Whether you want to lose weight or just be a little healthier reducing sugar can be a little trickier than you think. Of course by reducing your sugar intake you are reducing your carb consumption and lowering your Blood Sugar Levels.
All a good thing!
- Sugar in your drinks
Gradually reduce the sugar in your tea and/or coffee; not just the teaspoons of sugar you add, think about any flavour syrups, sweetened cream and sprinkles.
Swap soft drinks for water. I’m sure you know there are 16 teaspoons of sugar in a can of that popular cola drink!
Eat an actual orange instead of a glass of orange juice. Even if its freshly squeezed there are approximately 8 oranges to 1 glass of juice. You wouldn’t eat 8 oranges for breakfast would you?
- Low Fat Products
We have been brow beaten into looking for Low Fat alternatives in food. You know its a marketing ploy when foods that already low fat are labelled or advertised “Now Low in Fat”. But what about the sugar? There are two things that give food what chefs call “mouth feel” (that’s when you swirl it around your mouth and go mmmmmm yummy) fat and sugar. When they remove fat they add sugar to give back the mouth feel. Sugar is also a cheap way to bulk out food.Milk is the classic – compare low fat milk to regular milk – when you lose the fat, and its not that fatty, you gain the sugar
- Processed Food
The only way to really avoid hidden sugar in processed food is to NOT eat it! This is particularly difficult when it comes to those wonderfully convenient products like condiments, salad dressing, pasta sauces and soup. Just like the low fat products there is added sugar in savoury foods because sugar is a cheap bulking agent. Things you would not think of can have added sugar for example, bread, yoghurt, breakfast cereals, even health food bars.
- Nutrition Panel
The key to reducing anything in your diet should be driven by the Nutrition Panel. Nutrition Panels gives you information regarding the base elements of food measured in 100g lots. This example is Almond Meal, it has 12g of Fat, 2g Carbohydrate with 2g Dietary Fiber so a Net Carb of 0 and 6g of Protein. The Sugars is obviously the one to watch, as a general rule try and avoid anything with 4g or more. It doesn’t matter if you live in a country that uses imperial measurements as 4g is the same of 4% and percentage is the magic number!
- Hidden Natural Sugars
Fruit may be a convenient snack or dessert but like most foods there are high and low sugar level types, and some high sugar level ones can be hidden in supposedly healthy foods like trail or nut mix. Does it have dried fruit in it? Dried fruit concentrates the sugars in the amount you are consuming, that’s why they are in those kind of energy foods. A similarly hidden fruit sugar is in dates and dried figs. You see these kind of slices and energy balls labelled as healthy or healthier than sugar. Not really! To give you an idea dates are 64% sugar!