Do I Need to Avoid the Sugar in Fruit?

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Is Fruit Sugar Bad?

The Short Answer:

No, you don’t need to avoid sugar in fruit , even if you are going for a sugar-free diet.  Fresh fruits that come from the produce section opposed to the bagged or canned section should be a major part of most healthy diets. Fruits will generally provide more calories than vegetables, but there are essential vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients found primarily in fruits that mean those calories are going to good use. Yes, fruits contain a lot of sugar – but they are also high in fiber content. Fiber helps slow the absorption of the sugars so there isn’t as much of a spike in blood glucose. So, no, you don’t need to worry about fruit sugar.

That being said…if you are a binge eater, it won’t matter what you eat, too much is too much.

The American Diabetes Association recommends, “Having a piece of fresh fruit or fruit salad for dessert is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth and get the extra nutrition you’re looking for.” If you are looking for ways to avoid sugar – fruit is not a good place to start.

 

The Long Answer: Is Fruit Sugar Bad?

Some say that when first starting a healthy diet – you will need to stop eating all sugars. This will boost your fat-burning process (using stored energy / fat since there is no new input of fast energy / sugar).  Also, some believe that in order to cut out bad sugars (processed and added sugar) that cutting out all sugars and sweet tastes will curb your appetite for more.  There is a lot of merit to these beliefs.  And, I have to say that I agree – for some, cutting out all sweets, including fruits, might be a good boost to your new, healthy eating plan.  But, you need the nutrition found in fruits and shouldn’t go without for long periods of time. Vitamin C, electrolytes, anti-oxidants, fiber, Vitamin A, iron, folate,  potassium…fruits are important to our overall wellness.  Even fruit sugar is needed to operate our body – so to cut it out completely for long periods of time wouldn’t promote a healthy lifestyle.

 

And, don’t forget about phytonutrients.  Nutritional science discovers something amazing about phytonutrients every day. One thing we know, though, is that they tend to be more effective when they are allowed to function synergistically with the other compounds in fruits and veggies. As Cornell University Professor of Food Science Rui Hai Lui points out in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “Food provides not only essential nutrients needed for life but also other bioactive compounds for health promotion and disease prevention… Consumption of fruit and vegetables, as well as grains, has been strongly associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, cataracts, and age-related functional decline”

 

But, if you’re looking for ways to avoid sugar…

Currently, nutrition and fitness experts are touting the evils of sugar. Since fruit has sugar – people are assuming that fruit also needs to be avoided.  All sugar isn’t terrible for you.  This brings us back to binge eating and our sweet tooth.  When you are wanting a sweet – go for an apple…not a candy bar.  You don’t need to avoid fruit sugar, you need to avoid added sugar.

If the ingredient lists sugar, raw sugar, honey, molasses, agave, maple syrup, corn syrup, dextrose, malt, lactose…there are at least 57 other names for added sugar – that is what you need to avoid.

How Your Body Processes Carbs and Fruit Sugar

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Our body really likes carbohydrates as a fuel source. When we consume carbs, enzymes in our digestive system break them down into their simplest possible form: sugar.  Starches, or complex carbs, take some time to break down. Sugars, or simple carbs, are easy to break down, if they need breaking down at all. Either way, the carbs you eat all become sugars called glucose and fructose.  At this point, your pancreas releases the hormone insulin, which does a few things with this blood sugar. If you’ve eaten fruit or complex carbs, insulin delivers sugar to the liver and muscles for use as fuel. If you’ve eaten simple carbs…or straight sugar, insulin converts the sugar to adipose tissue (body fat) to be broken down for energy at a future time.

If you continue to abuse this system – and consistently consume more sugar than your body can handle, insulin will not be able to do its job properly.  Insulin resistance might occur – your body could start creating more insulin – but, eventually, your system will begin to fail.  This leads to Type 2 Diabetes.  Cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, liver disease, and obesity can develop.

Fats and proteins will help avoid blood sugar spikes, but the most effective way to temper your carb intake is with fiber.  Fiber is extremely complicated and can’t be digested – so carb digestion is also slowed.

Fruits are generally rich in fiber – which makes the sugar content irrelevant.  An apple has 25 grams of carbs – 19 of those are sugar.  But – it also has 4.4 grams of fiber, which will drastically slow the sugar absorption down to a trickle.

Something else to consider – this works both ways.  Even something with low sugar content – like a slice of bread that also has low fiber content – will result in a spike in blood sugar levels much higher than with an apple.

Fruit Sugar and Weight Loss

Obviously, you can overeat fruit.  Eating six bananas or an entire bunch of grapes isn’t a good idea.  But, you can overeat (or over drink) all kinds of healthy items: water, seeds, fish, watermelon.

Like most things in life, moderation is the key.  The only exception to that rule is veggies…real veggies. Leafy greens.  It would be extremely difficult to over-eat kale or spinach.  But, I guess anything is possible.  I believe that for the most part, we way under-estimate the serving size of veggies, much like we over-estimate the serving size of sugary / processed foods. For the average person, 2-3 servings of fruit per day is perfect. If you’re highly active, that number might double. Keep in mind, that variety is also key.  Eating a well-rounded offering of fruits will bring you the most benefits.

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Ways to Avoid Sugar

Basically – you  should stay away from anything with sugar listed as an ingredient.  Here is a link that lists all the different names that sugar is called…they are getting creative.

Click here for ways to avoid sugar hidden in your foods.

Click here to have access to our clean-eating menus and grocery lists. IT’S FREE!

So, the bottom line is: no, you don’t need to avoid sugar in fruit.

 

The Blog is Live! Free menus, recipes, grocery list, and more!

Welcome to our new, improved fitness and nutrition blog.  This is about more than a diet- this is life-changing!  This is about teaming up with others in a supportive, sharing environment to establish positive, lifelong habits that will lead to better health for both your physical and mental well-being.

Where to start?  There is so much in the world of fitness and nutrition to be excited about right now.   We look forward to sharing it all with you, from fitness programs, to nutritional supplements, to workout gear.

But first things first! You’ll only get out of your body what you put into it.  Having a nutritious, well-balanced diet is fundamental to physical and mental health.  But it can be so confusing- especially when you consider that 80% of the food sold in our grocery stores contains added sugar, processed carbs, and other unhealthy ingredients.

So what now?  A wise person once said that the longest journey begins with the first step.  So we are here to help you with that

single…

but oh so important…

FIRST STEP!

Click on the link below to get access to our free Clean Eating menus, recipes and grocery shopping list It’s everything you need to eat a healthy, nutritious, well-balanced diet.  And it is absolutely FREE!

And its not just a document, you can also join our Facebook fitness and nutrition support page.  Join others who have embarked on the same life-changing journey.  It’s additional support to help you stay on track!

Yes, it is all free.  Always!

Click here now and take your first step!

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14 Day Clean Eating Challenge!

 

Join us for the 14 Day Clean Eating Challenge!

Click on the picture to get your meal plan!

14 Day Clean Eating Challenge!
14 Day Clean Eating Challenge!

To get started down the path to a healthier you, click on the image above to get immediate access to a meal plan and grocery list.  It includes great-tasting recipes from our 14 day Clean Eating Challenge.

Get yours today.  It’s FREE!

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We hate spam as much as you do.  We will not send you unsolicited e-mails or sell your e-mail address to others.

Clean Eating Challenge Coming Up!

If you weren’t able to join in out last 14 day Clean Eating Challenge, take heart.  We will be hosting another one starting Monday, February 23rd.  Look for the event on Facebook starting next week.

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14 Day Clean Eating Challenge!

If you are ready to join now, you can ask to join the Facebook Group at http://facebook.com/groups/fitnessandnutritionsupport

or friend us at http://facebook.com/dennis.m.dalton

 

Natural Remedies for Headaches

 

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Low-blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can trigger migraines.

There are many, many health benefits of using health and wellness products – including discovering natural headache remedies. I started using some high-quality health supplements last year – and overall eating “right” (little sugar, no fake sweeteners, little processed / canned foods). A nice surprise is that my headaches and migraines are gone. If you are looking for natural cures for headaches…there is a simple thing you can try: stop eating unnatural foods and sugars.

The 6 Day Reset with Shakeology was the first step in getting my headaches under control.  Check out the sampler kit here…

The truth about headaches and blood sugar levels

What causes headaches?  Truth is, lots of things.  But a main culprit to your headache pain might be what you eat. Our body is regulated by blood sugar. Our organs and brain function – including hormones – are run by glucose levels. Once your blood sugar is level, other things start working better. Cravings go away, nutrients are actually absorbed, pain and general lack of energy disappear, and health improves in multiple ways. It’s important to stop eating so much sugar so that your glucose levels aren’t going up and down so drastically.  We are only equipped to process two teaspoons of sugar at a time.  TWO TEASPOONS!

Headaches and blood sugar

Seriously…truly….my headaches are completely gone. I had migraines and regular headaches often.  Headaches almost daily / migraines almost weekly.  GONE! I haven’t even had one headache since the day I started controlling my blood sugar.

I will say that there have been a few times that my brain registers the triggers.  I honestly felt like there were times that I would most definitely be getting a migraine…but the feelings never progressed.

What triggered my migraines?

Different things, really.  Hormones, lighting, smells, sounds, foods, weather, stress, and lack of sleep.  But, they would always start with a funny little feeling IN my eyes…then the peripheral shimmers would start. They would continue on until I had very limited vision…and then…the throwing up would start. Pain would come after that and last for about 5 – 8 hours.  I know some people have much worse migraines. I can’t imaging those who suffer for days or weeks, or even chronically.  I was lucky enough to have mild migraines that were mostly controllable with medicines.

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Now – I no longer need prescription or over the counter headache or migraine relief. I found the most natural relief for headaches…eating well.

What are the best natural remedies for headaches?

Stop eating processed foods. Stop eating artificial sweeteners. Stop eating so much sugar. Get a little exercise. Eat a balanced diet. Get enough sleep. If you truly want to find headache remedies, ones that are truly natural and safe, try to do this first: try a 14 day clean eating challenge. You’ll be amazed at the changes you go through getting sugar and processed foods out of your system.

Here are some more tips to relieving your migraine or headache.

 

 

How much water to drink?

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Here is a great place to find out how much water to drink everyday.

 

Check out some really great nutrition shakes…here. 

How much water should I be drinking?

For proper hydration, you should be drinking half your body weight in ounces.  True. If you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water daily.  Read more below for proper hydration tips…

Will drinking more water help me with weight loss?

Drinking water and weight loss go hand-in-hand. If you’ve researched, you’ve probably read that drinking water for weight loss is very important. How true is this idea?

True and not true.

If you already drink plenty of water…then drinking more water probably won’t help too much.  Enough water is enough water. Drinking more water won’t help…it all just gets flushed out of your system.

However, most people don’t get enough water. In fact, most people get way, way, way too little water. Maybe even only half of what they truly need.

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How Proper Hydration Boosts Metabolism

Water is extremely important to every type of cellular process in your body.  When you don’t get enough water for proper hydration, every system in your body suffers – including metabolism.  It’s like driving your car without enough gas or oil. Or using a flashlight with old batteries.

Being even 1% dehydrated can cause a huge drop in metabolism. So – if you are interested in water for weight loss, you need to be sure to get the minimum (half your body weight in ounces)

How Water Helps a Diet

Click here for some tips on water for weight loss

Many times, when we think we are hungry, we are actually thirsty.  The hypothalamus regulates hunger and thirst signals – and it’s not very good at separating the two.  Drinking a glass of water when you think you are hungry is a great way to check hydration levels. Also, drinking a full 8 ounces of water will help fill your stomach so you’ll eat less.

Back to the hypothalamus: it also regulates sleep, mood, and relationships.  That’s why we associate being sleepy with the need to eat more – or have emotional eating habits.  It’s all interconnected.  We eat when we have relationship troubles, we eat to celebrate, we eat to get energy, we eat when we are frustrated or bored…or there are some that are opposite: they don’t eat when feeling strong emotions or stress.  Water helps keep your brain function working properly, as well.  So if you want to keep your hypothalamus working well – and not give mixed signals…drink more water!

Hunger and thirst:

ruled by glucose levels

Another interesting point is that the hypothalamus is regulated by glucose – or blood sugar levels.  Glucose travels through the blood, which if you are not properly hydrated could be over-saturated with sugar. And….the pancreas creates insulin – which helps control glucose levels…and you guessed it: if the pancreas is de-hydrated, it’s function if compromised. So – for proper organ function and proper hydration…drink more water.

See how it’s all related?

How Much Water Should You Drink Every Day?

Bottom line? Be sure to drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily.  If you weigh 200 pounds, you should be drinking 100 ounces of water daily.

Proper Hydration Tips

Drink in small sips…big gulps and guzzles will over-tax your system and most of the water will just get flushed out.  Ideally, a sip every 15 minutes or a “drink” every 30 minutes is best.

Keep water on hand at all times.

Drink a cup or two first thing in the morning and right before bed.

If you wake up to use the bathroom…that a great time to take another sip of water.

If you are feeling thirsty…it’s too late. You are pretty dehydrated.  Drink up!

Here are some more proper hydration tips: click here!

Also…be sure to drink water. Soda and other sugary drinks don’t count! They actually count against you. Click here for more information about sodas.

Look here for more tips on counting calories for weight loss…

 

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If you want more information about how much water you need for proper hydration or for weight loss, click here.

Healthy Eating Fail

 

 

So…I was all geared up to write about how successful my day was – it really was a great day…I even started out eating healthy.  But, I wanted to tell everyone that I had a successful healthy eating day.

But…not so much.

 

What I ate today:

I started off with coffee with two creams at 6:21

7:03, 12 ish pistachios

8:45, some Bulgarian yogurt and granola with berries

11:00, salad with vinaigrette dressing and cheese

4:45…lots of chips and salsa

6:30 a very small bowl of chicken and dumplings

So…you say, “That’s not too bad.”  But, it’s not where I wanted to be tonight.  I wanted to eat only veggies and some fruit…with the yogurt and granola for a morning boost. That’s my idea of eating healthy.  More veggies and less chips and salsa.

Now, I have to go make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for my daughter’s lunch tomorrow.

Wish me luck.

Healthy Diet Plan? I have one! Check it out click here…

My plan for tomorrow to eat healthy?

 

Exercise for at least two 15 minute sessions (lunges, trampoline, stairs, squats, planking…)

Eat healthy before I get hungry.

Watch my candida foods intake!

Drink more water!

Check out these tips from other sites: click here http://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-eating/healthy-eating.htm

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