Dieticians, nutritionists, and weight loss experts would unanimously agree that cutting out sugar from your daily diet can be a huge game-changer. Sugar is considered as the #1 roadblock that can ruin your weight loss journey and at the same time, extremely detrimental to health as well. Nutritionally deficient, high in calories, sugar raises inflammation and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. As we all know, excess sugar is converted into fat and stored away in the body for future. Even if you have eliminated white sugar completely, there are certain food items with lots of added sugar that make their way into our daily diet. Sugar addiction is real and food companies cash in on this “addiction” and add too much sugar under different names – maltose, maltodextrin, high fructose corn syrup, agave nectar, invert syrup to name just a few. Surprisingly, some of these foods are glorified as “healthy.” That’s why, it has become extremely important to make conscious choices and eliminate added sugar completely. So, here’s the list of 7 Everyday Foods with Hidden Sugar in them.
Why Identify and Eliminate Added Sugar?
When you cut down sugar from your diet, you are also lowering the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. It will also give your body a chance to heal inflammation and repair damaged cells and tissues. Though sugar tastes sweet and appetizing, it creates an addiction sort of behavior by triggering the reward center of the brain that releases feel-good hormones like opioids and dopamine. Too much sugar triggers a lot of undesirable chemical effects such as headache, hormonal changes, insulin resistance, diabetes, and above all, fat storage and eventual weight gain. The biggest issue is when the body converts the excess sugar into fat. This is exactly what leads to weight gain and that’s where the importance of cutting down sugar comes into play if you want to seriously lose weight. When you give up sugar, you may have temporary symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, brain fog, and mood swings; however, within a few days, the body adjusts to the “no sugar phase,” and you would see remarkable changes in your physical health.
Now that we have underlined the adverse effects of consuming too much sugar, here’s a list of 7 Everyday Foods with Hidden Sugar:
1. Packaged Juices: It’s always advisable to eat fruits in their raw form to get the precious fiber content along with their nutrients, vitamins, minerals intact. Most packaged juices though claim to be made from real fruits, also add heaps of sugar, preservatives, artificial colors, flavours – not a healthy choice at all.
2. Granola: It’s considered to be a nutritious cereal, but the store-bought ones come with added sugar (liquid glucose) along with loads of calories. Make homemade granola or switch to traditional Indian breakfast options like idli, poha, paratha instead.
3. “Fat Free and Low Fat” Food: Please don’t be fooled by “fat free and low fat” labels because when fat content is ripped from food, it usually makes it bland and tasteless. To appeal to the tastebuds of consumers, companies add stuff like heaps of sugar, refined carbs, salt, emulsifiers, and thickeners which add high amount of calories to the body. Such a tendency defeats the whole purpose where one is actually going “low fat” to lose weight. Yogurt, margarine, mayonnaise, milk are some products that come with low-fat tag.
4. Tomato Ketchup: There’s no doubt tomato ketchup oodles of flavour to food, but did you know, ketchup has a good amount of sugar, up to 26 gm per 100 gm or more.
5. Oats cookies: Marketed as a healthier option to regular biscuits, oats biscuits are anything but healthy with sugar, liquid glucose, maltodextrin, invert syrup as main ingredients! Having these biscuits on a daily basis can ruin your health and weight loss efforts as well.
6. Salad Dressing: Even the low-fat salad dressings have been found to be high in sugar and sodium.
7. Breakfast Cereals/Muesli: Dehydrated fruits are covered with artificial colors to make them appealing, and added sugar, corn syrup make these an unhealthy option.
Summing up, sugar can be concealed under different names and while picking up a food product, do glance through the ingredient list to weed out the sugar content. Do read the label as well as the ingredients list, and pick sugar in its natural from – from fruits and veggies to enjoy great health. Also, if weight loss is on your mind, check out the Rati Beauty diet to shed extra weight without crash dieting or strenuous exercise.