Do the foods you love… love you back? For many of us, the answer’s a solid “No.”
And for the majority in that “No” category, it’s the foods we’re choosing to eat causing all the trouble. Excess sugar and sodium are two major culprits in our foods that are creating havoc in our systems, leading to heart problems, Type 2 diabetes, and more. So maybe we just don’t know how to eat healthy. Or maybe we don’t have the willpower to make better choices. Whatever the reasons, knowledge is power; and we’re about to drop some here!
Are Medical Sharing Ministries for Me?
Well, if joining a welcoming Community focused on lifting each other up and sharing each other’s burdens sounds good, then YES! OneShare Health is a Member-focused Health Care Sharing Ministry with Programs that fit your needs and lifestyle. Our Christian family health care Ministry is here to give you the options you need and want within a positive, caring organization based on tried-and-true scriptural beliefs. With features like Clever HealthTM Smart Virtual Care (Telemedicine), behavioral health, information on healthy diet tips, access to a Ministry prayer request line, and so much more, we’ve made space for you. Sound good? Click to check us out!
How many grams of sugar per day and how much sugar can you eat? Learn how to cut back on sugar with healthy diet tips and how to eat healthy.
Let’s Talk About Sugar Intake
We all know we shouldn’t just sit down with a 10-pound bag of candy and go to town. That’s an obvious overload of sugar. But for most people, the real problem is added sugar in our foods – the sneaky, hidden sugar we don’t even think about.
Added sugar is the sugar that’s put in during food processing, plus the sugar you sprinkle on your foods. Foods like ketchup, frozen dinners, sweetened beverages, flavored yogurt, and others contain more than we even realize. There’s so much of it in what we eat, we don’t even think about how much sugar we’re consuming.
What’s the Problem with Too Much Sugar?
About 80% of the sugar we eat is added sugar – the kind that’s put in to commercially-prepared and packaged foods. Because we don’t add it ourselves, most of us don’t even know how many grams of sugar per day we’re eating. And too much sugar in our diet can lead to an increased risk for heart disease, hypertension, and Type 2 diabetes. Those are conditions we all want to avoid if possible.
So What Can We Do About It?
There really are simple ways we can reduce the amount of sugar in our diets if we just make some adjustments. Here are some suggestions for how to cut back on sugar:
- Follow recommended U.S. guidelines. They advise getting less than 10% of your calories from added sugars. That’s much less than many people are consuming.
- Carefully read those labels! Packaged or processed foods are chock-full of those dreaded added sugars. Read your labels, and choose wisely.
- Tweak your recipes. Adapt them to lower the amount of sugar in your recipe and replace with healthier alternatives. Be sure to check your ingredients if you use packaged or processed sauces, etc. in your recipes.
- Make small changes. Cut your two teaspoons of sugar in your morning coffee to one and a half, then one. Give yourself time to adjust slowly. Look for other ways to make little improvements.
What is sodium and how much sodium is too much? How much sodium should you have a day? Let's talk about it.
What’s the Deal With Sodium?
Salt (or, sodium chloride technically-speaking) is the biggest source of sodium in our diets. And like sugar, too much of it can create all sorts of health issues we’d like to avoid. So, what is sodium? Simply stated, it’s a mineral and one of the chemical elements found in salt. Sodium does play an important part in our health and wellness – like keeping our fluid balance in check – but when we consume too much problems can arise.
Cut It Out! (At Least a Little)
Like that sneaky added sugar, sodium is packed into the commercial and processed foods we eat. So even if you cut down on the table salt, you’ll find sodium in snack foods, lunch meats, canned soups, and other items you might not even think about.
How Much Sodium Is Too Much?
That depends on your age and other factors. In general, it is recommended that we limit our sodium intake to 2,300 mg per day. Basically, a teaspoon of salt. But authorities like the American Heart Association say that people over the age of 50 should only have 1,500 mg per day. When in doubt, ask your doctor how much sodium should you have a day.
Many Americans are consuming around 3,400 mg of sodium per day – much more than their bodies need. And that can lead to kidney problems, high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks, and a host of other problems.
So follow much of the same advice about managing your sugar intake: read your labels, make some adjustments like choosing fresh foods, go easy on the condiments, and when ordering at a restaurant ask if they can prepare your food with less salt.
All these things make a difference. And you’re worth it!
The Best Advice
What’s the best way to control what’s in the foods you eat? Prepare them yourself! Start with fresh foods that contain no added sugars or sodium. Make your own sauces to avoid added sugar, use spices instead of overloading it with salt, and even try out some specialty salts. Some gourmet and kosher salts contain less sodium than regular table salt.
Partner with your doctor and ask for tips on how to eat healthy for you. Your doctor can give you guidelines specific to you about how many grams of sugar per day, how much sodium is too much, and even healthy diet tips.
The choices are up to you – for your health and your future. Decide to give some of these ideas a try and watch how it affects you. We’ll bet your doctor will love it… and your body will, too!
A Prayer Request Line and Sharing Medical Costs? Sign Me Up!
Yes, it’s true! OneShare Health is truly a Community. We’re here to pray for each other, share medical bills, and follow our shared biblical beliefs. If Christian family health care sounds good to you, come see what medical sharing ministries are all about!
“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)