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NIRERIN Posts: 13,948
5/4/14 8:08 A

read the ingredient lists. that's the only way to know you're getting the ingredients you feel most comfortable with. i think if you're even trying to find a blanket term that means you can't be vigilant, then you're going to hit problems once manufacturers figure out how to exploit that term for profit.
your level of sugar/carbs is going to depend on you. some people are more sensitive to them than others and those people should particularly pay attention to what bothers them. the next thing you have to pay attention to is what the food is. in other words, dairy should have some sugar in it, but the higher numbers tend to mean sugar added beyond what's naturally occurring. if your peanut butter has a gram of sugar in it, that's naturally occurring and i wouldn't worry about it. if you peanut butter has 20 g sugar in it the ingredient list will likely show you what was added to it. start cutting out the added sugars and see where that gets you. some people are sensitive enough to sugar that they will still have to moderate the naturally occurring sugars. as you're cutting out the added, pay attention to make sure that you're not someone who is sensitive to sugar substitutes. head and stomach aches are somewhat common reactions to sugar subs.
as far as carbs in general go, it's too broad of a term. everything that's not a fat or a protein [or alcohol] is a carb. which means that krispy kreme is just as much of a carb as kale is. and unless you have a medical condition, the carbs in carbs are bad can't be replaced by kale and krispy creme equally. most people would say that kale is pretty good for you. most people would agree that krispy kreme isn't so much. so which end of that spectrum are your carbs coming from? if you're not sensitive to carbs and you're eating on the kale and lentil and berry side, limiting them doesn't make so much sense. if you're sensitive to them or you're eating more of the hohos and doritos, then limiting carbs does make sense.
another factor in what you want to eat is if you want to eat things that are exclusively made in labs or if you want to stick to things that you could grow in the ground if you spent the time and effort. a sugar free splenda sweetened cinnabon pringle is a different beast entirely than a baked potato topped with broccoli and a little cheese. and you're the one who has to make the call on what's best for you and works best with your system. which is why you need to read the actual recipe and make the call rather than just taking whatever falls under a blanket term.

BETTERME8913 SparkPoints: (5,341)
Fitness Minutes: (747)
Posts: 824
5/4/14 1:36 A

I don't do the SF recipes. Sugar substitutes give me a headache and make me very hungry about an hour later. I'm trying for the low carb recipes. This works better for me. Find what works best for you! emoticon

5/3/14 8:35 A

You have been given some great advice.
For more specific tips; it would be helpful to see your nutrition tracker.
Let me know if you want to do this and need the steps to make it public.

Everyone uses different approaches to keep sugar and carbs within healthy ranges.
Some will substitute an artificial sweetener for sugar and syrups.
Others may prefer to eat the sugary food less often or in a smaller portion.
There are many ways to have a healthier sugar and carb intake.

Your SP Registered Dietitian

MISSRUTH Posts: 4,128
5/3/14 7:53 A

Here is a Spark article on "added sugar"

That article talks about how much "added sugar" we should aim for, depending on how many calories a day we eat. The difficulty is that "added sugar" is not specifically called out, on nutritional labels. You have to look at the list of ingredients, for things like honey, HFCS, cane syrup, etc. Also, on the nutritional label for milk (for example) it will say there are 11 grams of sugar. But that's not "table sugar". That's the naturally-occurring lactose in milk. Just like a piece of fruit has "sugar" in it, but that's the naturally-occurring fructose. So those things are not the same as "added sugar".

Here is a Spark article on artificial sweeteners:

A lot of recipes use artificial sweeteners to get "no sugar added" or "sugar free". But that's not necessarily what we're aiming for.

The article's kind of long and *may* explain more than what you're looking for, but the comment that hits hardest (for me) is toward the end and says "Removing the sugar from a soda, cookie or candy bar does not turn it into a health food."

Removing the sugar from a pie or cookies or brownies or cake does not turn it into a health food. That right there gives me a lot of food for thought (pun intended). Just because I can bake a cake that has "no sugar added" does not mean I can then eat a large slab of cake every day.

I get my carbs from a lot of low-starch vegetables, a few starchy vegetables, some whole grains, some dairy. I'm wondering what recipes you're interested in, specifically. Is it something like spaghetti sauce, or rather something like a cake or other "treat" type food?

(edited to fix a link)

Edited by: MISSRUTH at: 5/3/2014 (07:56)
5/2/14 9:42 P

I would look at why it's low carb or sugar free. A donut made with truvia might never make it on my desire list. But spaghetti using lots of sauteed veggies instead of pasta is a weekly treat. Most low sugar recipe books rely on artificial sweeteners. Mostly I look at calories, fiber, protein and fat when selecting a recipe.

PEN13GWEN SparkPoints: (42,315)
Fitness Minutes: (21,870)
Posts: 31
5/2/14 6:44 P


EELPIE Posts: 2,700
5/2/14 6:27 P

Well, I think the first place to start is on your tracker - I will start with this caveat though, I don't have an issue with sugar, so I've no need/desire to track it - or know how much to consume.

That being said, I eat whole foods (unprocessed) so the only sugar I get a day is the two domino dots I put in my tea (1/2 teaspoon).

Carbs really depends on the person, and their plan (or lack of one). Some people are very low carb and consume maybe 30 per day. Some people's idea of low carb is to eat 100 per day. Other's may feel 150 is low carb.

Before you start on a low carb lifestyle, please research the different forms of it. I personally do a form of low carb called "slow carb" which is low GI foods.

Some people do not need to go low carb, either. A lot of people here lose weight eating regular amounts of carbs (what is in their tracker). Do you feel you have a problem with carbs?

MIMISUGAR SparkPoints: (2,072)
Fitness Minutes: (1,923)
Posts: 46
5/2/14 4:14 P

I have been reading a lot lately about how bad sugar is for you. In trying to find better recipes, is it better to use SF recipes or Low Carb recipes? If the recipe is low in sugar but the carbs are high.
What is a good recommended daily intake on sugar/carbs?

Thank you for any advice on this!

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