This weekend, we watched That Sugar Film. The documentary follows Damon Gameau’s experiment to discover the truth about sugar. He eats 40 teaspoons (or 160 grams) of sugar per day, mimicking the average Australian’s daily sugar intake. But he didn’t eat donuts and ice cream and candy bars. Instead he consumed “healthy,” “low-fat” foods like granola bars, fruit juice, and BBQ sauce. In 60 days, he gained 19 pounds, developed pre-type 2 diabetes, and severe heart disease risks, not to mention the 4 extra inches of fat around his stomach and the manic mood swings. I could go on and on, but really, you should watch it.
Not only was it incredibly informative, but it also reminded me of all the “healthy foods” that are actually loaded with sugar. I can’t tell you the number of times I have picked up something “organic” or “clean” and found one of the first ingredients to be cane sugar. So, we wanted to share with you a couple foods to avoid.
Yogurt is often considered a healthy breakfast option, because it is full of protein and live cultures; however, most yogurts are sweetened and flavored, making them full of sugar and basically turning them into dessert. Go for the plain, unsweetened version instead and fill it with your own fresh, organic fruit.
Granola & Granola Bars
I can’t even begin to tell you for how long I ate “Nature’s Valley” granola bars for breakfast, because I thought they were a healthy, easy, on-the-go meal. But, sugar is the second ingredient! (And I won’t get started on wheat being the first). Most granola bars are loaded with sugars, and eating these first thing in the morning is only going to lead to you wanting more and more sugar throughout the day. Avoid these snacks that aren’t only hard on your digestion, but also filled with ingredients you can’t even pronounce and swap them for a handful of nuts or an avocado. Plus, because of the healthy fats, you’ll feel and be full longer.
Whole-Grain and Gluten-Free Bread
Besides the fact that grains are really hard on your digestion, and bread is fullll of a lot of preservatives and other things that your body isn’t meant to digest, breads are also full of added sugars. Yes, even lots of gluten-free breads. Try Paleo Bread from Julian Kitchen. It’s made out of almond flour, coconut flour, egg whites, and water.
Apple juice and orange juice might seem like healthy drink alternatives. And compared to soda, they aren’t terrible. But when you juice fruit, you take out all the fiber and all that’s left is the sugar. Not to mention it takes about four apples to make enough for one bottle of juice. Eat one apple instead. And drink water!
I LOVE and by love I mean LOVE almond butter. I go through more than any one person should probably ever. And almond butter is actually quite good for you, the only problem is as it is becoming more mainstream, companies want you to buy their almond butter versus the leading competitor’s. So what makes their almond butter better? Sugar. I get so frustrated when I go down the aisle turning around almond butter after almond butter trying to find one where the only ingredient is “almonds.” Because that’s all you need. The same goes for peanut butter, cashew butter, and all the other nut butters I can’t think of right now.
Sugar is 7-10 times more addictive than cocaine. So, READ THE LABELS! Know what you’re putting in your body. And beware of names like “organic cane sugar,” “unrefined cane sugar,” “evaporated cane juice,” “fruit juice concentrate,” “brown rice syrup,” etc. because those are just fancy names for, SUGAR.