loss goals.
In the United States especially, sugar is being referred to as “the new controlled substance.” Sugar addiction is very real. In some studies, sugar has been found to be more addictive than illegal drugs like cocaine.
More importantly, sugar can wreak havoc on your health. Consuming sugar – both refined and unrefined sugars – causes the “roller coaster effect,” which results in an immediate blood sugar spike followed shortly thereafter by a crash. The result leaves you feeling awful and grabbing for more and more food – usually, more sugar – to try to balance your blood sugar and get rid of that terrible feeling. This cycle can go on and on, leaving you in poorer health, feeling miserable, and gaining weight. It can also increase your chances for serious illnesses, like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and hypoglycemia.
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Unlike sugar, fat is something we can’t and shouldn’t eliminate from our diets. The human body requires a certain amount of fat to function properly. So, it isn’t the existence of fat in your body that causes trouble but rather the existence of too much and the wrong kinds of fat that causes problems.
With fat, the main thing to remember is which fats and how much of them you choose to put in your body. Opt for healthier fats, like the kinds that are unsaturated, trans-fat free, and high in Omega-3’s. Fish, nuts and seeds, and higher-fat fruits and vegetables (think bananas, coconuts and avocados) have better fats in them than soy, canola or palm oils. Even real butter, when used in moderation, is a healthier option.
So, what’s the verdict? Aim to moderate, and make smart decisions. If sugar is too much of a temptation for you, you may want to try cutting it out of your diet altogether. There are many books out there that can help you go on a “sugar detox” and eliminate sugar from your diet.
If you feel that you can incorporate sugar into your diet without going overboard, try using alternative, natural sweeteners. SkinnyMs.’s dessert recipes are all sweetened with natural, unrefined sweeteners such as agave, honey and Stevia. Remember, the key is to enjoy them occasionally, not constantly.
Choose healthy fats, and eat them sparingly. Coconut, hazelnut, and sunflower oils, and even real butter, are better to use in cooking and baking rather than soy-based (“vegetable”) oils. Low-fat dairy is still a good idea to incorporate into your diet regularly as well as lean protein like nuts, beans, fish, chicken, and lean red meat.
Most of all, remember that the majority of your nutrition should come from quality, life-giving fruits and vegetables. And remember to always drink plenty of water! According to The Institute of Medicine, women should drink around 9 cups of water per day. Take a look at the many ways drinking more water benefits your health.
You can further benefit your health and reach your weight loss goals with exercise as well. Check out our 10-Minute At-Home Fat Blasting Workout.