I get asked this question on a daily basis. I start with talking about the diet, especially the carb’s (sugars). I suggest limiting added sugar in the diet to no more than 100 -150 calories a day. That’s about 6 teaspoons of sugar a day for women and 9 teaspoons for men. To put this in perspective, the average 12-ounce can of regular soda has between 8 and 10 teaspoons of sugar. A breakfast cereal with 16 grams of sugar per serving has about 4 teaspoons. Currently most people’s daily consumption of added sugars averages about 360 calories a day, or 16% of total daily calories. About three decades ago it was only around 6%.
Sugar consumption is directly related to HDL and triglyceride levels. The more sugar you eat, the lower your HDL (good cholesterol) and higher your triglycerides will be.
Compared to people who eat the least sugar, people who eat the most sugar are about three times more likely to have low HDL levels.
Start with the goal of no more than 100 to 150 calories a day of added sugar. Read food labels because they don’t distinguish between added sugars and those that occur naturally in foods like fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. Don’t be misled. When a label has the word ‘syrup’ or ‘evaporated cane juice’ or words that end in ‘ose’ like sucrose, fructose, and dextrose, these are added sugars.
Beverages are the No. 1 source of added sugar in the diet, especially soft drinks, fruit drinks and sports drinks.
I recommend the Paleo diet or the Mediterranean Diet – these diets are based on fruits, vegetables, seeds & nuts, good-fats, dairy, and meats. They are low in added sugars. I also recommend clients take omega 3 fish oils. and use UltraMeal medical food shakes. Both of these are from Metagenics.
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