I am a huge advocate of limiting processed foods in our diet and reading labels. I have a passion for teaching. Not just fitness and strength, but healthy eating habits for overall wellness. I love getting photos from my clients of food they’ve prepared 🙂 They are so proud they’re making this important decision for themselves and their families. The decision to eat Real Food!
That being said, sugar is the biggest problem I have seen in our culture today. If you are not making your own food and buying a lot of packaged products it is so important that you know these hidden sources and uncover them!
The average American adult consumes about 22 teaspoons of sugar a day. Many coming from foods they believe are healthy. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar a day for women or 9 teaspoons per day for men.
Added and hidden sugars are a real health problem. Research suggests excess sugar is a major culprit for chronic inflammation in the body. Diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure and Alzheimer’s have all been linked to excess sugar consumption.
Watch out for the fake sugars also, such as Sucralose (Splenda), Aspartame, and Saccharin. Stevia is a safer option. Staying away from overly sweet tasting foods is the best idea. Real food tastes better anyway! Get used to your new found love for real, unprocessed, chemical-free food!
Many foods we consume that are sugar laden are obvious, like soda, cookies, cakes and ice cream. It’s those “Hidden Sugars” in many foods, that people think are healthy, that can be adding up. So even if your not adding those 2 teaspoons of sugar to your coffee or having that pumpkin spice latte, you may be getting it from these hidden sources.
Top foods containing hidden sugar:
- Granola bars and power bars
- Protein powders
- Sweetened yogurt
- Cereals including flavored oatmeal
- Salad dressings
Get savvy on reading labels and know the names of sugar!
Did you know there are more than 60 names for added sugar? Here are just some to watch out for:
- Look for the syrup! Corn syrup or high-fructose corn syrup or rice syrup
- Look for the words ending in “ose”, fructose, sucrose, maltose, dextrose or glucose
- Evaporated cane juice or fruit juice
- Raw sugar, brown sugar or confectioner’s sugar
- Dextrin and maltodextrin
- Agave nectar and other fruit nectars
What is the answer?
- Stay away from processed packaged foods, you will be better off!
- Get savvy with reading ingredient labels and choose foods that are not high in sugar.
- Know the names of the ingredients listed above so you are well armed.
- Try making your own snacks or having healthy store-bought snacks available.
- Have leftovers of Real Food in the fridge.
- Healthy choices that are available will make it much easier for you to succeed. You will be less likely to grab that sugar-laden granola bar or yogurt if you have other healthy options 🙂