HOUSTON (KTRK) -- New York Times Best-Selling Author and nutritionist JJ Virgin says we've got sugar all wrong.
"It's not about eating no sugar. It's about knowing which to choose and which to lose, and to do that, you have to take into account fructose, glycemic load - how much something raises your blood sugar - and then counteract that with fiber and nutrient density," she says.
Virgin says more readers ask her questions about sugar than any other topic, so she decided to research the topic. She says we can't quit sugar cold turkey.
"You have to taper. I graded sugar high, low, and medium impact. So, you trade from high- to medium-sugar impact. Then the next two weeks, you go through a transition from medium to low," Virgin said.
Then, she put her studies to work.
"I ran 700 people through the trial with one goal in mind. I wanted to prove I could get rid of someone's sweet tooth in two weeks or less. What happened was the average person in two weeks lost 10 pounds and two inches off their waist. But the cooler thing was, they lost that sweet tooth," she says.
Virgin has done the work for us.
"It's really about the impact on your body. Does this food make you tired or give you energy? Make you store fat or burn fat? Age you or de-age you?" Virgin said.
She came up with a list of sugar swaps, so we can look and feel our best:
POTATOES: Swap a high-sugar impact white potato for a medium-sugar impact sweet potato. Then, swap it for squash, a low-sugar impact food.
VINEGAR: Balsamic vinegar is really a high-sugar impact syrup. Swap it for red wine vinegar instead.
MILK: Skim milk has 12 grams of sugar. An easy swap would be an unsweetened coconut or almond milk.
PASTA: Instead of regular pasta, try a medium impact quinoa pasta. Or, try a red lentil or black bean pasta that's high in fiber and protein.
MARINARA SAUCE: Skip the jarred marinara sauce that contains lots of sugar. Make your own with crushed tomatoes, olive oil, basil, and some spices.
COCONUT WATER: Coconut water is all the rage, but it contains 11 to 17 grams of sugar before adding sugar. Instead, look for a fermented coconut water like Kevita that has about two grams of sugar.
NATURAL SWEETENERS: Avoid honey and agave. Try swaps like monk fruit, stevia, or xylitol.
You can find more about JJ Virgin's Sugar Impact Diet here: http://sugarimpactdiet.com/
You can find all the foods mentioned in story at Whole Foods. Special thanks to the Waugh location
Nutritionist explains how to curb your sweet tooth in 2 weeks, lose weight
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