Let's dive into the sticky world of added sugar and how it can sneak its way into our food – even the household staples like bread and cereal – without us noticing until our health falls to the wayside. Headaches, fatigue, weight gain and skin troubles are just the beginning. Here’s how it happens.
Let’s paint a picture – you're at the supermarket, trying to make healthy decisions for the week ahead. You pick up a tub of strawberry yogurt and check the label. It reads "no added sugar.” Perfect, you think to yourself, this is the best choice. But hang on! Before you toss that yogurt into your trolley, take a closer look at the nutritional panel – you might find more than you bargained for. Fruit juice with “natural sugars” is listed – but these sugars are just as bad for your liver, particularly considering the fact that they lack the fibre of whole fruit. There are a few ways the sweet stuff slips into our products without our knowledge, even if we can’t see sugar listed on the back.
Ingredients you don't recognise
Sugar is often disguised under a variety of names, like high fructose corn syrup, maltose, dextrose and sucrose. It can be tough to keep track of all these different names, but if you see any of them on an ingredient list, you can bet that there's added sugar lurking inside.
Unrealistic serving sizes
Have you ever noticed that the serving size on the nutrition label can be ridiculously small? For instance, you might find your muesli bar is split into 3 serves – but who would open a muesli bar and only eat a third of it? It’s unrealistic and deceptive, leading you to believe you’re eating less sugar than you are. In reality, you have to times the serving size sugars by three to get the actual amount.
One of the other ways added sugar gets you is through savoury snacks – most of us aren’t looking for sugar in these foods because they don’t taste sweet. But if you’re ready to quit added sugar, you’re going to want to check these products with a keen eye. Added sugar isn't just found in desserts and confectionery, it can also be hidden in pasta sauces, chips and even bread. These foods might not taste sweet, but they can still contain a scary amount of added sugar.
So-called health foods
Just because something is marketed as healthy doesn't mean it's free of added sugar. Muesli bars, cereal and yoghurt are all examples of foods that can contain a lot of added sugar despite having a good reputation. Always check the label at the back of the pack before assuming that something is good for you.
So, why is added sugar such a big issue? For one thing, it can contribute to a whole host of health problems, from obesity and type 2 diabetes to autoimmune diseases. The good news is that there are a number of ways to reduce your intake of added sugar – the most important of which is to read the nutrition labels on your good. Going for whole foods over processed foods is another great way to cut out the sweet stuff, and remember, moderation is key. Just because sugar is hiding in your food doesn't mean you have to let it get the best of you. Need a little extra help getting control of a sugar habit? That’s what we’re here for.
It’s no secret that a sugar habit is a tough one to beat – wherever you go, sugar is there. Unlike with ditching alcohol, there are few places where sugar is unwelcome. From birthday parties and functions to the office pantry, Sunday markets and the supermarket. Is it any wonder that so many of us find it hard to quit the stuff? That’s why it can help to join a program like ours – our 8-Week Program is based on accountability, support and providing the essential resources to set you up for success. We’ll help you change the way you look at food – and that doesn’t mean you have to follow restrictive diets or miss out on your favourite foods; we believe you can still enjoy delicious food without jeopardising your health. With celebrity chef Sarah Glover on our panel of experts, you’ll have an array of fun recipes at your fingertips, along with our own exclusive armoury of simple, tasty and healthy recipes for everything from daily meals to impressive entertaining. We know it can be hard to stick to your health goals – especially when you’re trying to manage it alone. When you sign up with us, you’ll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:
- 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
- 90+ member-only recipes.
- Community forums to share your journey.
- Support and guidance from the I Quit Sugar team.
- Exclusive content from our panel of experts.
So, if you’re ready to ditch sugar and the host of maladies that come with it, it’s not too late to join. We’d love to help you get started on your health journey. Sign up HERE today!