Sugar Cleanse :: Let’s get sugar savvy

cereal-1444495_1280When you buy something that comes in a box, wrapper or any other kind of packaging, it most likely has sugar hidden in there somewhere. We’re now gonna figure out how to know what foods have sugar, and how much sugar those foods have. Yes, you’re going to turn into a label reader:)

If the first ingredient listed on a food product is sugar, beware! Put that item down, because that means that the product has more sugar in it than any other ingredient.

You know what would be simple? If you only had to contend with looking for one ingredient called “sugar.” But, sugar and sweeteners have many other names. Here is a list of the most common forms of sugars – the most refined are at the top of the list, the least processed are at the bottom.

High-fructose corn syrup
Stevia (not a sugar, but an herb)
Brown sugar
Cane sugar
Evaporated cane juice
Date sugar
Agave syrup
Brown rice syrup
*Rule of thumb – if an ingredient ends in “ose”, it’s a type of sugar.

Sugar is sugar, regardless of its form. Let’s try to limit our intake of sugar overall, and consider items with sugar as a treat. This does not include sugar from whole fruits! If you do choose to purchased packaged foods, choose ones with the least number of sugar ingredients and look for the most natural sources of sugar possible (honey, dates or maple syrup). These forms of sugars contain vitamins and minerals that help our bodies process them more effectively.

How do you know how much sugar is in your food?
Did you know that one teaspoon of sugar weights 4 grams? For example, if a soda contains 44 grams of sugar, its got 11 teaspoons of sugar. Still in the mood for that soda?

Homework for health:

Start reading labels to calculate the amount of sugar included. Give extra attention to so-called “healthy foods” like packaged yogurt, salad dressing and bottled drinks.