Beware of hidden sugar.
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Sugar. Many common foods contain sugar and for some like me, it can be addictive and hard to walk away from. If there is a bag of jelly beans (or whatever is in the seasonal candy aisle) and it finds its way into my house, every flipping time I walk by it, I will grab a few.
We know we need to work hard to take sugar out of our diets for a healthier us. We know sugar is directly linked to obesity, heart disease and diabetes yet we often struggle to eliminate it from our diet. After all, it is easy to pinpoint foods using processed white sugar and know it is an ingredient in candy, cupcakes and other sweets but what about the sugar in our foods we do not see?
You may be surprised how many foods sugar is in as a main ingredient and the easiest way to keep it out of your diet is at the store – read the nutritional label. Below is a list of foods you may be very surprised to learn has sugar as a main ingredient:
- Yogurt. Unfortunately yogurt is often packaged as a “weight loss” or “healthy” food item targeted at people that want to lose weight. Remember this rule of thumb: when they take something out, they are going to replace it with something else possibly less healthy for us than what they eliminated. In the case of yogurt and the previous low-fat diet plans, fat was eliminated as an ingredient. When you see those labels “Fat Free” or “Low Fat” take a good hard look at what is REALLY in that pretty container. A good possibility is you will find sugar as an ingredient. Put it back on the shelf and look at a different option.
- Pasta Sauce. Most of us would think the main ingredient in a red sauce would be tomatoes right? You may be quite surprised to flip over that jar and see sugar toward the top of the list. (Hint: ingredient labels generally place the ingredients in order of amount from most to least.) For every 1/2 cup serving of jar pasta sauce, you are eating 12 grams of sugar. Make a quick marinara at home. It will taste better and you will know EXACTLY what is in it.
- Dried fruit. This one shocked me when I first learned of it. After all I thought dried fruit was DRIED FRUIT. I was wrong. Many manufacturers actually add sugar to dried fruit making it sweeter than candy. In this case, fresh is always better than any fruit in a package.
- Granola bars. Again like yogurt, granola bars are packaged as a healthy alternative snack for those trying to lose weight. Fact is the average granola bars can pack up to 12 grams of sugar in them.
To put it all in perspective for you, the average adult woman should have 25 grams of sugar per day which is roughly 6 teaspoons. I don’t know about you but if I am going to allow calories for sugar, I want to choose how I eat them.
Ready to remove sugar from your diet? Education is the way to go. Allow a few extra minutes for your next grocery store trip to read food labels. I bet you will find MANY foods you have been eating with too much sugar. Swap those foods out for a healthier version.
Have a wonderful week!
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Denise Sanger lives a life split between her love for fitness and her passion for travel particularly to the BEACH. Denise also has a love of marketing and lives in beautiful Suwannee County, Florida. You can find out more about Denise here: About Denise