In doing my research for this specific battle in the war against added sugars, I hit the jackpot when I discovered this blog from Celebrity Nutrition and Fitness Guru, JJ Virgin, called “10 Sneaky Sugar Sources That Hold Your Weight Hostage.”
She helps clients lose weight by breaking free of food intolerance and overcoming sugar cravings, so we consider her a powerful ally in our campaign for better health.
Ms. Virgin has seen clients successfully cut out the obvious high sugar items and yet still fail to lose weight. Most of these people think they are outsmarting their sugar cravings with “healthy” or “not so bad for you” options.
Foods such as balsamic vinaigrette, dried fruit, meat sauce, smoothies, protein bars, almond butter, yogurt, bottled teas, wheat bread and green juices all contain significant amounts of unnecessary sugar!
- It is especially troubling that wheat bread, which is marketed as the healthier choice, contains the same levels of added sugars and preservatives as white bread. Just two slices of wheat bread can raise your blood sugar levels more than two tablespoons of sugar![i]
- Green juices, bottled teas, and smoothies have on average a staggering 12 teaspoons of sugar in a single serving.[ii]
- Even yogurt and dried fruit possess as much added sugar as a candy bar. Virgin finds at least four types of sugars in a protein bar, asserting that it should be more accurately described as an overpriced nutrient-enriched candy bar!
It is frightening how the 57 types of sneaky sugars are predominant in our American diet. It almost feels like we will have to eat like rabbits to stay healthy. However, there are many healthy alternatives, and one just needs to know where to look.
A good start is knowing how to read the nutrition label.
Whole30 has an excellent Sneaky Sugars Cheat Sheet that helps you practice your label reading to identify these sugars. It is separated out into five categories: just plain sugar, science-y names for sugar, “natural” sugars, natural sweeteners, sugar alcohols.
A good standard to live by when reading the label is if you cannot pronounce the ingredient or if it contains soy, corn, gluten, sugar, carrageenan, sulfites, etc., then DON'T buy it.[iii]
While the quest for healthier eating seems hopeless, wellness guru Jonathan Bailor has one simple rule that can help you cut through the scam of the commercialized “healthy” foods marketplace:
If what you are about to eat isn’t found directly in nature (i.e., vegetables, seafood, meat, fruit, nuts, seeds, etc.), it has likely been processed with added sugars.[iv] Keep it simple and stick with natural whole foods!
In his blog “57 Sneaky Sugars to Avoid,” Bailor compares the human body to a sink to demonstrate how to simplify your shopping choices and eat healthier.
- If all you are pouring down a sink is water, the pipes will process the water through the system, and the sink will continue to function correctly no matter how much water you pour down the sink at one time.
- If you put food, garbage or other foreign objects down the sink, the pipes become clogged, and your sink will become severely damaged.
Bailor goes one further by breaking down foods into two groups: SANE Foods and INSANE Foods.
- Water, fiber and protein foods are SANE. No matter how much you eat, your body will process them naturally, storing the good fats for energy and digesting the rest.
- When choosing sane foods, seek short ingredient lists and stay on the perimeter of the grocery store.
- Eat sane foods as much as you want, making you too full for dessert or insane food snack breaks between meals.
- Dry, low-fiber, low-protein foods with starch, added sugars and other additives are INSANE. They clog the body and cause obesity and diabetes.
In closing, Bailor makes an interesting point about the history of sane foods and how they got lost in the American diet. Long before health authorities started emphasizing diets, counting calories and workouts at the gym – when all Americans consumed were sane foods; there wasn’t the prevalence of obesity and diabetes and other serious health issues we have today.
Isn’t it ironic that in today’s world, where there is so much written about calorie counting, dieting, vitamins, and physical fitness, that we are gaining more weight and are more obese on average, and cases of type 2 diabetes are skyrocketing at pandemic rates?
Let’s get SANE, eat natural, and SAY NO to the sneaky sugars!
Are any of these sneaky sugars in your food?