- reduces the body’s ability to defend against bacterial infection
- interferes with the body’s absorption of calcium and magnesium
- can cause hypoglycemia
- can cause premature ageing
- can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity
- can decrease the amount of growth hormones in the body
- can interfere with the absorption of protein
- causes inflammation
The list could go on and on, but I’m sure you all heard about these things.
So, you’ve made it your mission to follow a healthier lifestyle, to exercising more, cutting out the fats, limiting your salt intake and staying away from the sweets. BUT! Even if you don’t have a sweet tooth, you might still be eating far more sugar than you think. Sugar comes in many different ways and much of it is hidden in your favourite foods.
Have a look at these foods to learn how you can cut your sugar intake and live a healthier life today.
1. Salad dressings
You’d be surprised to find how much sugar ready-made salad dressings contain. The worst are the low-fat versions – the manufacturers remove the fat of the salad dressing but add extra sugar and salt to improve the taste.
The healthiest option is still to make your own salad dressing by using a small amount of olive oil, fresh lemon juice or Balsamic vinegar and adding some fresh herbs.
2.’Health/ fitness’ bars
If you think that “health” and granola bars are a good choice for breakfast or snacking during the day, think again. Most of these bars are loaded with sugar. They may contain healthy fibre, nuts and raisins, but they also contain many different types of sugar. The low-fat health bars are the worst offenders, with some of them containing up to 3 teaspoons of sugar per 30 gram bar.
For a healthy snack, rather eat fruit, a piece of cheese or a handful of nuts and raisins.
3. Fruit Yoghurt
A favourite snack at breakfast or at the office is fruit/flavoured yoghurt. Most of us prefer the flavoured ones but they all contain added sugar – even the low-fat and non-fat versions. Some brands of flavoured yoghurt contain up to 20 grams (or 5 teaspoons) of sugar per serving.
Rather opt for plain yoghurt and add fresh fruit and honey to sweeten it.
4. Tomato Sauce
Sugar is often added to tomato products to counter their acidity. This is especially true when tomatoes are picked too early. Everyone’s favourite condiment, tomato sauce is one not one of the greatest when it comes to hidden sugar. A can of tomato sauce can contain 27g of sugar per 100g.
So next time you grab the bottle, keep in mind that a tablespoon of tomato sauce equals one teaspoon of sugar.
5. Breakfast cereals
Have a look at the ingredient list of your favourite breakfast cereal. Most breakfast cereals are loaded with sugar to make it more tasty. The classic cornflakes contain about 5 to 7g of sugar per 100g, meaning a 50g portion will contain half to one teaspoon of sugar. The “healthier” high-fibre, all bran flakes contain up to 11g of sugar per 100g or around one and a half teaspoons of sugar. The sweeter flavoured cereals that kids (and many adults) love so much contain up to 34g of sugar per 100g.
You can choose oats, and make delicious oatmeal with almond milk, fruits and coconut.
6. Canned vegetables
Many brands of canned vegetables contain hidden sugars that are used during the manufacturing process to make their shelf life longer. Have a look at the ingredient list to see whether any sugar has been added and, if you must have sweetened veggies, choose a brand with the lowest sugar content.
The best option is still to cook your own fresh vegetables.
My Advice for you is to read the ingredient list of your favourite food. There’s a good chance that it includes sugar. The best-known sugars are fructose (“fruit sugar”) and sucrose (“table sugar”). But they are also often listed by another name: honey, dextrose, fructose, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, sorbitol, fruit juice concentrate, galactose, lactose, polydextrose, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, maltodextrin and turbinado sugar.
Take care and have a wonderful weekend 🙂