5 hidden sugars and how to avoid them

5 hidden sugars and how to avoid them

Many foods that occur in nature, like fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy, have sugars in them. These sugars digest slowly in the body because they are part of a complete food which contains fibre and other components with which the gut has to deal.

Added sugars, on the other hand, are often included in processed or man-made variants of foods that have far fewer of these important elements, meaning that the sugar digests rapidly, and becomes an item for storage in fat cells.

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And because there is seldom a serious shortage of food in our modern lives, we don’t use these stored calories very often, meaning that the added sugars literally end up ‘adding up’… on our hips and tummies.

Here’s how to get rid of many of the added sugars in your daily life.

1. Eat mostly whole, natural foods. If your diet is largely made up of processed foods – read ‘anything that comes in a packet or box’ – then you are eating lots of added sugars. The human diet should be around 80% of fruits and vegetables by visual quantity.

This would mean that you’d be getting lots of fibre, lots of energy, and lots of good sugars. To this, you would add some grains, some dairy, some eggs, and some meat, and you’ll have a great diet plan with almost no added sugars.

SEE ALSO: 5 reasons to cut down on sugar

2. Don’t use premade sauces. The sauces in the condiment section of your local supermarket are all packed with sugar. What about the savoury ones, you ask? Well, surprise… Those ones are full of sugar too. Sauces are a bad idea if you’re trying to avoid sugar. If you want to season your food, use spices.

3.  Eat dessert the right way. If you have a sweet tooth, then do dessert the right way.

Enjoy a little dark (70% cocoa or higher) chocolate, and maybe a little bit of port or sherry. This method keeps the added sugars low while satisfying the sweet craving. Plus, it’s uber-classy!

SEE ALSO: 6 Different types of sugar

4. Interrogate your health-food choices. Just because you buy some of your foods from a health-food store doesn’t mean they are sugar-free. Read the labels on ALL foods, but especially on health-foods. You’ll be surprised at what you find.

Did you know? The labels list ingredients in order from most prevalent to least prevalent. So the closer sugar (or whatever else they choose to call it) is to the top of the ingredients list, the more they’ve used.

SEE ALSO: 8 ways to manage your blood sugar levels

5. Don’t eat fat-free foods. Ever thought about how they make yogurt ‘fat-free’? I mean, milk is full of fat. So where does it go? And what happens to the space it leaves?

Well, amongst other things, manufacturers use sugar to fill up the recipe and make it taste sweet. This is the same for any food that has been made ‘fat-free’. Stick with the real versions of the foods you choose to eat.

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