No added sugars is probably one of the hardest of our Be Better Challenge points to get for real. Added sugars are sneaky. Sometimes we add them ourselves to things like coffee or tea, homemade baked goods, or even sauces and salad dressings. Other times they’re lurking in the processed foods we eat like store bought snacks, protein bars, and yogurts. Even other times we grab, gulp, and chew on things that are almost entirely made of sugar like sodas, energy drinks, and candies.
If you’ve ever seen any of the hundreds of food documentaries that have come out in the last few years, you probably know that lots of sugar is not good for us. People like to say the word excessive, but truthfully we don’t know exactly how much is too much… so we think it’s better to err on the side of caution and minimize added sugars as much as we can.
There are lots of foods that are marketed as healthy, but actually have lots of added sugars. Here’s a few:
Flavored yogurt - most yogurts have lots of added sugar
Cereal - cereal pretty much turns into straight sugar as you chew it
Granola - they might as well just call packaged granola deconstructed cookies
Almost fat free anything - they pump these foods with sugar to make them taste better because fat tastes good and without it all is lost
The best way to combat your added sugar cravings is with the naturally occurring sugars in fresh fruits and healthy carbohydrates like sweet potatoes! It’s also important to know that we can’t avoid sugar altogether, and we don’t really have to, but sugars are sneaky so it’s good to be aware of all the places they are hidden and the ways that we’re getting added sugars without even knowing.
Once again, one of your best defenses is to learn how to read nutrition labels & ingredient lists so you know what’s in the foods you’re eating!