If you’re looking for better health, the last thing you need is sugar overload. But so many of the foods we choose every day are loaded with hidden sugars that can ruin all our diet and exercise efforts. No matter what diet you choose, there is one universal rule: the less sugar, the better. Ideally, you should limit added sugars to less than 10% of the calories you eat per day (ie 200 calories for those on a 2,000 calorie diet).
1) Breakfast with oatmeal
This heart-healthy breakfast is high in whole grains and fiber, but not all oatmeal is created equal. Some brands of prepared, flavored oatmeal may contain 22 grams of added sugar (with sweetened dried fruit). Pair your sweet oats with a typical breakfast beverage like sugared coffee, honey tea, a glass of orange juice, or a fruit smoothie, and you could hit your daily recommended amount of sugar, which is added before you leave home.
2) dressing for salad
You wouldn’t expect a healthy salad to be a major source of sugar, but unfortunately, your dressing can add more sweetness than you realize. Check the label carefully when choosing your dressing at the local grocery store, and always ask for the dressing on the side when dining out. Try to stick to olive oil and vinegar and avoid creamier options that are often loaded with sugar, calories, and fat.
3) Fruit smoothies
Despite looking incredibly photogenic and sounding healthy in theory, smoothies can pile on a ton of sugar very quickly. Fruits are naturally high in sugar and when mixed with fruit juices, honey and dried fruits they can create a real sugar bomb.
If you want to enjoy these treats in a healthier way, try replacing some of the fruit in your smoothie with leafy greens and avoid topping your smoothies with sugary ingredients, sticking with raw nuts and seeds instead.
4) Green fruit juices, also “organic”
With labels like “organic”, “GMO-free”, “vegan”, “gluten-free”, “no preservatives” and offering a full serving of vegetables, fruit juices often appear to be the ultimate in health. Unfortunately, these drinks can often be loaded with a mountain of sugar. Just because the sugar comes from fruit doesn’t mean it doesn’t cause a spike in blood sugar and insulin that occurs shortly after consumption.
If you want a refreshing green juice without the unnecessary sugar, make your own but stick to veggies like cucumber, spinach, celery, and kale. The principle behind juices is simple: they can contain as much sugar as a soft drink, and if you drink three a day, you’re consuming 30 teaspoons of sugar without realizing it.
5) Barbecue sauce, ketchup
While you typically associate barbecue sauce or ketchup with salty protein dishes like chicken or pork, these condiments can actually be high in sugar. If you want to enjoy the flavor without being hit by a sugar bomb, you can try spreading the sauce on the meat. It will absorb it without having to sprinkle it all over or soak your food in it. It’s best to prepare it yourself to ditch all the preservatives and control the amount of sugar that goes into it.
6) Protein/energy bars
Some energy bars can provide 20% of your daily vitamins and minerals and 20 grams of protein, but that comes at a price. These bars can be useful as meal replacements and cater to professional athletes who burn thousands of calories a day, but they don’t bring the same benefit to the average consumer.
Especially when you consider that many energy bar lovers snack between meals, which can lead to an unhealthy sugar spike and calorie overload. If you insist on buying them, make sure the first four ingredients on the nutrition label don’t say: sugar, syrup, chocolate, or a word ending in “ose” (meaning it’s a sugar). You can also make your own high-protein energy mix at home, which allows you to control the ingredients you use and avoid added sugars.
7) Iced Tea Drinks
Sugary drinks like teas often have tricky labeling, making them seem like a superior and healthy choice. But in reality, one of the biggest sugar consumers is sugary drinks. Even low to moderate consumption of sugary beverages can increase inflammation and change the way we metabolize sugar and fat.
Short-term studies demonstrate the ability of high-fructose solutions to promote fat accumulation in the liver compared to other carbohydrate solutions of the same amount. Next time you really need sweetened tea, try dividing it between two glasses and diluting each with an equal portion of plain cold water. Not only are you getting double the amount, but you’re starting to become more sensitive to needing less sugar.
* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace the advice of a doctor.
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