Many of us are worried about our cholesterol and triglycerides levels, measured during a blood test called a Lipid Profile. Amount of fat in your meals is not the only culprit, consuming foods high in simple sugars significantly contributes to Low levels of HDL (the good Cholesterol) and high Triglycerides.
“Q: If I only want to change one thing about my diet to improve my health as a woman, what should it be?
A: If you want to make the biggest impact on your health as a woman, you first need to know the biggest threat to a woman’s health. According to the Center for Disease Control, the top three causes of death for women in the United States are heart disease, cancer, and chronic respiratory diseases. Nutrition isn’t going to have a huge impact on chronic respiratory diseases, but it can make an immense difference with cancer and heart disease.
Heart disease and cancer are huge public health issues and the span and scope of both diseases is rather broad, however there is one hormone that has been linked to both—and it can be controlled with your diet. I’m talking about insulin.
Insulin is a hormone released from your pancreas in response to increases in blood sugar levels. Insulin’s job it to get sugar out of the blood and into fat or muscle cells. If you constantly have high blood sugar levels, your muscles can become numb to insulin, resulting in insulin resistance. Chronic high levels of insulin, sugar, and insulin resistance pose a major problem to your health (i.e. impact your risk of heart disease and cancer).”
Follow these tips to limit your sugar intake:
- Say NO to adding sugar to hot and cold cereals, add fruits instead.
- Avoid jams and marmalades, spread breads and crackers with no-sugar-added preserves.
- Reduce your intake of ice creams, frozen yogurt, and sherbets.
- Limit foods that contain any of the following simple sugars as the first few ingredients on food labels: Sucrose, Glucose, Fructose, Corn syrup, Maltose.
- Limit your daily sugar intake to 8% of your total daily calories. That makes it 24 grams for a 1,600-calorie diet, or 40 grams for a 2,000-calorie diet.