Making healthy food choices is a part of every day but with so many mixed messages on what is healthy its hard to make the right choice. Often manufactures and marketing companies play up the health properties of their products to make them sexier and sell better.
Research shows that many of the food and drink products we consume every day use up our sugar allowance in one fell swoop while others, which on the face of it appear to be health foods actually exceed the amount of sugar you should have during the entire day.
The World Health Organisation has reported that we are now eating almost 4 times the amount of sugar than our grandparents , much of that sugar is hidden on processed foods. When fat and is taken out of many foods it is replaced with sugar or artificial sweeteners. So we find ourselves consuming more sugar than we intend.
Here are our Top Five Health Foods that are actually Sugar Traps.
Low fat and flavoured yoghurt in particular. Yoghurt makes a great addition to our diets, it’s a good source of protein and calcium. But choose wisely as you can find that many yoghurts on the shelves would actually qualify as a pudding rather than healthy snack. Yoghurt has naturally occurring sugars in the form of lactose which gives its own slight sweetness but most have added sugar to really stimulate our taste buds and keep us coming back for more.
Yeo Valley Fat Free Vanilla Yoghurt – serving contains 21gms or 5 tsps of of sugar
Rachel Organic Greek Style Yoghurt – serving contains 5gms or 1 tsp of sugar.
When choosing yoghurt always go for organic natural yoghurt and then you can add your own sweetness at home by adding a little raw honey, some fresh fruit or just enjoy plain.
Granola hit the shelves as the prefect healthy antidote to the boxes of sweet flakes that predominate the cereal aisles. Most granolas are based on whole grinas such as oats or rye combined with nuts and seeds they are a nutritionally packed option. But the problem is that on their own oats, seed and nuts taste bland.. they “need” a little sweetness. And so manufacturers add in dried fruits, honey, syrups etc Most add in natural sugars, but still sugar and often in large amounts.
The Food Doctor Fig & Cranberry Granola – serving contains 9.4gms or 2 tsps sugar
Dorset Cereal Simply Nut Granola – serving contains 5.6gms or 1.5 tsp sugar
The best granola you can eat is the one you make yourself at home, but if you are going to buy a branded product then use a half serving and sprinkle on top of some delicious natural organic greek yoghurt for a low sugar high protein start to your day.
Fat Free Foods
So often when trying to achieve a health goal we think that low fat means high health and that just isn’t the case. Natural fat in foods is good, beyond its nutritional benefits it adds flavour, texture and gives you a feeling of satiety. Remove this and you need to add in ingredients to replace these requirements and often that means adding in sugars, sweeteners, sodium, emulsifiers, thinking agents, bulking agents and gums..none of which sounds appetising but in the hands of a clever chemist they can create taste alchemy.
Hellmans Fat Free Salad Dressing – per 100 mls 11gms Sugar
Hellmans French Dressing – per 100mls 6gms Sugar
From cereal bars to breakfast cereals, fruit winders and gums and of course bags of dried assorted fruits are promoted as being 100% natural. Just because a food is labelled 100% natural doesn’t mean it isn’t loaded with sugar. When fruit is dried the water is removed and so concentrating the natural sweetness making them very delicious perhaps dangerously so. The problem here is portion size, you may eat one or two whole apricots but be able to eat 5 or 6 dried apricots.
Fresh Apricot – Serving contains 3.5gms or just under 1 tsp sugar
Dried Apricots – Serving contains 13gms or 3.5 tsp sugar
The key here is moderation, dried fruit is a great addition to a healthy diet but the first rule of fruit is to eat 1 – 2 portions of fresh seasonal fruit so that you are consuming the fibre along with the sugar and have dried fruit only 1 -2 times per week.
Often considered a better alternative to a chocolate bar when it comes to a snack choice. These bars seem to actively promote health, labesl whole grain, 100% natural,..even at times 25% less sugar all adding to the myth of being the optimum health. Similar to the granola the mix of whole grains, nuts and seeds is a great basis for a snack but it’s the sugars that make it taste good and that is what we want in a snack. Enjoy these snacks in moderation but don’t be fooled into thinking you are eating a low sugar snack
Eat Natural Brazil Bar – serving contains 20gms or 5 tsp sugar
Snickers Chocolate Bar – serving contains 20 gms or 5 tsp sugar
What health foods have you found that wasn’t good for your waist line or health? Leave us a comment below.