OT - Tone-up Tuesday
Happy Tuesday, STalkers! How are you doing with your health/exercise plan? Craving some sugar? Read on!!
We need sugar to survive, both physically and emotionally (where's my Mint Mackinaw Island Fudge?!). You can have too much of a good thing (ugh, I ate it ALL), but do NOT cut out ALL fruits when trying to limit your sugar intake. Fruits contain important nutrients like vitamin C, fiber, and antioxicants. Bonus: Increasing your intake of fruits and veggies has been shown to reduce your cancer and mortality risk.
So reach for fruits that are lower in sugar per serving. While there are not any official guidelines as to what constitutes a "low-sugar" fruit, fruits containing higher fiber and water content dilute the amount of sugar or carbohydrate in a fruit.
Here are some fruits that will allow you to get your sugar fix minus the dreaded energy crash.
Avocados are tasty and low in sugar and make the perfect dessert substitute. Just swap your typical sweetener for some pureed avocado in your favorite milkshake, mousse, and cake recipes.
Per 1/3 fruit: 80 cal, 7g fat (1g sat), 4g carbs, 0.3g sugar, 4mg sodium, 3g fiber, 1g protein.
Watermelon might become your favorite workout recovery snack! In a small study, researchers found that the amino acids in the fruit juice helped athletes recover faster (and feel less sore) after working out. Watermelon is also high in the antioxicand lycopene.
Per 1 cup serving: 46 cal, 0g fat (0g sat), 12g carbs, 10g sugar, 2mg sodium, 1g figer, 1g protein.
An apple is the perfect mid-day snack because of the high soluble fiber content, which absorbs water to become thick like the viscous texture of cooked oatmeal. They've also been shown to lower your "bad" LD cholesterol levels.
Per small apple: 77 cal, 0g fat (0g sat), 21g carbs, 15g sugar, 0mg sodium, 4g fiber, 0g protein.
This fruit is packed with vitamin C and other antioxidants, has a decent amount of fiber, and can help reduce inflammation. Did you know it isn't technically a berry? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strawberry
Per 1 cup serving: 49 cal, 0g fat (0g sat), 12g carbs, 7g sugar, 2mg sodium, 3g fiber, 1g protein.
This citrus fruit ranks low on the sugar scale, with a bitter tartness to match. You also get half of your daily recommended value of vitamin C by eaitng just half of one. BUT talk to your doc if you're taking meds!! Grapefruit and grapefruit juice can have bad interactions with several types of drugs, including statins for cholesterol and even some types of antihistamines.
Per 1/2 medium grapefruit: 41 cal, 0.2g fat (0g sat), 10g carbs, 9g sugar, 0mg sodium, 1g fiber, 0.8g protein.
Limes are another great low-sugar fruit: only one gram of sugar in the entire fruit. You'll also get nearly a third of your daily vitamin C dose per fruit. So don't be afraid to use it to flavor salad dressings and fish tacos, or garnish your seltzer water when you're feeling fancy.
Per medium lime: 20 cal, 0g fat (0g sat), 7g carbs, 1g sugar, 1mg sodium, 2g fiber, 0.5g protein.
That's right - your favorite martini garnish is a fruit! The Mediterranean diet has long been touted as the pathway to longevity, and olives are a staple. A small study found that polyphenol-rich olive oil is linked to decreased blood pressure in women who have high blood pressure or hypertension. While low in sugar, olives are often sold in cans and jars high in sodium, so keep an eye on portion sizes!
Per 2 Tbsp serving: 20 cal, 2g fat (0.5g sat), 1g carbs, 0g sugar, 124mg sodium, 0g fiber, 0g protein.
As a green-juice ingredient, we typically think of cukes as spa-friendly veggies. Surprise: They’re actually a fruit! You can safely eat up to three and a half cups of cucumbers as a serving (since they're basically all water), making them great for mindless munching. Wow!!!
Per 1/2 cup serving: 8 cal, 0g fat (0g sat), 2g carbs, 1g sugar, 1mg sodium, 0g fiber, 0g protein.
Tomatoes are a rich source of the carotenoid lycopene, which can help protect the skin against ultraviolet rays (sorry - it canNOT replace SPF), strengthen bones, and even prevent asthma. It's also low in carbohydrates.
Per 1 cup serving: 32 cal, 0g fat (0g sat), 7g carbs, 5g sugar, 9mg sodium, 2g fiber, 2g protein.
That's right: squash is alos a fruit. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cucurbita
While squash has a rep for being starchy, it offers way more benefits than other starchy carbs like bread and potatoes. Squash's fiber can help stabilize blood sugar levels while slowing down digestion—keeping the intestinal tract healthy and keeping you full for longer.
Per 1-cup serving: 63 cal, 0g fat (0g sat), 16g carbs, 3g sugar, 6mg sodium, 3g fiber, 1.5g protein.