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Hidden sugars in your food

September 13th, 2011 | no comments

Why should you care about sugar?

If you’re looking for extra energy, you won’t find it in a can of Coke or a bag of M&M’s. First of all, your body digests sugar super fast, which means about thirty minutes after sucking down that soda, you’ll be feeling sluggish and foggy. Secondly, the empty calories in sugar can lead to obesity and excess inflammation, increasing your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Ever find yourself saying, “I’m hooked on Mountain Dew”? There may be some truth to that statement. In his book The End of Overeating, Dr. David Kessler explains how some people can become addicted to sweets and chocolate chip cookies the way other people become addicted to cocaine!

What should you do?

It’s not realistic to suggest you turn your nose up to every food with sugar in it. In fact, it’s found in so many of the foods we eat day in and day out that it would be next to impossible to eliminate it. For example, did you know that spaghetti sauce, salad dressing and crackers often contain some form of sugar? Instead, start by watching your intake of simple sugars. These are foods like table sugar, candy, soda, jams, jellies, fruit juices and pastries. If you consider yourself a “junk food junkie” and would rather die than give up your daily creme-filled Hostess Cupcake, start small. Try swapping the cupcake for an apple just one day out of the week. Then the next week, try two days. Let’s say you go through a 24-pack of Coke by yourself each week, start by replacing one can of Coke each day with a bottle of water. Reducing the sugar in your diet doesn’t have to be painful if you focus on taking small baby steps! After awhile, you’ll be surprised at how much more energy you have and delighted to find your clothes fitting a little better too!

How can you spot hidden sugars?

Read your food labels! Sugar can be disguised as any of the following words under the list of ingredients:

  • Brown sugar
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup
  • Dextrose
  • Fruit juice concentrates
  • Fructose
  • Glucose
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Invert sugar
  • Lactose
  • Malt syrup
  • Maltose
  • Molasses
  • Raw sugar
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar
  • Syrup

What baby step will you take today to reduce the sugar in your diet?

Make it an energizing day!

Melanie

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