Look Out for Added Sugars Found in Surprising Places
Sugar is increasingly becoming the main culprit behind heart disease, cancer, obesity, and more. As we continue to learn more about the importance of nutrition, added sugars have been unanimously condemned by doctors and nutritionists as something to avoid whenever possible. Unfortunately, steering clear of added sugars can be difficult, because it is in virtually everything, even seemingly “healthy” options.
All cereals are not created equally. Some cereals are high in fiber, made with whole grains and offer a healthy meal to start that day that will keep you sated through the morning. However, many cereals are no better, and sometimes worse, than candy. Be careful of packaging that tries to sell a cereal as being organic, whole grains or healthy. Some popular cereals such as Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Trix, Froot Loops and Fruity Pebbles have over 10 grams of sugar per 3/4 cup and offer little to no nutritional value. Avoid cereals that are merely processed white flour and sugar.
We all have heard soda is bad, but we need to really clarify just how bad it is. A 12oz can of Pepsi has 41 grams of sugar, and Coca-Cola and Sprite have 44 grams of sugar per 12 fluid ounces. Anyone trying to lose weight or improve their diet should start first with removing soda from the house. Try to drink water or sugar-free flavored waters to save calories, sugar and reduce the risk of heart disease and obesity.
White bread and others like, cinnamon raisin and cinnamon swirl breads, can have up to 10 grams of sugar per slice. Processed white flour is typically void of any nutritional value, calorically dense, and will not provide lasting energy. Ditch the white breads and try to eat whole grain breads that do not have added sugars. Look for “whole grain” or “whole wheat” on the food label.
Yogurt is often touted as one of the healthiest foods to consume. Its satiating, high in protein, and low in calories. However, you have to consume the right yogurt. Low-sugar, low-fat Greek yogurt is great, but other yogurts can have close to 20g of sugar and little protein. Be sure to carefully read the nutritional label of a yogurt brand before making a purchase.
Many lists will include granola as a healthy snack. Like yogurt, it can be, but you need to carefully read the nutrition information. Some granolas will be derail your diet and interfere with making weight gain progress. It is not uncommon to see some granola containing 500 calories and 25g of sugar per cup. Stay away from these.
Juice and Sports Drinks
These are often no better than soda, despite being marketed as healthy alternatives to soda. 20oz of Gatorade contains 34g of sugar, and fruit drinks such as SunnyD contain a whopping 27g of sugar per 8 fluid ounces!! Again, try to drink clear, non-carbonated and sugar-free beverages whenever possible.
Finally, protein bars. They sound healthy, they are branded as a health food and a lot celebrities and fitness icons endorse them. It is true, there are many brands of protein bars that are a great snack and fuel muscle growth with a healthy amount of protein. But many protein bars are not better than a candy bar. If a protein bar contains between 300-400 calories and over 20g of sugar find a better option. That is junk food.