The Body Retreat

The Body Retreat

Women Only Weight Loss & Wellbeing Retreats

Get Label Savvy To Root Out Stealth Sugar

You Want To Reduce The Sugar In Your Diet?

If you are trying to reduce the amount of sugar you and your family are consuming then you need to become label savvy.

Wether your goal is to lose weight, balance your blood sugar and energy levels or you just want to choose when and in what form you eat sugar then you need to be aware of all the sugars and sugar substitutes that are turning up in every day products.

Sugar comes in many forms and manufacturers know that those pesky health conscious shoppers are becoming wise to the sugar content of foods.   Unfortunately many manufacturers have resorted to stealth tactics to reduce the appearance of the sugar load of their products and they add several types of sugar. Often your ingredients can read like a chemical experiment so long is the list of ingredients. So picking out the sugar can be a tough call.

So how do you pick out that stealthy sugar… so first things first, remember that ingredients are listed by volume on the ingredients listing so the closer to the start of the list the more the product contains.

Sugar in All its Forms

Start by looking for the word “Sugar”… it’s a given, Its often there written in it most simple from. I would say that if you are surprised to see the word sugar in the ingredients, as I was when looking a some sausages recently, then choose another product. Also if the sugar is the second or third ingredient and the product isn’t a sweet or baked good then that’s a lot of sugar and you might want to consider an alternative.

Next look for the “Natural Sugars”, listed as Honey, Agave Syrup, Maple Syrup, Date Syrup, Concentrated Apple or Cane Juice, Raw Cane Sugar, Corn Syrup, Caramel, Molasses, Carob remember that just because its natural doesn’t mean you can consume without limit.

Now it’s the “Oses”. When you find ingredients that end in Ose it’s a good chance that these are sugars for example Glucose, Fructose, Dextrose, Maltose, Poly Dextrose, Sucralose.

Finally look for anything else on the list below…they all turn up in both savoury and sweet products all the time. Glycerin, Matodexrin, Diatase, Ehtly Maltol, Saccerides, Pectin, and some starches.

I know this seems like a long and exhausting list , but don’t despair. You don’t have to live a life without sugar, we all need a little sweetness but sugar should be consumed in moderation. With so many forms of sugar lurking in unexpected places, it’s hard even with the best intentions to limit your intake. Finding sugar on food labels is tricky, but not impossible. When you are armed with the right information and a willingness to read food labels, hidden sugars won’t sabotage your healthy eating goals.

It Only Takes A Moment

The next time you are in the supermarket just spend a few extra minutes looking at the labels of the products you buy most…you might just surprise yourself.

I’d love to hear from you about the most surprising product you found sugar or sugar alternative in. Leave me a comment in the box below.


The Confusing Problem With Sugar

Are you confused about the sugar you are eating?

It comes as no surprise that chocolate, fizzy drinks and sweet treats are full of added sugar. We all know that and as such many of us make the conscious decision to limit these sweet treats in our diets.   However, there are other surprising culprits that we might not associate with being a cause for concern. Many processed foods contain high amounts of hidden sugar and as we consume these foods daily  you could be unwittingly having regular sugar binges which could be playing havoc with your metabolism and insulin levels, making you store fat.

The problem with sugar is that it is highly addictive, we know now that sugar has the same chemical composition as cocaine, with the exception of nitrogen, so it is little wonder that when we consume a little we find ourselves  craving a little more then a little more.  You know how that story ends.

Thesedays more questions are being asked about where sugar is creeping in.  Consumers are slowly but surely starting to be switched on to these hidden sugars.

Just recently the photo at the top was published in a national newspaper to act as a guide for sugar consumption and on the face of it, it makes sense.  You can see clearly at a glance how much sugar is contained in various foods.  Some of which may or may not surprise you.

But this picture only adds to the confusion about sugar.  You can clearly see that for example a can of coke has less sugar than a mango.  Of course, this may be true but it ignores the fact that the coke is nutritionally empty, filled with chemical additives and preservatives which impact how our bodies systems work.  While at the same time ignores the fact that the mango contains antioxidants, fibre, vitamins and minerals.

So perhaps mixing fruits, whole foods, sweets and processed foods in the same guide is not as helpful as it could be.  Its suggests that the measure that they are presenting is the most impotent one…but of course this is newspapers…their job is to inform and to an extent educate…but mostly its to make stores that sell newspapers. If those stories add to the confusion about health then thats another story opportunity.  The only losers are the readers who buy into what they are reading.

We know that there is a lot of confusion about sugar in all its forms, we meet ladies on our Sugar Detox Retreat who have been trying to cut back on their sugar consumption but find themselves getting pulled back time and time again into the grip of the white stuff.  Intelligent, professional women who are trying to follow a healthy eating plan or support their weight loss but when they fancy a sweet treat are confused about what the best thing is to have.

Guides like this can encourage them make a choice that isn’t really a healthy one.  Follow this guide and you could be tempted to have a couple of Oreo biscuits and a can of Red Bull as your snack, after all they contain less sugar than the Mango!!  But of course once you have consumed the biscuits and drink your blood sugar levels will have spiked and crashed so quickly that you will be left feeling low and more hungry then before.  Then you end up eating more than you need.

Our ethos at The Body Retreat is that we should all look to Remove the Hidden Sugars in processed foods, Reduce the Elective Sugars in sweet treats and Rethink the Natural Sugars in whole foods.  We need to learn to listen to our own common sense about what we are eat and not blindly allow ourselves to be lead by guides, especially those printed in newspapers.

Stick as close to nature as you can and if you fancy enjoying a mango as part of a healthy balanced diet then enjoy every juicy bit of it.  (Maybe do your blood sugar levels and favour and have a little protein  or fat to help slow down the absorption and you really are onto a winner)