Gimme a (sugar) break

Now’s the time to practice moderation, because holiday sugar-binging — even if only for a day or two — can be harmful, especially if you have diabetes.

Halloween. Thanksgiving. Christmas. Hanukkah. And endless parties in between. ’Tis the season for overdoing it on sweet treats! Now’s the time to practice moderation, because holiday sugar-binging — even if only for a day or two — can be harmful, especially if you have diabetes.

The World Health Organization recommends sugar make up only 5 percent of your daily calories. For an average-size adult, that’s just 25 grams, or 6 teaspoons, per day. To put that into perspective, a regular soda makes up nearly double the recommended sugar intake at 44 grams, and one Snickers bar comes in at a whopping 30 grams. According to Andrea Grisanti, diabetes educator with Norton Healthcare, the average adult consumes up to 22 teaspoons of sugar per day — and that’s not on a holiday!

Sugar can deliver a serious blow to your body when you overdo it. High sugar levels can cause the body’s cells to malfunction and build up insulin resistance, which can lead to or worsen diabetes and contribute to heart disease, among other harmful health effects.

And foods with high sugar content often contain high fat and calories, which can lead to obesity The bottom line? Too much sugar is never a good thing.

Understanding why we overindulge in the sweet stuff can help curb cravings. Your daily diet may also be setting you up for sugar failure, according to Grisanti.

“Inadequate caloric intake throughout your day can lower energy levels and trigger a sugar binge,” she said. “High-intensity workouts without the proper nutrition to support them and insufficient protein in your diet can also cause you to crave sweets.”

Eating healthfully, staying active and keeping a positive mindset can help you keep your sugar intake at a reasonable level over the next couple of months


Learn more:

Consuming too much sugar can lead to weight gain, which is a risk factor for diabetes. Learn more about your diabetes risk by taking a quick online assessment at NortonHealthcare.com/About-Diabetes.

Beat sugar cravings with these tips:

• Drink a glass of water.

• Have a high-protein snack.

• Eat a piece of fruit.

• Stay on your feet.

• Don’t let a “sugar slip” knock you off the healthy eating wagon.


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