Hidden Sugar - How It Inhibits Your Weight-loss And Compromises Your Health
We all know that sugar is not good for us. In my practice, most of my clients claim that they don’t eat sugar or sweets or if so, just very little. I always like to ask more specific questions, because in most cases this is not the truth, it is just an illusion.
According to the American Heart Association the maximum amount of added sugar for men is 37.6 g (9 teaspoons) and for women 25 g (6 teaspoons) - and this is still a lot! But an average American consumes 76.7 g (19 teaspoons) sugar a day!
When you eat a big portion of ice-ream or a nice piece of cake, you are conscious about consuming a lot of sugar. But what about some “health”-foods which you choose because you think they are good for you?
Let’s look at a few examples of the most common high-sugar foods and drinks that people consume without even knowing and understanding it?
1. Fruit juice - a typical example is a freshly pressed orange juice. Many people still think that this is healthy because it is fresh and doesn’t contain added sugar. But what does it contain in reality? Let’s see! According to https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1971/2 1 cup (2.5 dl) fresh orange juice contains 20 g of sugar! And as it is in a liquid form, it is absorbed in the bloodstream immediately. Juices are REFINED carbohydrates, not whole foods. Blood sugar and insulin spikes coming from fruit juice are as bad and damaging as when they come from refined sugar.
2. “High-protein” Energy Bars - there are differences in sugar content between these products, but all of them contain high amounts of sugar. Even if they do have zero added sugar, their sugar content coming from dates or other dried fruit and/or honey is still high. These protein bars can contain anywhere between 20g to 80 g sugar or even more.
3. Smoothies - how about this trendy superfood? It can be made only from fruit, mixed fruits and vegetables, or fruits, vegetables and added nuts and seeds. Let’s take as an example the sugar content of smoothies made with one mango and a banana (only these two, no added sugar or other ingredients). One portion contains 65 g sugar! This is three times more than the recommended daily intake. One big problem with smoothies is that even if they contain the whole fruit, as their structure is broken, their sugar content is absorbed immediately, causing a huge insulin spike, which leads to many different health problems on the long term, like insulin resistance, obesity and inflammation.
4. “Healthy” oat porridge with fresh banana and dates - this is a popular breakfast amongst health-conscious people. But why is it healthy exactly? At least regarding its sugar content, it is like a candy bar. One serving oats contain 46.9 g starches (complex sugar), one banana 14.4 g sugar and 1 date 16 g sugar. This high-carbohydrate breakfast (when the oats are cooked in water) contains almost no fat. The protein content of the fruit is minimal. One portion of oats contain 10.6 g protein, but it is not a complete protein. Oat prolamins contain low amounts of basic amino acids and they are high in glutamic acid and proline.
5. Ready salad dressings - having a salad for lunch is the healthiest thing we can have - or is it? It really depends what we put in our salad. What kind of greens do we choose? Are they seasonal and grown outside in the sun without pesticides and fertilisers? In most cases, they are not, so their nutritional value is close to zero but they still cause bloating and other digestive distress. What other ingredients are in your salad? And how about the dressing? Do you put organic olive oil and lemon juice or do you use a ready-made salad dressing? What are the ingredients in those dressings? A typical, commonly-sold Italian dressing contains 3 g sugar per serving. In addition it contains soybean oil, distilled vinegar, xanthan gum, propylene glycol alginate, sorbic acid and calcium disodium edta (used to protect quality), yeast extract, natural flavour - just to mention a few. Sounds really healthy, doesn’t it?
So what is the conclusion? My advice to you is to avoid sugar as much as possible. Read all labels and don’t buy anything with added sugar. But beyond that, make sure you know how much natural sugar your food contains. Remember you shouldn’t consume more that 20 g sugar a day, including, grains, fruits and processed foods.
If you are stuck and need guiding in loosing weight, getting rid of chronic pain and regaining your health, contact me. I am here to help you!