Paid content by Natural Foods Merchandiser and Zevia
Whether embracing a total detox or simply cutting back, shoppers are scrutinizing sugar. Between 2015 and 2017, the percentage of Americans slashing sugar went from 59 percent to 76 percent, and the global sugar-free foods market is expected to grow more than 10 percent between 2017 and 2021.
Natural retailers should be the go-to support for these shoppers. And what better place to walk the walk than at Natural Products Expo West, where better health takes center stage?
Challenge: Limit your sugar intake at the show for a healthier—and more rewarding—Expo experience.
Keep a “sugar budget”: Become more aware of added sugar in your diet—and hold yourself accountable.
- Short term: Sugar affects how we feel every day.
- Long term: Emerging science links sugar to disease and cellular inflammation.
- Aim for 50g of sugar—10 percent of your 2,000 calorie/day diet—per day.
Manage mornings: Earlier, calmer mornings minimize stress, and stress spurs the adrenal glands to release sugar-level-spiking cortisol. Researchalso shows stressed people are more prone to health risks.
Work it out: Fitness sets a healthy tone for the day and can stabilize sugar levels. A recent studyfound that calorie restriction, weight loss and exercise provide different benefits for managing diabetes risk, and that the two aren’t interchangeable.
Eat a low-sugar breakfast: Eating more protein at breakfast can reduce glucose spikes in the AM—and those benefits can extend to lunch. Bonus: It also prevents high-sugar snacking in the evening. Swap overly processed cereal for grain-free granola, which is often low in carbohydrates (that become sugar in the body). It also tends to have fiber-rich seeds and nuts, spices and minimal sugar from unrefined sources such as whole fruits.
On the floor and at the conference: One minute, you’re bopping around the show floor; the next, you’re ducking into a panel or keynote. One thing’s for sure: Your mind’s got to be sharp and sugar won’t get you there. Research shows a high-sugar diet can cause gut bacteria changes that can decrease your mind’s ability to adapt and retain memory.
Quench your thirst wisely: Try swapping soft drinks or juice for Zevia or Kombucha. Healthier alternatives such as Zevia are sweetened with plant-based stevia to provide hydration and energy without the sugar high, while quality kombucha is made with minimal sugar and is fermented for a gut boost.
Nosh healthfully: Choose a lunch high in brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids, which can reverse the effects of fructose. And when you’re hungry between meals, junk foods are twice as distracting than healthy foods. Proactively curb sugar cravings by keeping energy stores full with a healthy midday snack. If sweets call, try Greek yogurt with fresh or dried fruit. It’s rich in protein, fiber, vitamins and antioxidants, which balance its natural sugar content.
The evening hours
What happens when the show floor closes? Take charge of your evening routine to make the most of the next day.
Network smarter: If you want one, indulge in a cocktail. But try to keep alcohol to a minimum; it increases your sugar intake and robs you of quality Zs.
Dine out then get out: Choosing healthy meals is important, but what you do after dinner might impact blood sugar more significantly. A 15-minute post-dinner walk can help regulate blood sugar for up to three hours. Take in that delicious California night air and walk back rather than Uber-ing it.
Sleep soundly: It may seem obvious, but a survey of more than 18,000 adults confirms it: People who sleep five or fewer hours a night are more likely to drink sugary caffeinated drinks. Hit the hay early to dodge the cravings. Then do it all over again. Happy Expo!
About our partner
Zevia is the first beverage brand exclusively focused on offering naturally sweetened, zero-sugar, zero-calorie beverages, including Soda, Energy, Sparking Water and Mixer lines. With formulas that are Non-GMO Project Verified, Vegan, Kosher, Color Free and Gluten Free, Zevia feels strongly about using clean and premium ingredients, reducing sugar consumption and creating delicious and refreshing beverages. Visit ZEVIA.COM to learn more and @Zevia on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
To learn more and join Zevia’s sugar-reduction crusade, visit www.zevia.com/sugar-reduction.