If you’re addicted to sugar it might not be completely your fault. Sugar is found in so many items that you wouldn’t expect to find it. For instance, just today at the grocery store, I needed sour cream and thought why not low-fat since all they truly need to do is skim the fat off and that’s it right? Wrong. The brand I was looking at had three choices, fat-free, low-fat and whole milk. Here’s what I found: the fat-free had 3 grams of sugar per tablespoon, the low-fat had 2 grams and the whole fat had 1 gram; puzzling, yes, to me it is. Why add a bad ingredient to something that doesn’t need it? To make you like it more, crave it more, and want it more. This is the case with so many items. I teach my clients to read labels. You don’t have to study and know every tiny detail about labels but there are basics that help a lot.
You’ll find sugar and lots of it in expected foods such as pastries, cookies, candy, soda, and other desserts, so limiting your consumption of these sweets is very important. It’s sometimes hard to do but once you learn how to curb and even eliminate your sugar cravings, you’ll be amazed at how great you will feel how much energy you will gain and how much weight you can lose!
Some common items that you didn’t know had added sugar; don’t actually need added sugar and to be aware of and steer clear of are:
- Salad dressing-especially low-fat & fat-free options
- A variety of drinks, soda, energy drinks, fancy coffee drinks, juice – diet drinks are a bad option as the artificial sweeteners are all chemicals and toxic to your body
- Mayonnaise – again the fat-free/low-fat options as well as so-called healthier options made with olive oil (they have added sugar!)
- Ketchup – added sugar, HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) is worse than plain sugar
- BBQ sauces – also with HFCS, brown sugar and white sugar, a better option is to make your own
- So-called healthy cereals – many have a load of sugar; even if they don’t taste sweet, they are
- Breakfast bars & meal replacement bars – opt for the brands with higher protein that carbohydrates
- Weight loss shakes – meal replacement shakes – again choose higher protein that sugar/carbs
- Yogurt – choose plain, whole fat Greek yogurt and add your own nuts, berries/fruit, cinnamon, oats & seeds
- Maple syrup – if it’s not 100% pure maple syrup it’s most likely 100% pure HFCS (high fructose corn syrup)
- Instant oatmeal – particularly the flavored choices
- Most foods that are low-fat/reduced fat/fat free have increased amounts of unhealthy sugar
Next time you’re at the grocery store and you’re shopping for items you typically buy, read and compare the labels. Try this for example; Italian dressing and low-fat Italian dressing compare how much more sugar is in the low-fat option. Also, often times, people will use or eat more of the lower fat product figuring it has less fat so it won’t hurt; but more sugar does hurt. The type 2 diabetes rate is increasing every year and it can be reversed if you choose to eat healthy and be informed.
When you begin to decrease the amount of hidden sugar in your foods and body you begin to decrease your cravings for more sugar and increase your health. Your body craves what you feed it most – choose less sugar and more naturally sweet, whole food.