How much sugar have you had today? None?
I’m betting you have, though you may not know it. At least 50 different forms of sugar are out there—and the list continues to grow. Even savvy consumers who eat with a goal of healthful living can be unaware of the sugar traps lurking in the foods we eat every day.
Why is this situation a problem? Research shows that excess sugar contributes to your body’s pain, stress, aging, disease, and overall degeneration—not to mention your possible future membership in the obesity and diabetes club.
Could YOU be consuming some of the hidden sugars that contribute to your body’s decay, aging, and muffin top?
- Read the nutrition facts, but in a different way.
If you’re like most label readers, you’re still focusing on calories and fat. Research says you’re behind the times! Instead, focus on sugar and fiber content. For each serving, aim for not more than 5 sugar grams and at least 2 fiber grams. Five and 2—this valuable formula is easy to remember (and much simpler than counting calories all day).
- Read the ingredients carefully.
Is sugar listed among the first 5 ingredients? If so, you have yourself potential “candy.” Could sugar be something hidden in language that you either can’t pronounce or can’t define? It’s probably listed that way for a good reason. Is the food purchased from a health food store? That doesn’t matter. Healthful living means remaining vigilant, regardless.
- Does the label say “fat free”?
If so, stay away. Those two words are code for “we’ve substituted sugar instead.” (And, the most recent findings suggest that the fat that was taken out was probably okay anyway.) Ironically, the fat-free craze has contributed to the fact that, as of 2014, approximately three-fourths of Americans are either obese or overweight! A lot of that body weight came not from dietary fat, but the sugar added to make fat-stripped foods taste good again.
- Be alert for sugar in disguise.
Sugar goes by many names, some not so obvious. Common sugars you’ll see on labels include corn syrup, fructose, fruit juice concentrate, maltose, dextrose, barley malt, rice syrup, and date sugar. And sorry, but I’d also add agave and processed honey to that list. They might be natural, but your body reacts to them just as it does to regular white sugar.
- Avoid these common artificial sweeteners.
Steer clear of aspartame, NutraSweet, saccharin, Splenda, and sucralose. Because these ingredients are sweeter tasting than actual sugar, they will keep your cravings as alive as ever. Besides, they’re chemicals your body doesn’t necessarily know how to process—which often leads to digestive distress.
- …But you might consider these sweeteners instead.
You weren’t expecting to hear that, were you! Yes, some sugar substitutes are safe to use. They include stevia, monk fruit, xylitol, and erythritol.
My patients and clients express surprise—and regret—when they learn that some of their favorite go-to foods are actually loaded with sugars. A look at labels reveals that flavored Greek yogurts, granola, muffins, trail mix, breakfast cereals, and sauces, just to name a few, harbor sugar in disguise.
After my recent presentation on sneaky sugars, a participant told me, “Thank you for the valuable and informative discussion, and now I’ll have to remember to bring my glasses to the supermarket to read the labels.” Exactly! And that’s what I’m going to expect you to do, as well, because I want you to feel and look as vital, trim, and stress free as possible. I say, “When you know better, you do better.”
Truly, much confusion exists in the world of food and additives. I know that you have a busy life and need quick, easy tools to map your fastest route to healthy living. I’m here to guide you. To schedule your 30-minute, private, complimentary Wellness Breakthrough Session, just click on this link. We’ll find a sound, practical solution together!