[dropcap]C[/dropcap]utting back on sugar is probably the diet De jour these days, but there is lot more than the regular sweets and coffee sugar we need to check. If you are cutting down on regular sugary foods, you might be lured to think you are clear of the sugar radar but you still might be consuming more than recommended daily levels daily. Be a label detective while buying groceries. If sugar stands in the top 3 items leave the item there only it’s of no good to you.
Common Sugar culprit Foods: –
[highlight]Though sugar does not have a daily sort of recommendation of consumption as it does no value to the body, it’s just pure calories. But global health associations share a recommendation of 25g and 38G of sugar intake per day for women and men respectively.[/highlight]
A regular aerated beverage can contain more than your daily recommendation. So if you followed up a regular meal with a beverage just to help with digestion you probably ate double your requirement, necessity, allowance imit.
[pullquote-left]The biggest offenders to empty calories are sugary sodas and sports drinks. If you are individual who enjoys the flavor, try looking out for healthier alternatives that can help you with your weight loss goals.[/pullquote-left]
- Sugar Loaded Desserts
Its rarest of the rare case you find an Indian who doesn’t have love for some or the other kind of sweet. Given the wide cultural diversity India is a country with love for sweet tooth. Many desserts don’t provide you much in terms of nutritional value, expect may be a little calcium.
Loaded with loads of sugar, desserts should be a complete no or minimal if Fitness/Health/Weight-Loss any concept is in your mind.
Replacing sugar -heavy desserts with healthy fruit based alternatives can be a good alternative.
Switch to fresh or baked fruits to lower the sugar intake and add vitamins and minerals to your diet.
- Flavored Yogurt
A part of the new age organic health mantra it’s a sorry state to see yogurt in the list. A good source of protein and calcium, yogurt id a healthy addition to your diet. Yogurt helps complete the daily calcium intake and is a great food source for gut health. The milk in yogurt contains naturally occurring sugar lactose which is considered good for body.
Though yogurt is considered a great nutritious addition to your diet, watching intake of added sugar in the yogurt is a smart move. Fruit flavored sugar contains artificial sweeteners which push the calorie content too high. Add fresh fruits or a spoon of honey to your yogurt to add taste from natural sugars.
- Soup, Canned Soup
It was a shocker to me also for starters. We all have heard about preservatives and high level of sodium in canned soups, but don’t be surprised if you read the labels and find excessively high content of sugar in what you thought of as a health drink. Sugar is added as a preservative to extend the shelf life of the product. If carrots and corn were to stay healthy in a packet for 1 year, their ought to be something to preserve it.
- Sauces /Dressings
Tomato ketchup, Barbecue, chili, Cheese spread is commonplace in most households. Dressing is one way a seemingly healthy salad or sandwich goes from health food to a diet disaster in seconds. Read the labels carefully and try to buy one with the least amount of added sugar in it. For example, a tablespoon of Ketchup contains approximately 4 grams of Sugar in it. As a popular phenomenon amongst so called healthy organic distributors the reality is hidden among the power words that catch attention. Pay attention to details of low-fat or IWANTYOUTOFEELHEALTHY versions of the products as sugar is added to make up for the lost taste from Fat.
- Health Bars
This one for the sports centric generation who runs for the glorified candy bar for health. Surprisingly, Granola, Protein, dried fruit bar can contain as much sugar as a chocolate bar. Though dry fruits are considered as a great source of energy and minerals but in the form of a bar it gets enriched with white flour and corn syrup in majority. Don’t fall for the “Healthy”, “Zero Sugar” marketing messages on the cover, be prepared and choose raw products as wiser option.
Unfortunately eating less sugars is not only about avoiding sweet foods. The amount of sugar in regular food items we eat is also disturbing. Unfortunately, despite trying our level best we often tend to get lost in the label game. To see if a food contains added sugar or note read the labels carefully. It is also important to note the order in which sugar appears as foods are listed in order of highest percentage first.
Here are some of the most common:
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Cane sugar or juice
- Invert sugar
- Rice syrup
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