This has been a tough couple of months trying to eat a healthier diet. The occasional pie, cake and ice cream dessert is to be expected over the holidays and even during this time of year. Now, though, I try so hard to get back on the healthy eating wagon. Healthier snacks, no ice cream (!!) small servings of desserts (as the family cannot apparently live without them now) etc. and Wham! Valentine's day and chocolate....sugar and fat, they're everywhere.
Knowing where the sugar and fat are coming from are one thing. I can control what I put in and how much of it. I read labels regularly too, to check on saturated fat content and the % of fat and sugar I may be consuming.
Why, I ask myself, when I feel like I’m eating better, do I find out that there are hidden sugars in almost everything?!?!? Loaves of bread, Applesauce, Barbecue sauce, Almond milk, spaghetti sauce! What’s happening here means I have to be much more vigilant in reading labels.
If you don’t read labels yet, you should do so now! The following list is all the different names for sugar: Be on the lookout for these being added in the same item, ingredients are listed in the order of weight; the higher a substance is in the label, the more of it the food contains.
Manufacturers use more than one type of sugar in a product and are allowed to list them separately, which may give the impression that a food had less sugar than it does.
Agave nectar Agave syrup Barley malt Beet sugar Brown rice syrup Brown rice sugar
Cane juice solids Cane sugar Caramel Coconut sugar Corn sweetener Corn syrup
Date sugar Dextrose Evaporated cane juice Fructose Fruit juice concentrate
Glucose High fructose corn syrup Honey Invert sugar syrup Malt syrup
Maltodextrin Maltose Maple syrup Molasses Sorghum syrup Sucrose Treacle
So, the lesson here is to read the label carefully as more than one of these could be present in a single item.
It is not recommended to stop eating sugar all at once! Remember when altering a diet of any kind, start small and work your way up to bigger changes.
Know how much sugar you are ingesting and how much your children are eating. Pay attention to the labels! Fresh fruits and vegetables are free from added sugars, so start there and add more of those to the household meal menu.
According to Consumer’s Digest, excess sugar consumption has been linked to type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
If it’s as simple as reading a label and making some changes to what we may be used to, I can do that, can you?!?!?