It’s common knowledge that stuff like soft drinks, juice and chocolate contain huge amounts of sugar. But the thing is, if you start taking a closer look, you can spot the sweet stuff in the strangest of places.
Until a few days ago, I was blissfully unaware of how much sugar I was feeding my body on a daily basis, without even knowing it! And no, I am not talking about my love for chocolate. I talk about the large percentage of foods in the grocery shop.
First off, let’s take a closer look at what sugar does to our bodies.
When we consume sugar, the body has two options; either burn it for energy or convert to fat and store it on the fat cells. When we have sugar in our body and blood stream, the pancreas releases a hormone called insulin. Insulin helps regulate the level of sugar in the blood, so the more sugar, the more insulin is released. Oftentimes our body struggles to get that balance right (with us putting way too much sugar in our system). Too much insulin is released, which ultimately results in our blood sugar dropping below normal levels. This is what we know as a sugar crash and we respond to it by eating more sugar, and the process starts again (1*).
We agree, it’s ridiculously tasty, but sugar is ultimately bad for the teeth, can overload the liver, cause diabetes, overweight and cancer (just to mention a few). It’s highly addictive and sadly, it plays a prominent role in our diet. Remember, sugar has many names!
Now, let’s take a look at some hidden sugar bombs from the grocery store!
Some pasta sauces have between 10 to 12 grams of sugar per half-cup serving. That’s the same amount you’d get from a chocolate chip cookie. Crazy, we know!
Alternative: Why not make you own? Or buy some crushed tomatoes and spice it whatever spices you like?
Granola bars are not always the best snack to have at hand. Many of the bars available at the store are filled with sugar, the most regular ones with up to 12 grams.
Alternative: Read the label and buy ones with as much natural ingredients as possible, or make your own.
It may seem innocent enough, but fruit yoghurt is the biggest fraud of them all. With as much as 19 grams of sugar, no wonder we love it!
Alternative: Buy healthier alternatives and add your own choice of fruit as topping.
Don’t we all know the good feeling we get when we bought a salad for lunch instead of a burger? However, mind the sweet dressings. Many of them are packed with sugar.
Alternative: A homemade vinegar or oil dressing. Or just don’t drown your salad in it.
Many supermarket sandwiches have added sugar to sweeten the bitter taste and research has shown that in some brands, a slice of white or whole meal bread can contain up to half a teaspoon of sugar.
Alternative: Sourdough bread or homemade. Or maybe even switch out the toast with sweet potatoes?
We aren’t trying to tell you what you should and shouldn’t eat, I for one will still enjoy my chocolate! What we on the other hand want is to make you aware of that there is sugar hidden in the strangest places, so that when you go grocery shopping next time you can make a choice. What you end up choosing is completely up to you!
If you’re interested, we recommend you to watch the documentary That Sugar Film. Really makes you understand how damaging sugar can be to your body and overall health.