While doing your grocery shopping rounds you’re bound to come across an endless array of suspicious “healthy” foods Download adobe imageready. These foods have “fat-free” or “reduced fat” label, but did you know that they may actually do more harm than good?
Low-fat foods are usually chockfull with preservatives, additives, and extra sugar that’s meant to enhance flavour.
Question is, how much sugar or fat can you actually have in your diet?
Lowdown on sugar
Sugar consumption has been associated with a higher risk of obesity, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome. It’s been shown to trigger inflammation, the root of most diseases. Long term sustained levels of inflammation have been linked to an increased risk of chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders.
Sugar is highly addictive. It stimulates the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that controls the reward and pleasure centres of the brain, and causes withdrawal symptoms when you cut back on your sugar intake.
Sugar provides no nutrition which is why it’s often referred to as ’empty calories’. Limiting the amount of sugar in your diet should be a priority for everyone, not just for those with diabetes.
Skip the sugar from processed foods, sugar-sweetened juices, energy drinks and fizzy drinks, and other unhealthy sources.
If you do need to add a hint of sweetness to your favourite baked goods or beverages, opt for natural sweeteners like:
- Raw honey
Lowdown on fats
Not all fats are created equal. While fats found in whole, unprocessed foods like nuts, seeds, and oils are packed with benefits, the fats found in highly processed foods are not at all good for your health. Opt for fats found in foods like avocados, olive oil, and almonds which all boost heart health and alleviate inflammation.
Trans fats found mostly in processed foods, and hydrogenated vegetable oils have been associated with a wide range of negative health conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
Healthy fats, on the other hand, are an essential part of a diet and may assist with weight loss, improve heart health and reduce inflammation. For this reason, it’s best to swap out sugar out the sugar from your diet and replace it with fats.
If you want to become your healthiest self, opt for foods like:
- Coconut oil
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Grass-fed butter
- Fatty fish
- Nutrient-rich nuts and seeds