Many studies in the past couple of years have revealed that obesity may not have been caused by the fat in our diets, but by the excessive amount of sugar we consume daily. While it may seem easy to avoid sugary food, the real culprit lies in the foods that contain the so-called “hidden sugars.”
But before we can avoid these “invisible evils,” we must first learn to identify them and understand why we should limit – or avoid – them.
What is “sugar”?
Contrary to what most people believe, sugar isn’t merely the sweet, powdered crystal that we add into our food and drink to make them taste better. In fact, sugar comes in many different names and
various forms. Some are classified as “naturally occuring,” which refers to its sources like fruits or milk, while others fall under the “added sugar” category, which refers to the kinds of sweeteners that are used to enhance the flavors in food and drinks.
To begin with, not all sugar can be simply labelled as “good” or “bad.” The problem begins when we consume more sugar than what our body can manage. Too much sugar consumption forces our liver to overwork itself which may lead to insulin resistance where our body no longer is able to convert sugar into energy, and instead, is stored in the body as fat.
When we have too much sugar in our body, we also experience that “sugar high” which we mistake as a good thing. However, after this “high,” we end up with a “crash,” which makes us crave for more sugar to bring back that “high.” It’s a vicious cycle that results in having too much sugar in our body that it can process.
So what are “hidden sugars”?
You may do everything you can to monitor all sources of sugar in your diet: white sugar in your coffee, candies and chocolates, desserts, cakes and pastries, ice cream, etc. However, there are some sources of sugar that we do not know of or are not aware of. These “hidden sugars” come in the form of even savory dishes such as pizzas, pasta, and yes, even marinades condiments like catsup, Worcestershire, and BBQ sauces, pasta, dips, and dressings, and more.
Where can you find them?
The key to uncovering these hidden sugars is to read food labels and to know the different names of sugar. Once you know how to identify the types of sugar in the food you eat, you will be better equipped to avoid them.
One sure-fire way to avoid hidden sugars is, of course, to avoid food that are sweet to our palate. But you must also watch out for highly processed savory food like the sauces mentioned above. You should also be wary about eating packaged food that are being marketed as “sugar-free” and “fat-free” as these are typically loaded with sugars to make them taste good.
A variety of breads, bottled pasta sauces, energy and nutrition bars, crackers, fruit juices and flavored water, commercially-produce fruit-flavored yogurts, designer coffees, smoothies, dried fruits and fruit cups,
How to avoid them?
Now that you know what hidden sugars are, you can effectively and consciously avoid them. Instead of eating these kinds of food, choose fresh vegetables and lean proteins to fill you up. You may have some fruit, but always keep in mind that too much fruit is also not good for you as this still contains natural sugars.
Have a simple black coffee, and skip the white sugar and coffee creamer which has a load of sugar and fat. If you love chocolates, have dark chocolate which has a lower sugar content, and the bittersweet taste will satisfy your palate better with just a small amount.
You can also eat more savory food that’s naturally flavored with spices, herbs, and vinegars. The spiciness, tartness and sour flavors will satisfy your taste buds just as well, and may even help curb your cravings.
Finally, drink more water. This will not only temper any sugar cravings, but will also detoxify your body of too much salt, fat, and sugar.
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Its unique and personalized approach to weight loss and health through nutrition and food makes the Cohen Program a trusted diet plan that has helped thousands of clients around the world achieve good health and maintain a healthy lifestyle. The program doesn’t require you to take pills, shakes, or meal replacements – just fresh and healthy food that’s easily available from the supermarket. Just follow your Eating Plan and see results in as fast as four weeks*!