By Brandi Savitt – January 6, 2014
Read Labels & Lose Weight
Want to finally knock off those extra pounds this year – stop dieting and start reading your food labels! Americans are spending money on getting fat (and a multitude of other health problems – like diabetes) by eating too much sugar – and it’s everywhere. It’s not just about avoiding the obvious treats like cake, cookies, ice cream and soda – there is hidden sugar in unsuspecting healthy, high-end products including: whole grain breads, low fat salad dressing, condiments and pasta sauces – it’s shocking. Even if you buy organic almond milk – unless it specifically says ‘unsweetened’ or ‘no sugar added’, read the ingredients and you’ll see the sugar. Buyer beware!
How Much Hidden Sugar Do You Eat?
Because so much of the food and drinks we consume are already prepared, we blindly eat our way to gaining extra pounds (especially belly fat) – even when we think we’re eating healthy. According to Anne Alexander, the Editorial Director of Prevention Magazine, and author of The Sugar Smart Diet, most American adults consume two-thirds of a cup of added sugar a day (sugar that does not occur naturally, like in fruit). That adds up to over 130 pounds of sugar a year!
Anne writes that the number one thing you can do for your health and your waistline is to remove as much of the hidden sugar from your diet as possible. Eating veggies, fruits and whole foods is key to good health – so is preparing your own meals as often as possible. But training yourself to read the ingredients BEFORE you buy prepared or packaged foods is also essential. –This goes for eating out too!
Choose to Indulge
We’re not saying to never indulge in sweets again. But wouldn’t you rather enjoy your favorite red velvet cupcake than unknowingly eat almost the same amount of sugar in the seemingly healthy cranberry chicken salad sandwich from the market down the street (note: most dried cranberries have loads of added sugar)?! Awareness is the key here, and you’ll be surprised how much easier it is to lose weight when you know what you’re putting into your body, and when to make a different choice.
Get Sugar Savvy!
There are over 50 different names for sugar on ingredients labels- high fructose corn syrup being the most common and the most evil - some are worse than others. On the bright side, there are also several all natural sweetener alternatives that have a lower glycemic index like stevia, and for baking – palm sugar or agave. But remember, in the end, too many sweets of any kind are not good for you and can have the same effect.
For more information on what to avoid, what eat, and the health havoc too much sugar can play on your body, check out these resources:
Here’s to a Fab, Fru & trimmer New Year!