Contributed By- Dr. Snehal Singh
The market is flooded with a variety of “good foods” mostly recommended for muscle growth and healthy balanced diet. But, are you aware that few of these good foods are actually secret sugar bombs? Yes! You heard it right. Many “good foods” which are thought to be healthy are in fact loaded with excess sugar. This makes them secret sugar bombs, which can do more harm than good.
People having diabetes, those on weight loss mission and all those who wish to be healthy must be cautious. Such sugar bombs can affect blood sugar levels and damage your health. If you care for your health, identify such foods and make healthier choices.
Know Secret Sugar Bombs
Although they sound healthy, most protein and granola bars are packed with sugars. Chocolate flavoured or others; sugar is present in large quantities and are best avoided if you are truly health conscious. It is better to opt for homemade protein and high fiber bars without any sugar.
Flavoured Milk/ Yogurt/ Probiotics Drinks
Flavoured milk, sweetened or fruit-flavoured yogurt and other probiotic drinks are loaded with sugar for taste. Flavoured or sweetened tea too contains a lot of sugar. This can surely affect your blood sugar levels. Plain low-fat unsweetened yogurt or Greek yogurt may be a better option. Instead, add fresh fruits to plain yogurt for natural flavour instead.
Packaged Fruit Juice
Fruit juices are a healthy option, but most packed fruit juices are loaded with fructose. Some studies have also shown that packed fruit juices, with high fructose corn syrup, make you hungrier. As fructose is easily digested, you feel hungry and may crave for high fatty food. This is definitely not good for your health and must be avoided. Instead, choose fresh fruits or prepare fresh fruit juices at home. Make sure you skip the sugar.
Another popularly marketed “good food” is the sugar-laden energy drinks. Many people take energy drinks to replenish lost energy and to aid in recovery. However, most energy drinks contain loads of sugar and caffeine, which can greatly affect your blood sugar levels. Prefer having fresh fruits and dry fruits, complex carbs for sustained energy and plenty of water for hydration.
Love for peanut butter is common. But apart from the risk of peanut allergies, the problem of excess sugar should make you think twice. Just like jams and spreads, which fall in the “not so healthy” food category, peanut butter too is full of sugar. These foods are sweetened to improve their taste and make them more appealing. But the extra sugar in them can be dangerous. To avoid this, you can choose freshly prepared peanut or fruit spreads without adding sugar.
Canned Fruit and Veggies
Canned products, whether they are fruits, veggies, beans or corn are packed with sugar and other preservatives. Opt for fresh ones as and when possible. Consider storing your own foods to be used later.
Vitawater is promoted as a drink, which is enriched with essential vitamins and minerals. They come in various flavours and tasty options. However, they are mostly packed with simple sugar or fructose just like fruit juices and colas. Having such products can greatly increase your blood sugar levels and increase the risk of other health problems too. Instead, choose fresh fruits and vegetables, natural coconut water, low fat unsweetened milk and milk products for your daily dose of vitamins and minerals.
The stores are packed with a variety of sweetened and flavoured breakfast cereals, ready to eat. And with increasing awareness of healthy diet, many people have shifted to these breakfast cereals. Although they are easily available and almost ready to eat, the fact is that most of them are loaded with sugar and preservatives. But if you are really concerned about your health, avoid sweetened, flavoured ones or those packed with fruits and nuts. Instead, pick up plain breakfast cereals or oats and add fresh fruits or dry fruits to it.
Sauces and Dressings
Sauces and salad dressings are the most favourite add-ons to most of your food preparations. Much is spoken about the health benefits of tomatoes, even in the form of sauce. But the fact is that sauces, salad dressings and other options for dips, contain loads of sugar, creams and unhealthy fats too. Switch to freshly prepared dips made from fresh yogurt or tomatoes and add herbs and spices for taste.
If you watching your weight, have diabetes or simply wish to have a healthy diet, beware of these secret sugar bombs. The hidden sugar in these foods can contribute to weight gain due to the excess sugar, fats and other additives. For diabetics, these foods are a big no as they can raise your blood sugar level and any weight gain can increase the risk of other lifestyle disorders too. Hence, the need to monitor blood sugar levels at regular intervals becomes paramount.
Many products in the market contain such hidden dangers. Shop smart; read labels when shopping. Choose products which do not contain sugar. Watch out for these secret sugar bombs and protect your health. Plan a healthy diet and lifestyle; enjoy good health!
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