Scared Sweet? A Realistic Look at Cutting Back on Sugar

file0001971029638There’s no candy-coating the truth: your sweet tooth may be setting you up for weight gain and health problems.  Eating too much sugar does more than just expand your waistline –it may also double the chance of dying from heart disease. According to a recent study released by JAMA, people whose sugar intake is about a quarter or more of their total daily calories had twice the risk of dying from heart disease than those who whose intake was 7 percent.

What is more, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons released a study revealing that the risk of serious wound complications is more than three times higher for patients who have high blood sugar levels both before and after surgery—news that BEAUTY by BUFORD takes very seriously.

While it’s clear that a diet with less sugar can only be good for you, achieving this can seem difficult. Sugar tastes good, and it’s practically in everything (see tip #2). But if you know what to look for, you can make huge cuts in your sugar intake by making a lot of little adjustments.

Take note of these five simple tips to help you cut back on sugar and make your path to wellness easier each day:

#1: Learn the difference between natural sugars and added sugars. Surprise! Not all sugar is bad. For example, natural occurring sugars in fruit, like an apple or berries, can still satisfy your sweet tooth without sending your blood sugar levels into dangerous territory. Fruit sugars, known as fructose and sucrose, are natural and healthy to consume in moderation. Food manufacturers use refined sugars, such as dextrose or high-fructose corn syrup, to sweeten their processed foods. These are the sugars that cause the most damage—plus they’re often “hidden” in food products, making it easy to consume large quantities without realizing it. So when the sweet tooth hits, try a bowl of strawberries first. You’ll be surprised at how they satisfy.

#2: Read food labels. Did you know that your favorite salad dressings, sauces, yogurts, and even cottage cheese are sweetened with corn syrup? Increasingly, processed sugars can be hiding in foods right under your nose. Check a jar of spaghetti sauce next time you’re in the store—many have up to 1 tablespoon of sugar per serving. Get in the habit of reading labels carefully to avoid hidden sugar in processed foods.

#3: Rethink your go-to snacks. If you’re feeling a bit sluggish and you reach for a sugary treat, you’re actually doing more harm than good. You’ll spike your blood sugar levels, giving you a quick rush of energy followed by a serious crash. For sustained energy all day long, avoid processed snacks and opt for healthier options, like raw nuts or pumpkin seeds. These provide a nice satisfying crunch with healthy fats and proteins that your body loves.

#4: Practice moderation.
While there’s nothing wrong with the occasional slice of cake at a friend’s birthday party, don’t let every night become an excuse to overindulge in dessert. An easy way to avoid unnecessary sugars is to stay away from treats that appear all too often in the office break room. Moderation is important for healthy foods, too. For example, while dried fruits can be a delicious snack, keep in mind that sugar levels can be more highly concentrated, so limit your intake to a small handful, accompanied by a big glass of water or unsweetened tea. Which leads us to tip #5….

#5: Put down the soda – and store bought juice. Roughly 37 percent of added sugar in U.S. diets comes from sugar-sweetened beverages. And sodas are not the only guilty party. Many so-called fruit juices, like apple juice, are all sugar and no fruit. Reach for whole fruit instead, which provides fiber to aid digestion and satisfy hunger. Struggling to give up your daily cola habit? Trade in the bubbles for antioxidant-rich green tea (without any added sugar)—studies show that it can boost your metabolism, which will also help slim your waist line!

A final word on the sugar “buzz”

BEAUTY by BUFORD is concerned about your overall health and well-being whether you’re one of our patients or not. The news about the relationship between high glucose levels and recovery time, however, makes this topic particularly pertinent for anyone thinking about having cosmetic surgery.

Your Plastic Surgeon should be someone who takes care to examine all relevant factors when helping you make decisions about the procedures you’re considering. Contact BEAUTY by BUFORD for a consultation, during which you can discuss your sugar intake, as well as your options and any other questions you have. Now that’s a sweet deal!