The amount of sugar that we are consuming is becoming a great concern. I remember years ago before I lost my excess weight, I had absolutely no idea how much sugar I was consuming and it never crossed my mind.
Of course, I knew about the obvious cakes and biscuits that I had to cut down on; but not much about other food groups. To be honest I was too busy checking calories and the fat content of products that I had been conditioned to do from previous fad diets.
When I say sugar, I mean the sugar that is added into certain foods to help them taste better. This is refined sugar, not fresh fruit. It is linked to many health issues including; obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, low energy levels and certain sorts of cancer. And yet sadly, we continue to consume more of the white stuff than ever before.
So, what foods should we watch out for? Here are a few of the main culprits; breakfast cereals, baked products including cakes and biscuits, flavoured yogurts, canned fruit in syrup, fizzy drinks, soft drinks, sweets, processed foods (foods in packaging), and cereal bars; among others.
The guidelines for a healthy amount of sugar per day is around 30grams – 7 tsp
Below is a helpful guide on how to check the amount of sugar in a product;
Always try to stick to no more than 4 grams of sugar per 100grams of product.
Check the label for the sugar content and see what the amount is per product, it may say for example; 3 grams per ¼ product, then multiply this by four.
I’ve been caught in this trap before – buying a healthy salad with a small pot of dressing. At first glance, it seemed to have really low sugar. But, after further inspection I found that the number displayed was only for ¼ of the dressing…and the dressing was extremely high. That was a huge learning curve for me. I always take my glasses now!
You need to be vigilant at all times. Always check the ingredients. If sugar is listed among the first few, then its content is going to be high ‘cos it will be one of the main ingredients.
Another thing you need to keep in mind is that it is not always called sugar. Sometimes, they call it Dextrose, Corn Syrup, Sucrose, etc. Whatever it’s called, be mindful.
It’s always much better to eat wholesome foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds, basically everything that isn’t in any packaging. If you really like tinned fruit, then always choose it in its own juice. If you’re having yogurt, buy plain and then add your own fruit. Likewise, with drinks – add fresh fruit to your jug of water.
Coffee shops are problematic with their fancy drinks. Over 50 percent of their drinks have more than the daily recommended amount of sugar – with most having a whopping 20 tsp of sugar!!!
To their credit, I’ve noticed that a good number of them are now offering ways to cut down on sugar. For example; they let you opt for skimmed or soya milk, have no or half the amount of whipped cream, less shots of syrup, ordering a smaller quantity, etc.
I hope this has helped you understand where hidden sugars are lurking and how you can make better choices to cut back, helping both your health and waistline.
Helping you to live a better life!!!