Now here is a topic that is absolutely essential reading for all people both young and old. It concerns fats and sugars – and the fact is we all need to watch our daily intake of these things. Sure, we do require a certain amount of fats and sugars each day, as you read about fat in my last article. The thing to remember though is that too much fat or too much sugar is going to have dire consequences on our health and wellbeing.
So how do we go about watching the amount of fat and sugar that we consume daily? After all, food labels are downright confusing and it can be hard to use the “recommended grams per day” thing as a rule.
In this article, I’ll walk you through it and help you stay on track when it comes to fat and sugar. And when you do this, you’ll help yourself to age better too. Just thought I’d mention that so you know we’re on track with our anti-aging topics series.
What happens when you eat too much fat or sugar
When you consume too much fat in your diet you increase your chances of developing the following problems:
Certain types of cancers;
High blood pressure.
It has also been found that the dangerous trans fats mentioned in my last article have exposed people to hard-to-treat cancers, such as breast cancer.
When it comes to overconsumption of sugar, the health problems we increase our chances of developing include:
Unstable blood glucose;
Weakened immune system;
Decreased cognition; and
Sugar and fat overconsumption will contribute to us not aging as well as we otherwise would, if we kept our consumption in check.
So how do we keep our fat and sugar consumption in check?
As you know with fat consumption, there is only a certain amount of fat we should consume in one day. You already know that there are good fats (unsaturated fats) and bad fats (saturated fats). About 30% of your daily calorie intake can be fat, but of that no more than 10% should come from the bad fats and 20% from the good fats.
With relation to sugar consumption, there is no set in stone recommended intake. All too often, sugars are added to other foods to make them more appetizing, and these “added sugars” don’t include natural sugars such as the types you find in fruit and milk. When it is added sugar can be called:
Fruit juice concentrates;
High fructose corn syrup;
Brown sugar; or
As a rule, nutritionists say to limit added sugars (not including the natural ones) to 10 teaspoons per day (that’s 40g).
When looking at food labels, you can easily see what the total sugar content is. Also, bear in mind that the ingredients are listed in order from highest to lowest concentration. That is why you should avoid foods that list sugar in the top five ingredients. So avoid things like full sugar soft drinks, candy, baked foods like cookies, cakes and pies, dairy desserts, flavored milks and fruit drinks that are not 100% natural juice.
It may seem like hard work, but it’s definitely worth taking a proactive view when it comes to limiting your fats and sugars. Keep these in check – while enjoying a healthy diet and physical exercise – and you won’t regret it!