If you have concern for your health and maintain even a semi-healthy diet, sugar is likely one of the ingredients you try to avoid in your foods. Some studies indicate that no matter what type of sugar you consume - an alternative or a raw version - sugar is sugar. Fructose (fruit sugar), sucrose (table sugar), maple syrup, honey...the list goes on and they’re all sugars!
Sugar has many effects on the body - some more serious than others. It can increase cholesterol, interfere with the body’s ability to absorb protein, cause food allergies, contribute to diabetes, cause hyperactivity, cause drowsiness, contribute to cardiovascular disease, increase anxiety...the list goes on and there seems to be very few positive effects of sugar on human health - if any, although it DOES taste pretty good!
Some foods which boast health benefits actually have sugar hidden within -- sometimes more than we can imagine!
Yogurt is a good example of a “healthy” food which hides an unhealthy dose of sugar. An 8 ounce container of vanilla flavored yogurt can contain up to 30 or more grams of sugar...and even more if it is fruit flavored yogurt. While yogurt contains healthy fat and a fair amount of protein and calcium, the content of sugar may interfere with the body absorbing this goodness. Yogurt is a good staple in the diet, so to avoid that excess in sugar, opt for greek yogurt and think about buying the plain variety and adding your own fruit or granola for that extra flavor and texture. You’ll avoid sugar and benefit from a more natural treat.
Granola bars are considered a nutritious treat - and to some degree they are, if they’re not laden with added sugar. The average granola bar contains up to 22 grams of sugar. So after your work out and your post-workout snack you might feel energized from all of that sugar, but you’re likely to crash in a matter of a few hours as a result. Try making your own granola bars at home to avoid that added sugar content - many recipes (like this one) use honey or agave to bind the ingredients, which is easier on the body and won’t give you that sugar-crash like regular table sugar or high fructose corn syrup will. Also, be wary of “meal bars” - they boast convenience and will fill you up with protein and nutrients, but they also pack quite a lot of sugar. Your best bet? Read the label and avoid foods that contain more than 10 grams of sugar.
Obviously there are more foods to avoid if you’re trying to stay away from sugar - many of which might surprise you. Read the labels and perhaps reach for some raw nuts or fresh fruits and vegetables when you need a quick energy boost --- and hold on to the energy longer.
Stop by Pomegranate Market and pick up feed-your-happy-worthy snacks!