Ah, sugar! We all have a love/hate relationship with it, particularly in these times of higher health consciousness. Chances are we all began our love of sugar at young age (unless for some health issue), we all looked forward to what I call the Seasons of Sugar. Fall; maple sugar, rock candy, and pumpkin spice everything! Winter; hot cocoa, COOKIES, and hot lattes. Spring; everything is sugared or powdered, next! Summer; come on do I even need to provide examples here, do I hear the ice cream truck? So what do we do about it? Well, it is important to be a critical consumer when it comes to your sugar game! Here are some tips to step yours up, and to minimize your sugar shenanigans!
- Sip the juice: Just about any and all grocery produced juices have sugar in them, particularly the fruit juices. If you know this is your “sweet spot”, try to cut back and read the labels! 100% fruit is BEST, but it still may have a high sugar content! Be aware of your intake.
- Wrap it Up: Mostly all processed or packaged foods: These types of foods will always have a higher sugar content and chances are more chemicals in them than any other product you can purchase off the shelves. Usual suspects here are cereals, pasta products, granola bars and other quick packed food items. Best advice here; try to avoid processed and packaged foods all together and again read the labels! If you can’t pronounce what’s in it, don’t eat it!
- Thanks a latte: We drink a lot of our sugars on a daily basis (see juice above) due to our love of awesomely steamed caffeinated beverages. You can check the sugar content on most commercial coffee businesses websites (insert Starbucks here), and be prepared to be amazed! Best tip; ask for less pumps of the good stuff or unsweetened!
- Feeling Saucy: Sauces and dressing are LOADED with sugar!!! Take BBQ sauce; sorry to be the destroyer of dreams but one tablespoon has about 13g of sugar in it!!! I don’t know how you like your BBQ but a splash is not going to cut it in my house! Best tip here; make your own sauces and dressings!
- YO–gurt: Sugar bomb! Watch out for yogurts, especially “fruit on the bottom” ones. Read labels here very carefully! Best tip; if you can stand the taste, purchase plain yogurt and add your own fruit! Greek is Great!
- Sweetener Sorcery: Be wary of sweeteners that provide the tag line “healthy” or “all natural”. Agave for example is really just fancy fructose (about 85% fructose, hard on the liver to metabolize!). Best tip; stick to organic raw cane sugar. Keep it simple here, not need to be so fancy, IGGY!
Be a smart consumer when it comes to upping your sugar IQ! Read labels, I cannot stress this enough. And let’s face it; we all want our food to taste delicious! You can still accomplish this by being a smart consumer and knowing what to cut out and what you can’t live without!! I had the wonderful opportunity to be trained by some of the best folks in the nutrition and wellness industry! I highly recommend Dr. Mark Hyman’s book “The Blood Sugar Solution”, this is a great read on sugar concerns alone! And also, “The 21-day Sugar Detox” by Diane Sanfilippo, a holistic nutritionist, she is an expert on food allergies, Paelo and food intolerances! Please check them out! And go on with your sweet self!
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