Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sweet ol' Sugar

It's generally common knowledge that if you want to stay or be healthy that you need to limit your sugar intake.  On the surface it would seem pretty easy to eliminate or greatly reduce sugar from your diet.  However, take a closer look and it may not be as easy as you first thought.

Soda - obviously has sugar or a sugar variation (high fructose corn syrup) in it.  Are you aware of just how much though?  On a nutrition label sugar is measured in grams - 4gms = 1 tsp.  So, looking at a label you can roughly estimate how much sugar you really are consuming.  For example...  1 can of soda has approx. 40gms of sugar - that is 10tsp.  A 64oz fountain drink that is often consumed at restaurants - whether in one go or with free refills is the same as 53tsp of sugar or nearly 2 cups!!!!  My guess is that you like me would look at someone rather funny if they poured 2 cups of sugar into their drink.

Okay, so soda is obvious and with some discipline easy enough to stay away from.  What about spaghetti sauce, tomato ketchup, bread, reduced fat items or low fat items.  Manufacturers take out the fat but replace it with sugar - still ultimately making you fat!

Sugar and its corn sweetener counterparts are great calorie delivery systems, as they pack a huge caloric punch, without causing much satiety, or feeling of fullness.  Because of this, sugar and it's counter parts are often put in foods as empty calories, sweeten the taste and leave you feeling hungry quicker so that you eat more.  The more you eat the more you have to buy and the more the food industry profits.

While reading the ingredients on some simple items in my kitchen, I came to the sad realization that I had not completely cut sugar out of my diet as I had thought.  Some spices - yes spices - have sugar in them.  I went through over half of the spices in my spice draw only to realize that hidden ingredient that was not helping me with my weightloss goals!  This is what prompted me to research more about hidden sugar and counterparts.  Don't forget molasses, honey, sorghum, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, glucose, fructose, lactose, dextrose, sucrose, galactose, maltose, or concentrated juices are all types/forms of sugar.

The next time you have time to go through your kitchen cabinets or when you next go shopping remember to check the ingredients for sugar and it's counter parts.  You can find sugar in anything - 10 "healthy foods" that contain sugar - oatmeal, salad dressings, protein bars, granola, milk, tomato sauce, iced tea and dried fruit, ketchup and sports drinks.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. The food industry is out to get us. Takes a strong character to turn away from all those goodies, and a wise one to know what is truly healthy. Impressed with your achievement so far! Go you!