In the U.S., the average person consumes more sugar than anywhere else in the world—daily sugar intake is now up to 126 grams, according to market research firm Euromonitor, as reported by the Washington Post.
So we thought we’d do a brief comparison: How would switching an average person in the U.S. to an Isagenix program affect his or her total sugar intake?
The answer is that a typical consumer using an Isagenix 30-Day System would cut his or her sugar intake by half or more daily, depending on products used and whether the day was a Shake Day or Cleanse Day.
More importantly, the same consumer would also cut total intake of carbohydrates and calories by nearly half—while improving overall nutrition—promoting safe, healthy weight loss while maintaining muscle.
On a Shake Day, using all the following products, we estimate that a typical Isagenix user would consume about 38 grams of sugar and 73 grams of carbohydrates. Note that total carbohydrates include fiber, which has important health benefits. Keep in mind also that we’ve exchanged one IsaLean® Shake for an IsaLean® Bar to represent a variety of choices:
Once reaching this point in product use, the quantity of sugar represents two meal replacements, Ionix® Supreme, and two other optional products (totaling 38 grams)—and the individual consumer has only just reached the American average sugar intake per meal (42 grams).
Let’s now add in an example of an Isagenix-recommended 400- to 600-calorie meal:
- ½ baked russet potato (sweet potato can be substituted)
- 2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
- ½ cup tomato salsa
- ½ avocado, chopped
- 3 ounces chicken breast (about ½ a breast), chopped
- ½ cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt with garlic powder/salt sprinkled in to taste
Note: This example meal follows MyPlate guidelines for a healthy portion of lean protein, dairy (for meeting calcium requirements), potatoes or sweet potatoes (to meet potassium requirements), and vegetables. We’ve left out extra fruits purposefully because of their higher sugar content.
In total, the meal is about 550 calories, having 22 grams of sugar as part of a total 60 grams of carbohydrates (plus 40 grams of protein and 18 grams of fat). Combined with the Isagenix products, the individual consumer is now at a total of 1,130 calories: 60 grams of sugar, 143 grams of carbohydrates, and the rest from protein and fat.
That’s it for Shake Days. What about Cleanse Days?
On a typical Cleanse Day, an individual would receive still less sugar overall daily—at only about 55 grams total. That’s including:
- 4 servings of Cleanse for Life® (7 grams per serving)
- 6 Isagenix Snacks™ (3 grams per 2 wafers)
- 1 serving of Ionix® Supreme (4 grams per serving)
- 2 IsaDelight® chocolates (10 grams per two pieces).
As a reminder, not all of these products are necessary for use on Shake Days or Cleanse Days. We’re including extra products in these examples to demonstrate what a typical user might choose. In some cases, Isagenix customers may use more or less product or substitute product for what’s shown here.
Facts About Fructose
When looking over the labels of a few of these products, you’ll notice that one of the main contributions of sugar content is natural fructose (along with honey and molasses), which has led to questions about why it’s used.
Too much fructose—or any source of carbohydrates—leading to an overconsumption of calories is bound to cause weight gain. But as part of a reduced-calorie Isagenix system, the amount of fructose is particularly useful. For example, fructose helps maintain blood sugar control on Shake Days and Cleanse Days and is likely all burned up through the energy-fueling basic functions of the body and physical activity.
In fact, a careful evaluation finds that only excess fructose (or any type of sugar or carbohydrates) is harmful to health. In addition, fructose in controlled amounts—as in normal amounts comparable to what’s in a serving of fruit (about 8 to 10 grams)—can actually be beneficial. Here’s why fructose is useful in Isagenix products:
- It’s sweeter and more stable in comparison to other sources of sugar, allowing us to use less total sugar overall in products.
- It’s naturally low-glycemic, avoiding any spike in blood sugar unlike dietary glucose or sucrose.
- Because of its metabolism in the liver, fructose in controlled amounts (or normal amounts found in fruits) is also shown to better manage blood sugar (chiefly controlled by the liver) in comparison to other sugars like glucose.
- Its naturally sweet taste allows us to avoid use of artificial or non-caloric sweeteners. It allows us to avoid use of sugar alcohols or other low-calorie sweeteners that in higher amounts may be a cause of digestion issues.
Why Have Sugar At All?
We often receive questions about why sugar in any form is used at all in Isagenix products. Even the healthiest of nutritional plans containing nothing but whole foods including fruits and vegetables will contain a combination of different types of natural sugars along with other carbohydrate sources.
In fact, Isagenix products are actually relatively low in comparison to other everyday foods typical in Western-style diets:
Based on the figures given above, an entire day’s intake from Isagenix products still contains 16 grams less sugar in comparison to drinking one single serving of cola. Since Replenish is lower in sugar than other typical sports drinks, it is a good replacement. Additionally, Isagenix offers products like Isagenix Fruits™ and Isagenix Greens™—each containing only one gram of sugar per serving—that make for excellent alternatives to typical sugary drinks like fruit punch given to children, while also providing nutrients naturally found in fruits and vegetables
Carbohydrates Are Needed In Any Nutritional Plan
It’s true that Isagenix can help you cut sugar intake, but you shouldn’t cut all sugar out of your nutritional plan. One common source of confusion is a misunderstanding about the role of sugar and carbohydrates in nutrition. With the exception of dietary fiber, all other dietary carbohydrates also break down to simple sugars in the gut before they are absorbed.
The difference is that complex carbohydrates generally take longer to get broken down and absorbed. In addition, when any carbohydrate including sugar is present as part of a complete meal containing protein, fiber, and fats, its own absorption is slowed further. Likewise, the reason why IsaLean Shakes and IsaLean Bars are low-glycemic is because they are high in protein and have balanced amounts of good fats and dietary fiber.
Carbohydrates including sugar do serve a purpose in supporting good health—just as fats and proteins do. All of the body’s cells use carbohydrates in the form of glucose for their basic metabolism. Glucose is the preferred fuel of not only the brain and nervous system, but also of the immune system.
Carbohydrates are a great source of fuel for skeletal muscles and sports. For these reasons, athletes are highly reliant on carbohydrates for fueling athletic performance. In fact, athlete nutritional recommendations far exceed those of non-athletes:
- An endurance athlete’s carbohydrate recommendations can range from seven to 10 grams per kilogram of their body weight daily, or about 581-830 grams for an 83-kilogram (180-pound) male.
- A general training athlete’s carbohydrate recommendations range between five and seven grams per kilogram, or about 415-581 grams for a 83-kilogram (180-pound) male.
Without these carbohydrates to fuel their bodies, athletes run the risk of poor performance, early fatigue, losing mental focus, and getting sick. Likewise, people on extremely low-carbohydrate diets run similar risks. It doesn’t make sense to entirely abstain from sugar, but certainly people should be seeking to lower their intake.
As demonstrated above, people can easily change their diets to have less sugar by using Isagenix products. Rather than completely cutting sugar intake, it’s best to manage intake by adopting it strategically in ways to better enjoy nutrient-dense foods as well as the preferred fuel for supporting physical activity. That’s the formula to a sweeter, healthier life.