Among all bacteria, few of them can actually help to improve our health. They can improve our digestion, immunity, and skin while reducing the risk of several heart diseases. Some of them also help to lose weight and have a healthy diet. So, instead of avoiding them, you have to let them into your body for better health.
Foods that contain such healthy bacteria are called probiotic food. We consume the live microorganisms that are inside the food to get health benefits. These bacteria are beneficial for your body and promote better health.
Here are the top 8 probiotic foods with in-depth details on how they can be healthy for you.
Yoghurt is rich in nutrients and made by the bacterial fermentation of milk. It is indeed one of the best sources of probiotics that can help you to improve your health by giving many health benefits, like:
It treats high blood pressure and gastrointestinal disorders
It helps improve bone health
Provides relief from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Suitable for people with lactose intolerance
However, not all yoghurt has live probiotics because it is often killed during the processing, and even if you buy low fat labelled yoghurt, it may have unhealthy added sugar. So, make sure to choose the yoghurt that has active or live cultures to get its probiotic benefits.
Pickles are cucumbers that are mixed with salted water and left for ferment. It becomes sour in the fermentation process due to the presence of lactic acid.
They are good for the digestive system and contain Vitamin K, low calories, and antioxidants that help fight the harmful bacterias in your body.
However, it is recommended to make fermented pickles in your diet at a moderate level as it has high sodium that could lead to high blood pressure. Also, pickles prepared with vinegar do not have probiotic properties – so make sure to look into ingredients while picking prickles for you.
Just like milk, Kefir is a great source to strengthen bones and the digestive system as it contains protein, calcium and vitamin D. It can also slow down the growth of bacteria that may harm your health.
You can enjoy Kefir in smoothies and blended drinks. It is a grain mixed with cultured milk and yeast for the fermentation process. During this process, its structure changes making it easier to digest.
Despite all the benefits, Kefir can cause side effects like nausea, constipation and intestinal cramping in the beginning days. If it continues for the long term, then you should try Kefir with any non-dairy fluids (such as water or fruit juice).
Sauerkraut is shredded cabbage with a sour taste and is often used as a side dish or topping for sausages. It is thinly sliced, salted, sealed, and can be stored for at least four months during the fermentation process.
Sauerkraut is an excellent source of nutrients, vitamins, iron, and antioxidants properties that are good for your eyesight and digestive system. It has a strong influence on your immune system and lets you recover faster if you are sick.
Although, overeating sauerkraut can lead you to short-term side effects such as bloating because of water retention, or your blood pressure can be higher as it is salty. So, you’ll have to check your health and then plan how much sodium you will take in a day.
Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans and is listed as one of the high probiotic vegan foods among others. It is slightly sweet and has a nutty flavour while having a cake-like texture.
There are various ways in which you can either cook, marinate or bake tempeh. It is treated as a substitute for high protein meat as its fermentation produces vitamin B12 in an amount that is required to maintain optimal health.
Just to be safe, you should talk to a professional healthcare provider about eating tempeh if you have any thyroid disorder. Some studies have shown some concerns that soy may affect how your thyroid functions.
Kimchi is a popular Korean side dish, which can be added to anything from sandwiches to noodle bowls. It is made up of many fermented vegetables mixed with spicy seasonings.
Just the cabbage used in preparing Kimchi contains vitamin K, riboflavin and iron. While the lactic acid of the other ingredients of Kimchi makes your digestive system healthy, reduces the resistance to insulin and lowers cholesterol level.
Since it’s spicy and salty, it is for your own good that you keep the seasoning at a moderate level when preparing Kimchi to gain its probiotic benefits instead of getting high blood pressure, stroke, or other heart diseases.
The good bacteria that are healthy for your body survive the ageing process of some specific cheese types: gouda, mozzarella, parmesan, swiss, cheddar, and cottage cheese. They are labelled as live and active culture cheese.
Cheese is highly nutritious with necessary proteins, vitamins and minerals. It has calcium, vitamin B12, phosphorus and selenium, which is good for bone and heart health.
However, cheese contains lactose, a sugar that lactose-intolerant people can’t digest. Too much lactose can lead to digestive problems, including bloating and gas. But fortunately, some cheeses are very low in lactose, such as parmesan. So make sure to look into the lactose level of the kind of cheese you decide to take in your diet.
Kombucha is a fermented tea that is prepared with either black or green tea. It tastes like regular tea with a bit of tart flavour and contains an appropriate amount of probiotics, having a wide range of health benefits.
It detoxifies your system, aids digestion, soothes your gut and boosts your immune system. Additionally, it decreases blood sugar, protects the liver, controls cholesterol levels and stops the spread of cancer cells in your body. It also reduces a certain type of fat found in blood, triglycerides, and can control two types of diabetes.
However, too much kombucha consumption can lead you to experience digestive stress due to high sugar and calorie intake. So you need to follow a proper diet plan. Another concern is, it is caffeinated and slightly alcoholic, so there is a chance that you might feel a bit dizzy. So make sure to drink kombucha when you are not driving or doing anything that needs your attention.
Probiotic foods are incredibly great for the digestive system, blood pressure, cholesterol, immune system, eyesight, bones, and other various health benefits. However, you need to be aware of your medical condition to avoid its side effects.
P.S: Having a proper diet schedule is definitely a better plan for maintaining a healthy probiotic diet!
Shoulder blade or scapular pain refers to the discomfort, aching or feeling sore between the shoulder blades. It may get intense during certain daily life activities such as lifting an arm to any object, turning your head sideways, etc.
If it happens to you occasionally, then there is nothing to worry about as it’ll go away on its own. However, if shoulder blade pain is occurring more frequently, it might signal a serious health issue.
To prevent serious health issues, let’s identify the cause of your shoulder pain and look into its relief methods and prevention tips.
There’s a number of reasons that you may experience shoulder pain. But you can identify the leading cause as it gets noticeable while performing certain activities in your daily life. Some of them may include:
1. Heavy Lifting
Sometimes heavy lifting causes certain muscles of your shoulder to feel intense pressure, and your body reacts to it by a spiking pain on your shoulder blade. It may even cost you not lifting a heavy object for a very long time.
It is recommended to see a doctor if the pain prolongs. It’ll help you to avoid worsening your shoulder’s muscle strains or tearing.
2. Poor Posture
If you have a sedentary lifestyle, long working hours while sitting in one place, or sleeping in an uncomfortable position, you are bound to have shoulder pain due to poor posture.
Poor posture makes your muscles static that cause you discomfort, and eventually, you begin to feel pain in your back and shoulder blades. You may also feel pain due to bad posture while sleeping, leading to static muscles.
3. Muscle Overuse, Injury Or Fracture
You might experience shoulder blade pain due to the kind of activities you do. If you are a sporty person or your job requires physical labour, you might feel pain because of the overuse of the rotator cuff.
While other reasons may include any scapular injury or fracture that have caused trauma during some accident, leaving intense pain whenever your shoulder muscles are active.
4. Signs Of Severe Medical Conditions
However, shoulder blade pain may be a warning for severe medical conditions, such as:
Degenerative disc – Related to aged conditions that deteriorate spine.
Herniated disc – A disk in the spine ruptures, slips or cracks.
Scoliosis – Sideways curves in the spine that may happen before reaching puberty.
Osteoarthritis – Arthritis occurs when flexible tissue in your bones wears down, usually in the joints around your neck, spine, or ribs.
Spinal stenosis – Puts pressure on the spinal cord along the nerves within.
Acid reflux – Heartburn, pancreatitis or peptic ulcer.
Fibromyalgia – Pain muscles accompanied by sleep, fatigue, memory loss and mood swing issues.
Shingles – A chickenpox virus, causing painful rashes and shoulder pain.
Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) – Muscles pain due to its overuse.
Certain cancers – Such as lung cancer, bone cancer, or other cancers spread to bones and near shoulder blades.
Nerve compression syndrome – Direct pressure on the nerves on or around the shoulder blade.
Heart attack or other diseases – Sudden spike recurrent pain in the shoulder blade, especially among women.
Gallstone – Stones in the gallbladder, often followed by pain in the upper right part of abdomen and nausea.
Thoracic aorta rupture – Aortic dissection due to the blood surges through the inner and middle layers of the aorta, causing it to separate and tear blood vessels near your heart.
Pulmonary embolism – Blood clot breaks free and enters into lungs, causing a decrease in oxygen level and permanent damage.
Other accompanying signs – Such as chest pain, shortness of breath, excessive sweating, swelling in your legs, coughing up blood, fever, sudden vision loss, speaking difficulty, losing conscious or irregular heartbeat may also occur.
All of these signs indicate severe and severe medical conditions that are life-threatening. You must seek emergency treatment from a doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.
Shoulder Blade Pain Relief Options
If your pain is not frequent and bearable, then it might be chronic shoulder blade pain, and you might be able to treat it without getting any emergency treatment.
After making sure that your condition is not one of the warning signs of any serious medical condition, you can follow some of the shoulder blade pain relief techniques, which are:
Exercises can help you strengthen, relax your back muscles, and ultimately relieve you from shoulder blade pain. Physical activity such as stretching improves blood circulation to your muscles and joints, which often provides pain relief.
One of the top and easiest exercises that you perform at home are arm stretches. You may cross one arm over your body, use the other arm to grab and pull your outstretched arm from the elbow toward your chest, then hold this stretch for about five to ten seconds. However, you can also look into other exercises or ask your physician about them.
2. Diet and Routine
Some processed foods, such as high-fructose sugar, artificial trans fats, refined carbohydrates, or processed meat, could cause inflammation, making your symptoms worse. Try to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables that are high in omega-3 fatty acids to avoid inflammation.
Sometimes all you need is to rest to recover from your shoulder blade pain, especially if you have an injury or a fracture due to some accident.
3. Hot or Cold Compresses
Applying hot or cold compresses on your tight or tense shoulder blade for about ten to fifteen minutes could help you to relieve discomfort and pain. You can keep the compresses till the swelling or pain is reduced.
Compresses are generally good techniques to relax muscles, but be careful as the temperature may vary depending on your applying environment.
4. Massage Or Occupational Therapy
If the pain is caused due to the overuse of muscles or joints, then a massage therapist can work on the problem areas to relax muscle tissue.
However, you might need to see an occupational therapist if you have an injury on your shoulder blade, as it will require certain exercises to relieve you from your shoulder pain.
Medications such as ibuprofen and paracetamol are prevalent for short time pain relieves. Sometimes, anti-inflammatory or anti-depressants are also recommended by doctors depending on your health conditions.
In some cases, doctors may prescribe pain killer injections or pills to reduce your shoulder blade pain. However, every drug has its limitations, so do not take any medication without consulting your doctor.
If you are experiencing severe pain and no other treatment works for your shoulder blade pain, then there is a chance that your shoulder may be imbalanced and requires surgery to adjust the position of the scapula.
However, most Orthopaedic Surgeons first recommend nonsurgical options for their patients. Also, conducts few tests to confirm the root cause of the pain. Then they proceed with the surgery of your shoulder blade.
Prevention Tips For Shoulder Blade Pain
Aside from knowing the cause and treatment options, few practices can help you avoid or reduce your shoulder blade pain.
A few of them are:
A healthy diet and physical activity – Take a healthy diet that strengthens your bones and doesn’t cause inflammation. Make sure that your diet food must contain the necessary amount of vitamin D and calcium.
Practice proper posture – Avoid slouching, leaning, or uncomfortable posture. Use special pillows for your back to sit tall and straight when working. It will help your neck and spine alignment.
Avoid lifting heavy items – Don’t carry heavy weight with your one shoulder as it may lead to injury and trigger intense pain on your shoulder blades. Still, if you need to do the heavy lifting, then be sure not to put too much pressure on your back and do it with proper posture while using both shoulders and bending knees.
Change positions – Changing your position frequently helps you to avoid getting your muscles stiff. So stretch from time to time when you’re working for long hours in the same position. Also, try to sleep in a comfortable place to change your position with ease while sleeping.
Follow healthy habits – Take complete rest, sleep at least seven to nine hours based on your age requirement. Avoid too much smoking and, if possible, quit it. Maintain a healthy lifestyle as it can help you avoid or manage your shoulder blade pain.
Most of the time, the shoulder blade pain is temporary due to our lifestyle choices. So, there is much we can do to prevent this pain.
Knowing the root cause of your shoulder blade pain will help you diagnose your health’s exact condition and avoid life-threatening medical situations. However, if the pain doesn’t go away with the mild treatment options, you must see a doctor for better health care.
Let’s say you’re sitting in your office and the 9 am meeting is about to start. Suddenly your stomach growls – and to your horror, everyone looks at you.
Isn’t that a little embarrassing?
Well, it could be, but you should know that stomach growling or stomach rumbling is a normal thing. It happens with everyone, and you should be okay with some occasional growling.
However, if you have started to notice an increase in the frequency of stomach growling, then it means there is something wrong. You could either be eating the bad stuff, experiencing indigestion, or have some issues with your eating habits.
In this article, we will give you an overview of stomach growling and equip you with some critical points on how to quiet it down.
Let’s get into it!
Now that you know that stomach growling is a normal process that happens to everyone, it is essential to understand why it happens. What causes your stomach to growl, and why is it a common recurrence?
It’s a fact that certain habits and food can promote stomach growling, and that is why you should avoid including them in your daily routine.
Why Does It Happen?
Have you heard about the good bacteria that live inside your gut?
Let us familiarise you with your gut’s normal flora!
Normal flora corresponds to the microorganisms (aka good bacteria) that reside in our stomach since the day we were born. These normally residing bacteria are responsible for fermenting non-digestive substances into digestive substances, boosting our immune system and protecting us from pathogens.
As a result of these processes, the bacteria eventually produce gases, which are why your stomach rumbles. When these gases move from your stomach to the intestine, this movement makes such noises in your stomach.
Proven Ways to Quiet a Growling Stomach
So, your stomach growls; what’s the big deal? It happens with everyone – who cares?
The answer is simple, everyone cares.
While it is understood that it can happen to everyone, we all would like to avoid it in formal dinners and gatherings. Be it a meeting or a meetup with your in-laws – you wouldn’t want your stomach to go all Godzilla in public.
We have narrowed down a list of tips and tricks that will help you tone down these noises and save you the embarrassment once and for all.
1. Water Is Your Best Friend
We cannot stress enough the importance of water in your life. If you want your stomach to stop grumbling, drinking water in small sips slowly would prove incredibly beneficial.
It is so because water improves digestion by making it easier for the bacteria to break down the food substances. If you’re dehydrated, then you might experience stomach growling. Moreover, if you drink water on an empty stomach, it fills up your stomach and soothes down the noises that may arise from hunger.
2. Eat On Regular Intervals
If you experience stomach growling regularly, it would be better to eat at regular intervals or eat something between the three complete meals of your day. By adopting this habit, you ensure a normal food intake that prevents you from getting hunger pangs.
3. Keep A Food Diary
Some foods don’t really suit everyone. For some, it could be dairy products, and for others, it could be peanuts or any other food. In order to know which substances are not tolerated by your body, it would be wise to maintain a food diary.
Maybe dairy products (like cheese or milk) slow down the process of digestion in your body and may lead to flatulence and eventually stomach rumbling. To avoid this phenomenon, you should keep track of what you eat to determine what you should avoid.
4. Chew Like Your Mom Asked You To
Remember when you were chewing like a hyena, and your mom asked you to chew slowly like a princess? Well, it’s time to pay heed to that advice.
Why? Because mother knows best.
While this is true, chewing slowly actually does not allow you to swallow air. This proves to be an essential factor in causing the rumbles and growls that erupt from your stomach.
However, if you chew slowly, it not only prevents you from swallowing air but also breaks down the food into small enough pieces. Because of this, the bacteria don’t have to do much work, which prevents gas production.
5. Take A Walk After You Eat
Sitting idly after a meal isn’t what you want if you want to stop your stomach from growling. It could be because your posture causes your intestines to coil even more, and the gas pushing through may cause your stomach to rumble. Therefore, it would be a good idea to take a light walk after your meal, especially if you feel too full.
6. Avoid Foods That Cause Stomach Rumbling
Certain foods can contribute to stomach growling. For example, highly acidic foods like coffee and some citrus foods can damage your stomach lining and promote stomach growling.
Alcohol is also known to cause your stomach to rumble because it irritates the digestive tract as well. Moreover, foods high in fibre such as broccoli, pulses and beans are also responsible for making your stomach growl.
7. Keep Your Anxiety At Bay
Anxiety, stress and extreme nervousness can also cause stomach rumbling. The mechanism for this phenomenon revolves around the fact that such triggers slow down gastric emptying. If the gastric contents stay for longer periods in your stomach, it gives bacteria increased chances of producing gas and causes stomach growling.
Like we have mentioned before, stomach growling is normal and is bound to happen once in a while. However, if it’s a repetitive process and you’re continuously experiencing stomach rumbling, then you should consult a doctor as soon as possible.
When harmful bacterias get into your breast, they can cause breast infection. It typically produces inflammation on the breast skin and your body’s response to it as a breast infection.
Breast infection is associated with breastfeeding women, but it can also happen to non-breastfeeding women and men as well. In recent years, the rate of breast infection cases has increased from 10 to 33 percent among women, while about 1 percent of men may suffer.
So let’s discuss the symptoms, causes, types, diagnosis, treatment options and home remedies for breast infection.
The symptoms of breast infection that you may experience are:
Red streaks around nipples
Unhealed sores or ulcer on the breast skin
While based on breastfeeding, other symptoms are divided into:
Lactational mastitis (breastfeeding) – Unusual breast tender, firmness, warm breast, palpable mass, pain or burning sensation while breastfeeding.
Non-lactational mastitis (non-breastfeeding) – Reddening of the breast skin (Erythema), focal tenderness, temperature differences on the breast.
Among all the symptoms, the flu-like condition is most of the time neglected since it’s a prevalent disease. While the other symptoms are quite prominent and painful.
The most common causes of breast infection are:
Cracked nipples – allowing harmful bacteria to enter.
Clogged milk – developing into a subareolar abscess.
Smoking cigarettes or tobacco – traps the anaerobic bacteria.
Medical history – such as breast trauma, surgery, or radiotherapy.
Medical conditions – having diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis.
Weak immune system – unable the body to fight against bacteria.
Breast skin infections – such as cellulitis, grow cysts on the breast.
Immunosuppressive medications – taking steroids, transplant medications, or cancer medications.
Knowing the causes and symptoms will help your doctor diagnose the breast infection type and plan its treatment.
Types Of Breast Infection
The major types of breast infection are classified into the following types:
Bacterial breast infection – Staphylococcus aureus, streptococcus, and anaerobic bacteria enter into the breast tissue and infect them.
Fungal breast infection – A rash that frequently itches and has a yeasty smell.
Idiopathic granulomatous – A painful but noncancerous mass develops in the breast.
Tuberculosis – Hard lump situated in the breast’s central or upper outer quadrant.
Bacterial breast infection is prevalent among women during pregnancy or breastfeeding. In contrast, anaerobic bacteria are specifically reported among smoking people and can reside inside the breast without oxygen while infecting breast tissues for a longer period.
All the other three infections are much more severe but occur less frequently as compared to bacterial breast infections.
How To Diagnose Breast Infection?
The doctor may diagnose the breast infection through:
Physical examination – Observation of the physical changes of the breast.
Symptoms observation – May ask about the symptoms you may have been experiencing, such as fever, body aches, etc.
Review medical history – History of breast trauma, surgery, radiotherapy, or taking immune weakening medications for other treatment purposes such as organ transplant.
Blood test – To count the white blood cell (WBC) circulating in the body.
Swab test – To examine the bacteria discharged from the breast.
Before going to the doctor, it is recommended to note down your symptoms to help your doctor to pinpoint the type of infection from which you are suffering. And also, it is essential to let them know about the family medical history if anyone in your family is suffering from the same disease.
The treatment of breast infection is highly dependent on the age, infection severity, and diagnosis report. The doctor may suggest the following treatment plan:
If you’re breastfeeding, they’ll swab the breast discharge to examine the type of bacteria growing in the breast and prescribe the medication to stop the harmful bacteria development in your breast. You may have to take a two to three weeks long course of PO or IV antibiotics.
If you are not breastfeeding, your doctor may ask for a mammogram or biopsy of your breast tissues to diagnose the infection in your breast.
Fungal breast infections are treated with either oral or intravenous medications. Additionally, you may have to apply antifungal cream or lotion to the affected area of your breast.
In case of a breast abscess or cyst, the doctor will recommend draining it. While in rare cases, the doctor may suggest breast surgery to remove the damaged ducts to cure the breast infection.
It is important to note that delaying breast infection treatment may trigger breast cancer. A few of the symptoms of breast infection are very much similar to breast cancer. And also, breast cancer occurs due to the abnormal growth of cells in the breast.
So, the doctor may ask you for additional tests if the medications are not improving your condition within 48 hours.
You can use various home remedies to minimise the pain and take preventive measures to avoid the discomfort of the infection.
If you are breastfeeding, then you may have to:
Frequently breastfeed in order to drain the breast milk.
Use a pump to ensure the proper extraction of breast milk.
Apply warm, moist compresses to the painful areas of the breast.
Adopt positions during breastfeeding that helps to empty the breast milk.
Follow a certain schedule, at least feed 2 hours a day for breastfeeding your baby.
Take rest whenever possible to recover from breastfeeding exhaustion.
Occasionally, massage the firm areas of the breasts to prevent any fluids from clogging.
Apply essential oils that have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. But rinse the breast before breastfeeding, as some oil may have toxic elements that may cause harm to your baby.
Other home remedies may include:
Wearing loose-fitting clothing and avoiding tight bras.
Stay hydrated and take saturated fats into your daily diet.
Increase the intake of vitamin C to improve your immune system.
Stop smoking to avoid the development of anaerobic bacteria on the breast skin.
Don’t use any chemical products or even soap to clean the nipple, as it has a self-cleaning ability and can lubricate on its own.
While you can take OTC pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to get relief from pain, fever, and inflammation.
Practising these measures will help to control the infection development and may be able to cure it completely. However, you must consult your doctor if the preventive measures are not working out for you.
To Sum Up
Breast infection may occur at any age. The patient must consult with the doctor if they experience the symptoms of the infection, as properly treating it and taking home remedies helps get rid of the infection quickly and without serious complications.
Being in touch with your body and understanding the different hormones involved in menstruation can help you navigate your monthly cycle and patterns in mood changes better.
Moreover, understanding your period can tell you more about yourself than you might imagine. According to the FemX Chairwoman and founder Sabeen Almas, below are some surprising benefits of keeping track of your period:
1. Being Alerted To Potential Problems
Do you have missed periods, abdominal pain, heavy bleeding or any other issue you may need to have checked out?
This certainly is not the case for everyone, but tracking your period can help determine whether any physical distress or pain might be linked to your menstrual cycle.
P.S: If you are concerned about your menstrual cycle or any changes to it, please contact your GP or healthcare provider. You can also use FemX – the world’s only FemTech app offering audio and video consultations with health and wellness coaches, fitness coaches, nutritionists and much more.
2. Learn Your Unique Cycle Length And Patterns
“In the FemX app, you also get a detailed analysis of your cycle history”.
The easiest way to track your cycle is to log when your period happens so that you can understand your average cycle length. Usually, the duration of a menstrual cycle is about 28 days, with most cycle lengths between 25 to 30 days.
However, everybody is different, and having an unpredictable period is more common than you think. So if you are aware of your cycle, you will feel more in control and less likely to be worried about your next period.
3. Detect Mood Changes At Different Phases Of Your Cycle
Hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle have been suggested to provoke mood changes. Although the exact relation between mood regulation and fluctuating hormones is not entirely understood, we somehow know that there is a connection.
Learning when these changes happen can also help you understand the rhythm of your cycle. When you know the why behind your mood changes or appetite, you can be much better equipped to handle the how.
In the FemX app, you can track when you feel happy, sad, productive, exhausted, or many other emotions and mental states you experience, even beyond PMS.
4. Increased Awareness Of Your Overall Health And Wellness
Periods are your body’s way of assuring that things are working as they should.
Having a heavy, unpredictable, or skipped period can indicate an existing underlying condition. By tracking various details of your menstrual cycle, you can remember things that you might otherwise forget while talking with your healthcare provider.
When you use FemX, you always have the dates of your last period at your fingertips.
5. Track Your Fertility
Whether you want to avoid contraception or want to get pregnant, tracking your cycle is a legitimate way of managing your contraceptive preferences.
You can view your most fertile days using your FemX app to help take the stress out of fertility tracking. Usually, the fertile window lies between 12 and 16 days before your period begins, and the least fertile are the days after your period ends.
Closely tracking your menstrual cycles and other physical changes regularly has many benefits. Whether you are a woman thinking about getting pregnant, trying to prevent conception, or simply assessing your overall health – cycle tracking will do the work for you.
So get yourself a good little tool to get to know your body a bit better! 😉
In today’s modern diet, added sugar is one of the worst ingredients. It provides calories, no added nutrients, and can even damage your metabolism in the long run.
And that’s just one side of the story…
Consuming too much sugar can increase a person’s risk of having many health problems, such as weight gain, obesity, heart disease, liver disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and tooth decay.
But how many grams of sugar is too much? Can you eat a little each day without harm, or should you avoid it as much as possible?
Read on to find out how much sugar you can eat per day as part of a healthy diet.
Natural Sugar vs Added Sugar
When appropriately used, sugar can be very beneficial to our health, athletic performance, and even weight loss, which is why the form and quantity of sugar we consume is critical.
While most people already know about the harmful effects of excessive sugar, many people are still confused about the difference between natural sugar and added sugar.
Look at any food label, and you will see the word “sugar”. However, whether that sugar is natural or added makes a massive difference in how harmful or beneficial it might be.
So, for amateurs, let’s define natural vs added sugar.
Let’s start with the topic that many of us have questions about. What exactly is added sugar?
Whether it is high fructose corn syrup or straight-up white sugar, added sugars do not occur in their natural form. They are “free sugars” extracted from an original source and added to foods as a sweetener.
You will be shocked after knowing how many packaged foods contain added sugar, increasing our daily sugar intake. These sugars typically do not have any fibre, minerals, or vitamins – therefore, they take more than they give to the body.
Primary sources of added sugars in our diets include:
Candies, cookies, cakes, and pies
Soft drinks, energy drinks, and sport drinks
Pastries, sweet rolls, and doughnuts
Ice cream, popsicles, and frozen yoghurt
Products that are not usually considered sweet, such as bread, ketchup, barbecue sauce, soup, and some alcoholic beverages also affect how many grams of sugar we consume each day.
Many people also add additional sweeteners to the foods they prepare at home, such as stirring sugar into coffee, pouring maple syrup on pancakes, and whipping up frosting with powdered sugar. All of this additional sweetness increases the amount of sugar in our diet, increasing calories without nutrition.
Types of Added Sugars
As no nutritional need or benefit comes from eating added sugar, it is good to observe how many grams of sugar a day you consume.
There are at least 61 different names for sugar listed on food labels. Sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup are the most common sugars used by food manufacturers. However, if you are concerned about added sugar in processed foods, here are some sweeteners to watch for on food labels:
Syrup (many different kinds)
Fruit juice concentrates
Make sure to look out for these labels if you are tracking how much sugar per day you are consuming.
According to several nutritionists, consuming natural sugar is completely healthy; it’s added sugar you need to worry about.
As natural sugars occur in nature, they are consumed in a minimally processed form. For instance, fruit contains fructose, and dairy products (milk, cheese, cream, yoghurt etc.) have lactose. These sugars still have vital nutrients that can maintain your overall health.
Peas, grapes, watermelon, and zucchini are examples of high-fructose foods. Even though these foods add to our daily sugar intake, they can be part of a healthy diet because they contain vitamin A & C, calcium, potassium, and protein.
Men should not eat more than nine teaspoons (36 grams or 150 calories) of added sugar per day.
For women, the number is six teaspoons (25 grams or 100 calories) per day. Consider that one 12-ounce can of soda contains eight teaspoons (32 grams) of added sugar! There goes your whole day’s portion in one slurp.
If you have diabetes, your health care provider can prescribe the amount of sugar you can consume per day as a proportion of your total calories.
Tips For Cutting Down On Sugar
The empty calories from added sugars can provoke weight gain and spikes in blood glucose levels. However, the good news is that cutting down on sugar is easier than you think.
If you are struggling to stay within the recommended daily sugar limits, start cutting down on sugar with these tips:
Choose naturally sweet fruits for snacks or desserts. For instance, add fruit to cereal instead of sugar, and make a peanut butter sandwich with berries or bananas instead of jam.
Shop for foods with little or no added sugar. For example, choose plain yoghurt instead of flavoured and add your favourite fruit.
Rather than heavy syrup, try unsweetened applesauce and fruit canned in water or natural juices.
Swap your usual sweetened soda, punch, or energy drink for water, milk, and unsweetened beverages.
Eat smaller portions of sweets like cake and ice cream.
Risks Of Exceeding Recommended Sugar Intake
Sugary foods add empty calories to our diet without the benefit of minerals, vitamins, and other vital nutrients. As if that’s not enough, eating too much sugar can also increase a person’s risk of many health problems, including:
Increased risk of heart disease
High blood pressure
Acne and skin problems
P.S: The amount of sugar we consume per day affects our health, and too much can lead to an increased risk of significant health issues. Maintaining a healthy diet by eating nutritious whole foods and consuming less added sugar is essential for your health. And knowing how much sugar is too much can help you achieve this.