Nutso-Sweet Friday – diabesity recap

Happy NUTSO-SWEET Friday!
Today we’re recapping on salt & sugar. Would you like to add some of your favorite tips for reducing? In honor of Defeat Diabetes Month, we have 3 days left for your ideas and a chance to win Mac-n-Mo’s Morselicious Mix & 12 days of MORSELICIOUSness e-cookbook!  Come on, I know YOU have amazing ideas!
Dietary dangers lurk in foods high in sugar and sodium (especially when you overdo it). Overly sugared diets can lead to Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity. A diet high in sodium (salt) can lead to Hypertension. And all these conditions can led to heart disease and other co-mobidities. Both sugars and salts may be found in many of the same foods. And remember that tempting combo of sugar, salt and fat (muffins, cookies, cakes… even certain breads), often leads to weight gain (if you don’t exercise moderation and portion control). So here’s a recap on de-sugaring the diet and limiting your sodium intake.

Watch your sugar intake:  For women, this means limiting your added sugar intake to about 6 tsp per day, but you that doesn’t mean you should go liberal on your natural sources.
  • Milk contains sugar. Although it can be good for you, be careful not to overdo it. Milk in your cereal, in your coffee or latte, in a smoothie snack, and perhaps in more coffee at your 3:30 pick me up latte…can all add up. And regular milk supplies fat and calories you may not need. Lowfat milk is ok, but there are other ways to get in calcium (check out these calcium-rich leafy greens and other plant sources).
  • Don’t fill up on fruit. Sure blueberries, strawberries and bananas have heart-healthy qualities, but you don’t want to go overboard. Not only are you adding up sugars (albeit natural), you may be missing out on other important nutrients found in your vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. A huge plate of fruit (as beneficial as the nutrients may be),may not be so beneficial when you consider all that sugar intake in just one sitting. Stick to small portions – 1/2 cup serving sizes, 1/2 a medium banana
  • Be mindful of processed foods. You also have to be mindful of your processed items like marinara sauces, cold cereals and even some soups stocks. Be wary of hidden sugars (“added sugars”) – learn to detect and start to wean yourself off items more likely to contain them (that would be your highly processed foods)
  • Concentrate more on adding in vegetables because it will be a higher learning curve than adding in a natural fruit sweetness that is readily pleasing on the palate.
De-Salt your diet: It may be hard to control every source of sodium when you are on-the-go, and eating out often. So plan your outings wisely and concentrate on preparing more ‘homemade foods’ (because many of your canned soups and frozen entrees can stack up the sodium, if you don’t monitor your intake). Check out these simple homemade low-sodium dishesand follow these tips below:

  • Read your labels, but don’t go nuts: Instead opt for more natural foods (think anything that grows from the ground and served in its most natural form) since they contain less sodium, but still pack in flavor. Brown rice can have a nice, nutty flavor. Oats add in a slight sweetness. Once you become more sensitive to plant foods, you’ll realize how much flavor a fresh, quality (unadulterated) fruit, vegetable, nut or legume can actually have on its own.
  • Wean off highly processed foods, these can likely add more sodium to your diet; low sodium is best, but you are better off discovering the flavors and textures of natural foods (without worrying about all those additives). And besides it may be hard to stick to one small portion.
  • Banish the salt shaker: You can flavor-without-the-salt using the juice of lemon and a combination of natural herbs/spices
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5 thoughts on “Nutso-Sweet Friday – diabesity recap”

  1. Thanks, Amy! Great tips and we couldn’t agree with you more! Keep up the great food-itude and thanks for helping spread the word on eating more healthfully.

    Happy Healthifying,

    Lauren (NUTSO-SWEET’s li’l brunette)

  2. favorite tips for reducing sugar and salt is to avoid processed foods as much as possible. even if whole foods is selling them, it doesn’t mean they are low sugar and/or salt…..after all, they DO sell domino sugar. YOU need to be your own advocate/shopper for the best foods for YOU…..i know i’m preaching to the choir here. the fewer ingredients a product has, the better – in most cases. of course, cotton candy is just sugar – one ingredient and we all know that is pure crap. i have found that increasing my fats has helped to lessen my sugar intake.

    if you look at low fat foods, they are usually high sugar – especially foods like low fat and non fat yogurts. they have the most grams of sugar per serving than just about any other food since milk has sugar (lactose) in it in the first place.

    not all fats are bad. i eat almonds and avocados like crazy. both are high fat foods. in fact, i was told by a nutrition expert to give my daughter avocados if she does not eat many veggies (which she actually does!) since they are packed with nutrients. almonds are also nutrient packed and due to all the fiber in them, they are almost a perfect food. i buy them at trader joes where they have organic ones for the best price!! i keep both raw and dry roasted around for all sorts of uses. coconut is loaded with nutrients too – and it’s a saturated fat. personally, i think the nutrients and fiber will outweigh the negatives of the saturated fat in coconuts.

    about salt intake. onions and celery have higher salt in them. but, because they are part of a WHOLE food, adding onions and/or celery to recipes can take the place of table salt. also, table salt is as unhealthy as white sugar. personally, i use lima salt which contains many of the nutrients necessary for my body to process salt. this is a tip i learned from macrobiotic folks.

    and i just found out this week from our friend tess, that adding cooked sweet potatoes to my smoothies was OK. i happened to have one leftover in my fridge that was starting to look a little pruney. so, i threw it into my green smoothie one day this week and it came out great. i used less fruit in the smoothie too. …..and as mo has pointed out, we can use carrots in place of fruits in smoothies. yeah, raw ones. tastes great too.

    i guess the bottom line here is to find more veggies that are sweeter and saltier to add to our cooking rather than adding refined sugar or salt. and not to be afraid of fats in raw foods. oh, and fats are more filling so you end up eating less.

    have a great weekend – and yes, i want to win the defeat diabetes contest!!!

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