Nutrition: Limit sugars, sweets, and sugary drinks – 2022


Nutrition: Limit sugars, sweets, and sugary drinks

Sweet tips healthy nutrition nutritionist florence The sweet taste is linked to simple sugars: glucose, fructose, sucrose, maltose and lactose.

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How Much Sugar is Too Much?


Limit sugars, sweets, and sugary drinks

Sweet tips healthy nutrition nutritionist florence The sweet taste is linked to simple sugars: glucose, fructose, sucrose, maltose and lactose.
These simple sugars are found in sweet foods and drinks: fructose, glucose and sucrose are contained in ripe fruit and honey; sucrose (commonly called table sugar) is obtained by extraction from both beet and sugar cane; maltose is contained in cereals; lactose is contained in milk.

To satisfy the desire for a sweet taste, it is preferable to consume baked goods rather than candies, bars, chocolate. This is because baked goods contain, in addition to simple sugars, also complex sugars (starch) and other nutrients. Instead the second group of foods contains mainly sucrose and fats.

The consumption of simple sugars, especially if taken alone, quickly causes a rapid rise in blood sugar (blood glucose concentration), which then tends to return to its initial value within a more or less long period.

Simple sugars can be consumed as sources of energy for the body within the limits of 10-15% of the daily calorie intake.

So, how to behave?
  • Moderate the consumption of sweet foods and drinks throughout the day, so as not to exceed the amount of simple sugars allowed.
  • Among the desserts, you prefer traditional Italian baked products, which contain less fat and sugar and more starch.
  • Use sweet products to spread on bread or rusks in controlled quantities (such as jams, fruit jams, honey and creams).
  • Limit your consumption of products that contain a lot of sucrose, and especially those that stick to your teeth, such as soft candies or nougat.

Drink plenty of water every day

Water advice healthy nutrition nutritionist florence Our body is made up mainly of water. In the newborn, water represents about 75% of body weight. This percentage fraction decreases until adulthood, when it stabilizes at around 55-60% of body weight. In the elderly there is a further decrease in the amount of total body water, both as an absolute value and as a percentage fraction. The differences between the sexes are evident starting from adolescence. The woman, in fact, having a higher percentage of adipose tissue (poor in water), has a lower percentage of water.

Body water is essential for carrying out all physiological processes and biochemical reactions that take place in our body. Maintaining a fair balance of our “water balance” (ratio between the “inputs” and “outputs” of water) is therefore essential to maintain a good state of health in the short, medium and long term.

Water contains no calories and any short-term change in body weight due to greater loss or greater water retention is deceptive and momentary.

So, how to behave?
  • Always indulge the sense of thirst and even try to anticipate it by drinking enough, on average 1.5 – 2 liters of water per day (8 glasses): also remember that children are more exposed to the risk of dehydration than adults.
  • Drink frequently and in small amounts. Drink slowly, especially if the water is cold: in fact, a sudden drop in stomach temperature can create the conditions for dangerous congestion.
  • Elderly people must get used to drinking frequently throughout the day, during and outside meals, even when they do not feel thirsty.
  • Water balance must be maintained by essentially drinking water, both tap and bottled water, both safe and controlled. Remember that different drinks (such as orange soda, cola-type soft drinks, fruit juices, coffee, tea) as well as supplying water also provide other substances that contain calories (for example simple sugars) or which are pharmacologically active (for example caffeine). These drinks should be used in moderation.
  • It is wrong to avoid drinking for fear of sweating excessively (sweating is essential for regulating body temperature) or getting fat (water does not bring calories).
  • During and after physical activity, drink to promptly and promptly replenish the losses due to sweating, mainly using water.
  • In certain pathological conditions that cause greater loss of water (for example, feverish states or repeated episodes of diarrhea), the lost water must be adequately and promptly replenished.

Use little salt

Salt advice healthy nutrition nutritionist florence Both the taste and the biological properties of common salt (sodium chloride) are mainly linked to sodium. Under normal conditions, our body eliminates a certain amount of sodium on a daily basis, which must be reintegrated with the diet. However, it is not necessary to add salt to foods, as the sodium contained in nature in foods is already sufficient to cover the body’s needs.
Reducing the amount of salt that is consumed daily is not difficult, especially if the reduction occurs gradually. In fact, our palate adapts easily, and it is therefore possible to re-educate it to less salty foods. Within a few months, or even weeks, these same foods will look just right, while those seasoned in the previous way will seem too salty.

An average consumption of salt below 6 g per day (1 teaspoon), corresponding to an intake of about 2.4 g of sodium, represents a good compromise between satisfying the taste and preventing the risks associated with sodium.

So, how to behave?
  • Progressively reduce the use of salt both at the table and in the kitchen.
  • Do not add salt to baby food, at least for the entire first year of life.
  • Limit the use of alternative condiments containing sodium (bouillon cube, ketchup, soy sauce, mustard).
  • Flavor foods with herbs (such as garlic, onion, basil, parsley, rosemary, sage, mint, oregano, marjoram, celery, leek, thyme, fennel seeds) and spices (such as pepper, chilli, nutmeg, saffron, curry ).
  • Enhance the flavor of foods by using lemon juice or vinegar.
  • Choose low-salt product lines when available (unsalted bread, low-salt canned tuna).
  • Consume only occasionally processed foods rich in salt (salty snacks, potato chips, table olives, some cured meats and cheeses).
  • In moderate sporting activity, it replenishes the liquids lost through sweating with simple water.


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