Sugar is hiding everywhere! This blog post isn't meant to scare you! It's all about upgrading your food choices. Sugar is hiding in a lot of foods that aren't even sweet! Today, I have guest blogger and holistic nutritionist, Amy Krasner, here to talk about hidden sugars! When you know where they are you can save the sugar for the delicious sweet treats rather than wasting them on foods that don't even taste sweet! You might not be able to control things you eat at restaurants, but at least you can at home!
Here are Amy's insider tips about which ‘health foods’ have higher levels of sugar then they need to:
Flavored yogurts have between 20-28 grams of sugar in them per serving. That’s four times as much sugar as a plain yogurt, which usually has anywhere between 6-12 grams of sugar! An easy way to work around this hidden obstacle is to add some fruit, pure vanilla extract, or stevia to your plain yogurt to get more sweetness without adding too much extra sugar! Siggi’s yogurt has some lower sugar options and many Greek yogurt brands tend to have less sugar in them as well
Sauces and dressings are two other common food items that usually contain unnecessary added sugars in them. Make sure to check the ingredient list to see if sugar is one of the first three ingredients. The good news is that most stores have 5-10 different options for each type of sauce or salad dressing. I suggest to spend a few minutes comparing the ingredients and sugar content of several sauces to find one that doesn’t have too much added sugar.
Juices & Smoothies: most smoothie bars and restaurants tend to pack in a ton of fruit and extra sweeteners. If you make your own smoothie, you can control how much fruit you are adding. When making your smoothie, add one cup of fruit and try to focus on fruits that have lower sugar content like berries and apples. If you want to use a higher sugar fruit, like berries or mangoes, make sure to use a smaller serving size.
Granola: The main sweeteners that you will find in granola are cane sugar, honey, maple syrup or brown rice syrup. Even though some of these sugars are healthier options that cane sugar, the amount of sugar from the natural sweeteners adds up quickly. Some granolas have 12 grams or more for only ½ a cup serving size. I like the Purely Elizabeth granola because they use coconut palm sugar which is a lower glycemic sweetener and there are 6 grams of sugar per serving.
Protein Bars: Be sure that you are buying a good quality protein bar instead of a hidden candy bar! Some protein bars have 24grams of sugar or more in one bar!! There should be no more than 5 grams of sugar in a protein bar. Quest bars are a good option because they use stevia as the sweetener and they are a low-sugar option.
Peanut butter: Almond butter: some peanut butter and almond butter brands have unnecessary added sugars. Look at the ingredients to see if there is any sugar or add oils. You’ll want to pick a peanut butter that just has ‘peanuts’ on the ingredient list or an almond butter that just has ‘almonds’ on the ingredient list.
Almond milk/ Coconut milk: look for the unsweetened version when you are buying coconut milk and almond milk. Regular coconut milk and almond milk can have more than 7 grams of sugar for a one cup serving size.
Now that you know where sugar is hiding, you can use this information to help reduce your total intake of sugar over the holiday season. Enjoy sugar in your favorite dessert this holiday season instead of in all of the extra foods throughout your day!
Holistic Nutritionist and Natural Chef
Amy Krasner is the founder of a San Diego based holistic nutrition practice called Nourished Balance. She works one-on-one with clients to improve their health through scientific-based nutrition and holistic health coaching. Amy supports women who are experiencing low energy, digestive issues, or difficulty losing weight. She designs customized nutrition plans for health concerns including: thyroid imbalances, high cholesterol, weight loss, impaired digestion, and auto-immune conditions. Amy takes a holistic approach with her nutrition coaching through looking at various lifestyle factors that play in a role in our food choices such as stress, sleep, exercise, relationships, career, and spirituality.
For more information, visit her at: www.nourishedbalance.com, www.facebook.com/nourishedbalance
or Instagram: @nourishedbalance
Keep your eyes out for more ways to keep your sugar intake under control this holiday season!