How much sugar is really lurking in your food?
When we think of sugar, we often think of candy, soda, desserts, gumdrops, and Lollipop Guilds. So, when you decide it’s time to eat healthier and cut the sweets, you may assume it’s as simple as ditching those sugar-laden treats. But are your efforts effective enough to really put a dent in the sugar you’re actually consuming? Maybe not as much as you think, suggests Eve O. Schaub, author of, “Year of No Sugar.”
Claire Martin, from the Denver Post, interviewed Schaub on the topic of just how much sugar is actually lurking in our daily diets. Schaub recalled her “A-ha” moment came after watching a documentary called, “Sugar: The Bitter Truth,” created by pediatric endocrinologist, Robert Lustig. Schaub began really investigating the contents of her food, and was alarmed by what she found – “There was sugar, in all its myriad guises,” she writes in her memoir.
“Some of the top stealth sources of fructose are energy drinks, fruit yogurts, agave syrup and many foods labeled ‘low fat,’” said University of Colorado physician Richard J. Johnson, who has written two books on this disturbing trend.
Some of the top offenders for hidden sugar content are:
- white bread
- granola bars
- tomato sauce
- flavored oatmeal
- consumables labeled ‘fat free’ or ‘low fat’
The list can go on and on. When you look at this list, you may notice that these are items we frequently buy for our children and ourselves because we think they are “healthier” options for the family. At least that is how they are marketed. By now, we all know that consuming excess amounts of sugar-laden foods and drinks can cause weight gain and obesity, which increases the risk of type II diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. All of which are within the top causes of death in the U.S.
What can you do to combat this secret sugar conspiracy?
Your best line of defense to combat this sugar ambush is to be a smart consumer and read the labels of your food items. So, next time, you hit the grocery store, don’t be fooled by the bold lettering on the front of the cereal box exclaiming how “gggggreat!” it is. Dig a little deeper. Turn the box around to the boring, fine print to see how much sugar you and your family are truly ingesting.