One of the changes in the dietary guidelines released a couple of weeks ago was the inclusion of the guideline to “limit your sugar intake”.
You would have to be under a log if you had not noticed the anti-sugar debate which is prevalent in the media. To quit sugar or not, it is wise, especially when trying to lose weight, to reduce your sugar intake.
More specifically it is important for a healthy eating plan to reduce or limit your EXCESS sugar intake, especially in processed foods.
Often the focus is on drinks such as soft drinks and juices and their abundance of added sugar, but there are many other foods, especially processed, which have added sugar which you could avoid.
Here are five foods which you might not realise have added sugar.
1. Bottled and packet pasta sauces and sauces in general
Tomato sauce, pasta sauces and relishes are all made with a lot of sugar. This is why they taste so good. The trend has been to change the formulation and you will see many of them reducing the sugar and salt and often using natural sweeteners as a way to do this.
Some reduced fat yoghurts do have additional sugar added to them, others do not. More specifically it is the flavoured yoghurts which we think are a better option to ice cream or other desserts, but in fact they may have an even higher sugar content and often calorie content.
We are not giving you permission to eat ice cream every day!
Some yoghurts have excess of 18grams of sugar per serve. It is best to choose plain yoghurts and then add your own fruit or honey to the yoghurt. You then have control over how much sugar is actually added to it. It can also often be cheaper.
Some drinks have as much energy or calories as a whole meal. This is ok if it being used as a meal replacement but if they are being drunk as a snack or refreshment, the excess calories are not good for a healthy eating plan or weight loss diet.
Try to avoid:
- Soft drinks
- Sweetened milks
- Juices, especially store bought juices.
4. Processed meats
Ham, salami and other processed meats have a high level of salt but also often additional sugar as well.
One of the reason there is so much sugar in some of this ‘savoury’ tasting foods is because salt is often used for either preservation or also to assist in texture especially with processed meats. Therefore sugar is often added to ‘neutralise’ the salt or to give flavour qualities like honey.
Although fruits are natural and are incredibly nutritious and an important part of a healthy eating plan, they do contain sugar, specifically fructose.
The dietary guidelines suggest that you consume two pieces of fruit per day.
Fruit is also a good source of fibre and we can also obtain a lot of fibre from our vegetable intake. You can also read a great and informative piece here from famous dietician Joanna Macmillan Price on why fruit in the diet is good – especially for kids and she breaks down why it is good and dispels the myths which some people in the media have tried to display fruit as bad.
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