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Cutting Back vs Cutting Out: Easy Ways to Reduce Your Sugar Intake

Cutting Back vs Cutting Out: Easy Ways to Reduce Your Sugar Intake

 
Weight gain, heart disease, breakouts, fatigue…

 

We've all heard about the negative effects of eating too much sugar. Still, the average Australian consumes approximately 14 teaspoons of free sugars per day!

 

So is there any way to successfully manage our sugar intake, without depriving ourselves of the food and drinks we love?

 

Some weight loss forums and self proclaimed 'health gurus' suggest the only option is to cut out sugar entirely. But for anyone with a sweet tooth, this sounds nearly impossible. Instead, we recommend cutting back rather than cutting out sugar completely.

 

The key is moderation. It's important to note that there is nothing inherently wrong with sugar. It's only when you eat excessive amounts that it begins to negatively effect your health.

 

Luckily, here at Hits Different, we have some easy tips on how to cut back:

 

1. Swap your soft drinks
For many people, a can of Coke with dinner is just as important as a cup of coffee in the morning. But a majority of available soft drinks are so full of added sugar, that just one can will put you over the recommended daily limit.

 

If you don't want to give up your sweet treat, try substituting you soft drinks with healthier options. For example, instead of Solo, try our PS Organic No Added Sugar Lemonade. Or instead of Coke, try our PS Organic No Added Sugar Kola. Simply swapping one drink a day can make a huge difference in your sugar intake, while still satisfying your cravings.

 

 
2. BYO options
Enjoying good food and drinks is a big part of socialising. But when there aren't many healthy options at an event, you can feel like you're missing out. It's no fun going to a BBQ where you can only drink water and nibble at the garden salad!

 

Next time, bring some healthy drink options to share (we've got plenty for you to try). That way you can enjoy your drinks guilt-free, without having to miss out on all the fun. Plus, your host will appreciate you bringing some different drinks for everyone to share.

 

3. Do some light reading
Although the nutritional information on the back of your snacks may not be as interesting as a good book, it's important to know what you're actually putting into your body. Take the time to check out the ingredients so you can fill your trolley with low sugar options. But beware! Food companies have many sneaky names for sugar which you may not notice on their packaging. To check out the list of names click the link: https://totalhealthhixson.com/blog/30-names-for-hidden-sugars/

 

 

The take away
There's no need to completely ditch the doughnuts and dark chocolate just yet! While sugar is often considered a 'bad' food, it's fine when enjoyed in moderation. Becoming more aware of which foods the majority of your sugar is coming from will allow you to substitute those foods with low-sugar options. To find your new favourite low sugar drink, check out our selection of healthy options!

 

See 'The Entire Cooler' here

Written by Eliza Wishart - Chief Marketing + Content Officer @ Hits Different

 

Relationship Between Tea + Caffeine

Relationship Between Tea and Caffeine Explained...

Caffeine is found in tea made from the Camellia Sinesis plant. These teas include white, green, yellow, oolong, black and puer. As a seller of teas, I’m often asked which type of tea has the lowest caffeine levels. Some people say white tea is lowest in caffeine which is slightly misleading. If you were to steep Silver Needles which is made from tea buds, in very hot water then that would be a highly caffeinated tea. Why?
 
Caffeine and Tea have a complicated relationship because there are a number of factors that contribute to caffeine levels in a cup of tea. The terrior or environmental factors such as location, soil conditions, season of harvest, weather has a major impact. Human controlled elements can be included in terrior such as the picking standard; bud only, bud and two leaves or as is the case with Matcha the whole bud, leaves and stems are ground to a fine powder. As mentioned in the white tea example, brewing tea in hot water will extract more caffeine than brewing at lower temperatures. Of course, how long you brew the tea means more caffeine is extracted. I did mention it is a complicated relationship!
 
Caffeine is the tea plant’s first line of defence against insects that want to attack the tender new buds. The bud only teas will have higher levels of caffeine. But let’s talk about HOW caffeine in tea works for you.
 Caffeine in tea and coffee work in different ways because of the amino acid, L-theanine with is found almost exclusively in the tea plant Camellia Sinensis. L-theanine works with caffeine for a slow and sustain release. Giving you that gentle lift, unlike the roller coaster ride of coffee - quick lift and fast low.
 
You can find more information here https://www.teaadvisorypanel.com/tea/alertness-fatigue which links to scientific studies in this area.


Note: Herbal teas are infusions or Tisanes created from different botanical plants not Camellia Sinensis.

Tania Stacey – Co founder & Tea Mixologist at East Forged, a new style of iced tea.

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Weight Loss + Healthy Drinks. What's the link?

Weight Loss + Healthy Drink. What's the link?

If you're trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy figure, keeping an eye on what you're eating and drinking is critical to seeing the results you're after.

So, what's the relationship between what you drink and the impact on your weight loss?

The most critical part of the weight loss equation is calories!
Everyone has their own maintenance calorie requirement. That is, how much energy you need to consume to maintain your current body weight.


Factors that impact a persons calorie requirements include:

  • Age: A growing teenage male needs more calories than an elderly female
  • Muscle mass: The body needs more calories to grow and maintain muscle mass
  • physical activity level: The more active you are, the more calories you burn
  • Sex


In order to lose weight, we need to consume less calories than our body's maintenance requirements. This will result in the body having to use stored energy (usually fat) to fuel itself. This done consistently will result in weight loss over the following days, weeks and months

 

In order to gain weight, we do the opposite. Consuming more calories than our body needs to maintain itself will see the body store the excess energy usually in the form of fat and/or muscle if a consistent weight training program is adhered to.

 

So in theory, if you wanted to lose weight and your maintenance calorie requirement is the same as the average Australian adult (2,080 calories or 8700 kj), you could drink 7 x 600ml bottles of Coca Cola and still lose weight!

 

Let's do the sums…

7 x 258 calorie bottles of Coca Cola = 1,806 calories

2,080 calories - 1,806 calories = 274 calories less than the energy your body needs to maintain it's energy output.

Crazy right!

 

 

Based on this, you would (in theory!) lose weight. But there's obviously many problems with the all Coke diet! They include:

  • You have no quality carbs, fats or proteins your body needs for proper functioning and wellbeing
  • You get very few micro nutrients (think all your vitamins and minerals your body needs to function properly - Iron, Vitamin A,B,C etc the list is endless)
  • You would get very hungry as you wouldn't be consuming any fibrous or low Gi foods that help keep you feeling fuller for longer.



So what is the right answer?!

Getting the majority of your calories from nutritious food sources such as vegetables, fruit, nuts, cereals, lean meats etc is a fantastic overall strategy for weight loss.

The less processed foods such as chips, chocolate bars and other unhealthy snacks, the better!

This usually means you'll be getting enough of the critical macro and micro nutrients your body needs for proper healthy functioning.

Drinking fewer of your calories means you'll have more calories saved up for mouth watering food. So what do you do when you want a delicious beverage?

Drinking naturally sweetened, low sugar and low calorie beverages instead of full sugar and calorie dense options is a great idea for helping weigh loss or maintenance!

This means you'll be able to enjoy the refreshment a traditional beverage brings without all the sugar, calories or nasties.

What's not to love?!

Hits Different has a range of fantastic naturally sweetened, low calorie drinks to choose from. Check em out!

Here's a few of my favourite healthy drinks that can help you on your weight loss journey:
Kréol Ginger Lime Antioxidant Infusion
+hemp Restore
PS Organic Ginger Beer

Please note that the above information is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or illness.

Cheers,

Dylan - Hits Different

Precision Nutrition L1 Certified in Exercise Nutrition

Natural vs Artificial Sweeteners: What are they and what's the difference?

Natural vs Artificial Sweeteners: What are they and what's the difference?


What is the difference between natural and artificial sweeteners?

Natural sweeteners are those that are found naturally in or derived from whole foods. These include sugars (glucose and fructose) found in fruit and veg. Popular natural sweeteners include:

  • Stevia: 200-350 times sweeter than sugar. This sweetener is derived from the Stevia rebaudiana plant. Stevia sweeteners are made by extracting steviol glycosides from the leaves of the stevia plant and processing them to remove some of the bitter attributes found int the extract
  • Erythritol: A sugar alcohol that is produced by fermenting corn starch. It is 70% as sweet as sugar but only 5% of the calories
  • Xylitol: The most ubiquitous and well researched natural sweetener. Has about the same sweetness as sugar but 40% less calories
  • Monk Fruit: The Monk Fruit sweetener is derived from the dried fruit itself and is 150-250 times sweeter than sugar. It has no calories, no carbohydrates, zero, zilch!

 
Artificial sweeteners on the other hand are sweeteners that are manufactured and altered to provide the sweet taste with usually zero calories. They are produced in a lab. Popular and widely used artificial sweeteners include:
 

  • Acesulfame Potassium (also known as Acesulfame K):
    It's around 200 times sweeter than sugar. It gives you a sweet taste by activating the sweet taste receptors on the tongue.
  • Suraclose: Is 450-650 times sweeter than sugar. Sucralose production starts with table sugar, but it's not a sugar. It's conversion to an artificial sweetener occurs during a multistep chemical process in which three hydrogen-oxygen groups are replaced with chlorine atoms. Sucralose’s structure prevents enzymes in the digestive tract from breaking it down, which is an inherent part of its safety and approved use in food and drink
  • Aspartame: 150-200 times sweeter than sugar. Aspartame is made through fermentation and synthesis of aspartic acid and phenylalanine. The process is quite complex so if you'd like to learn more, check it out here


Where do you find both artificial and natural sweeteners?
Both types of sweeteners are widely used in processed food and drink including:

  • Soft drinks: Artificial sweeteners are in popular diet drinks like Pepsi Max, Red Bull Zero and No Sugar Coke. Drinks that are naturally sweetened include Jocko Discipline GO, PS Organic Sodas and Nexba
  • Dairy products
  • Chewing gums
  • Much more!

 
How safe are artificial sweeteners?
The safety of artificial sweeteners has been a contentious issue for many years. There have been studies in the past that have linked artificial sweeteners to an increased risk of cancer.
 
However, these claims have been reviewed and there is no sufficient evidence to suggest they are carcinogenic when consumed in accordance with recommended daily limits.
 
For example, in Australia the recommended safe intake of Aspartame is 40mg per kilo of body weight per day. High end consumers of Aspartame are eating/drinking only 15% of the recommended intake of this sweetener.
 
Check out this article for more info on sweeteners and cancer:
 https://www.cancerwa.asn.au/resources/cancermyths/sweeteners-myth/
 
Check out our naturally sweetened beverages including:

 

Dylan, Founder @ Hits Different Drinks

Precision Nutrition L1

 

How sugar impacts your body!

How sugar impacts your body and how to manage it!

 

How easy it is to eat and drink sugar! This amazing substance is so delicious some experts consider it to be as addictive as some street drugs (think cocaine, ecstasy etc)! Why is that?

Sugar gives us pleasure!

Consuming sugar stimulates dopamine (the feel good chemical) production in our brains and is a key part of its 'reward system'.

When you come to associate an activity with pleasure, just anticipation of it can increase dopamine levels in your brain. This could be when you're about to consume your favourite sugary beverage, have sex or almost anything else you enjoy. The result? You feel pleasure, satisfaction or motivation.

So it’s not just the sweet taste of sugar many of us love, it's the sense of pleasure we feel in our brains that also fuels our love of sugar! That's part of the reason why sugar consumption has tripled worldwide over the last 50 years.

The WHO recommends less than 5% of your calories per day come from free sugars. For the average person consuming approximately 2,000 calories per day that is 100 calories from sugar which equals about 6 teaspoons per day.

But according to the Australia Bureau of Statistics, the average Aussie consumes around 14 teaspoons of free sugars per day!

So how does eating too much sugar impact the body?

High sugar intake is linked to type 2 diabetes and weight gain. It's no secret sugar is a huge contributor to obesity and chronic illness in Australia and around the world. But there's a few other consequences of consuming too much sugar that I certainly wasn't aware of and you may not know about either:


Tooth Decay

Consuming sugar has a direct link to tooth decay. How?

After consuming foods/drinks that contain sugar, the molecules combine with the saliva and bacteria in your mouth. This leads to plaque build up your on teeth which can dissolve enamel which can lead to cavities - not good!


Hormonal Production

Overconsumption of sugar leads to increased levels of insulin to bring your blood sugar back to normal levels. This resulting increasing insulin may raise testosterone levels in women and decrease it in men.

  • For men this means lower libido, higher chance of erectile dysfunction and more
  • For women it can contribute to acne whilst impacting the usual processes of a woman's ovaries.

 

Impacts mental health

A 2018 Queensland University of Technology paper that reviewed 300 studies investigating the interaction between sugar consumption, stress and emotions found the following:

  • High sugar diets have been linked to cognitive impairments and mental health disorders including anxiety and depression
  • Leads to changes in neurobiological brain function which alters emotional states

 

 

The take-away:

Let’s make no mistake - sugar is an amazing part of life. As with everything, moderation is key!

Here's a few guidelines I try to use to keep my sugar intake but still enjoy my favourite treats!

  1. Minimise added sugar intake in foods I don't really love. For example I'd rather enjoy a Daniel's Donut once a week vs 5 mini chocolate bars during the week.
  2. Minimise sugary drink intake including fruit juices. Swap them for a low/no sugar alternative (your friends at Hits Different can help you there ;)
  3. Check labelling on all packaged foods. Many foods can be unsuspectingly high in added sugars.

 

 

Interested in learning more? Find out more here:

Sugar and hormones:

https://rosewaylabs.com/sugar-and-hormones/

Sugar and stress

https://dtc.ucsf.edu/types-of-diabetes/type2/understanding-type-2-diabetes/how-the-body-processes-sugar/blood-sugar-stress/

 

Cheers,

 

Dylan, Owner - Hits Different Drinks
Precision Nutrition L1 Certified

 

 

Check out our awesome low/no sugar alternatives:

PS Organic No Added Sugar Sodas

Somersault Soda

+hemp Restore and Hydrate