Kellie McKinney, MS | Healthy Lifestyle columnist | Co-Founder of Two Nutrition Nuts
Low-fat and ‘diet’ foods often contain extra sugar to help improve their taste and palatability and to add bulk and texture in the place of fat.
Even savoury foods, like ready-made soups and sauces may contain added sugar.
A can of soft drink, on average, contains the equivalent of seven teaspoons of sugar.
Discover how much sugar is in your food by doing these simple checks:
Check the ingredients list for anything ending in ‘ose’ (glucose, sucrose, fructose, lactose, maltose) – these are all forms of sugar, as are honey, agave, molasses and syrups like corn and rice syrup. The higher up the ingredients list, the more sugar the product contains.
Know your substitutes – for example xylitol, sorbitol and mannitol.
Ways to cut down on sugar:
Reduce the sugar you add to hot drinks. Do this gradually to give your taste buds time to adjust.
Try adding a sprinkle of cinnamon to cappuccino or hot chocolate, cinnamon helps stabilise blood sugar levels and adds flavour without the sweetness.
Avoid low-fat ‘diet’ foods which tend to be high in sugars. Instead have smaller portions of the regular versions.
Be wary of ‘sugar-free’ foods. These often contain synthetic sweeteners like sucralose, saccharin and aspartame. Although these taste sweet, they don’t help curb a sweet tooth so they tend to send confusing messages to the brain, which can lead to over-eating.
Reduce the sugar in recipes and add spices to boost flavour and taste.
Instead of white bread, rice and pasta look for wholegrain versions like oats, and whole wheat breads, brown rice and pasta.
Balance your carb intake with lean proteins such as fish, chicken, and turkey.
Kale, Blueberry and Banana Smoothie:
– 1 cup almond milk unsweetened
– 1-2 cups chopped kale leaves
– 1 med. banana
– 1/2 cup blueberries
– 1 cup of ice
– 1 tablespoon of organic honey if desired to taste.