You might not have a sweet tooth, but that doesn’t mean that your daily diet doesn’t contain sugar. One of the most common reasons is that sugar comes in various forms; by and large, all that we consume on a daily basis has some amount of sugar content in them. Even food items that are far from the category of sweet, contain sugar, namely bread, sauces, dips, biscuits and processed foods.
Though it is known that sugar consumption leads to multiple lifestyle diseases, we don’t always the take necessary steps to control the intake of this artificial sweetener. Let’s get into the bitter-sweet truth of this matter and try out some easy options to follow that may help maintain a healthy lifestyle sans sugar.
Reading Nutrition Labels
The creativity of the manufacturer knows no bounds when they try to make their food items look healthy, with crafty names of not-so-healthy ingredients. Don’t get fooled by the ‘sugar-free’ label in the list, read through the marketing jargon by keeping an eye on the nutrition labels and make a smart choice.
Moreover, the involvement of sugar is sometimes masked under names of ingredients like dried cane syrup, honey, sucrose, molasses, corn syrup, invert sugar, brown rice syrup, and maple syrup. This is done with the intent to give you an impression that you are consuming very less or no sugar at all. So, make sure you go through the labels of all products before you dig into them.
Watch Out for Those Sugar-Coated Messages
While opting for sugarless food items from the store, make sure you pick up foods that don’t have the sweet substance in any form. If any of the foods you buy have sweeteners in their ‘hidden’ forms, be alert and avoid putting them in your cart.
It may surprise you that only 1/6 th of the sugar we consume knowingly comes from desserts that we love, and most of the sugar comes from sweetened beverages and foods that most of the time don’t fall under ‘sweet’ category.
Befriend Protein, Fibre, and Healthy Fats
You may be surprised to know how much sugar is actually lurking in the daily food we eat. Unhealthy carbs laden with sugar induces high blood sugar level and drop just as fast, giving your hunger pangs another chance to return.
Diet experts suggest that to alter this process, include healthy fats like nuts, flaxseeds, avocados, olive oil, and protein such as lean meat, poultry, eggs, beans, soy products, low fat dairy products etc. in the diet. It slows down the release of blood sugar in the body and keeps the tummy full for longer, and keeps sugar cravings at bay.
Junk is Sugar in Disguise
Junk and processed foods are the main sources of calories and hidden sugar intake. Food stuff like pizza, cakes, condiments, granola bars, energy bars, dips, and french fries have sugar hidden in them.
Though some of these are marketed as low-fat, sugar free, and fat free, the truth is that they are storage houses of of hidden sugar and synthetic sweeteners. The best way to avoid falling for hidden sugar trap is to avoid all forms of processed food. Eat the real thing, instead.
It’s the same case with packaged fruit juices and flavored yogurt, they contain more sugar than advertised. By gulping down fruit juices, you are depriving yourself of the most essential fibers and all the natural benefits of real fruits.