We all know too much sugar is bad for health. But then there’s always a discussion about natural sugar vs refined sugar, and you might wonder what the debate is all about!
Naturally occurring sugars are the kinds found in foods like fruits, vegetables, milk, cheese, yogurt, etc. Basically, they are an inherent part of the foods. Consuming whole foods that contain natural sugar is okay!
Refined sugar comes from sugar cane or sugar beets, which are processed to extract the sugar. It is a combination of glucose and fructose. We generally utilize brown and white sugars to sweeten cookies, cakes, desserts, coffee, tea, cereals etc. Moreover, packaged food items, such as chips, granola bars, flavoured yogurt, bread, condiments, tomato sauce, mayonnaise etc contain added refined sugars.
How the Body Metabolizes Sugar Matters
How the body metabolizes the sugar in milk and fruits varies from how it metabolizes the refined sugar added to packed or processed foods. The fiber in fruit slows down metabolism, as fruit in the gut expands to make you feel full. Whereas the body breaks down refined sugar rapidly, causing insulin and blood sugar levels to skyrocket. Moreover, since refined sugar gets quickly digested, you tend to eat more – thus leading to increased calorie intake and excess weight gain.
High sugar intake is also associated with some of the world’s most deadly diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Hence it’s important to include natural sugar in your diet instead of refined sugar.
How to Ensure Your Pregnancy Diet Plan Contains Natural Sugar?
If you are pregnant or planning to be soon – here’s what you can do to ensure your pregnancy diet plan contains natural sugar:
1. Stock your fridge with fresh fruits and vegetables. Food items in your fridge will make or break your diet plan. Hence ensure you choose the healthy ones!
2. To stabilize your blood sugar level– have three small meals plus two to three healthy snacks every day.
3. Have a good breakfast and don’t skip meals. Your blood sugar will remain more stable if your food is distributed evenly throughout the day.
4. Include healthy protein in your diet during pregnancy. Eating a high-quality protein at every meal is the key to success. The best sources of protein are:
➢ Fish: Sol, tuna, salmon, mackerel,etc
➢ Poultry: Chicken, eggs and turkey
➢ Nuts: Almonds, peanuts, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, etc
➢ Dairy foods: Milk, cheese, yogurt
➢ Miscellaneous: oats, quinoa, beans, lentils, legumes, seeds, etc
5. Do not include processed or packed food items in your diet during pregnancy. Avoid foods and drinks that contain refined sugars, such as sodas, soft drinks, desserts, cakes etc. It will cause your blood sugar level to spike.
6.Learn to read labels on food products, and eliminate those that contain high-content refined sugar.
If you need a precise pregnancy diet plan in order to control your body sugar level, contact Kanupriya Khanna. One of the best nutritionists in Delhi – Kanupriya will create a personalized pregnancy meal plan for you as per your health requirement!