If you really want to lose weight, the best thing you can do is to completely eliminate sugar in your diet; you’ll be surprised with how it will completely transform your life. This might be a small change, but aside from losing weight, it can also help you avoid harmful diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and many more. However, the problem with sugar is that they could be hidden in some food items that we thought are healthy. That said, here are some of the hidden sources of sugar and how you’ll be able to completely eliminate them.
1.) Soft Drinks and Energy Drinks
You are probably aware that soft drinks are high in sugar, but chances are, you’re also thinking that the “diet” soft drinks are a healthier alternative and they don’t contain as much sugar. We beg to disagree. Basically, they don’t contain regular sugar, but high fructose syrup, as it’s used as a sweetener. Processed sweeteners, such as HFCS, as well as other isolated sugars, are sweeter than regular sugar, but also cheaper than natural sugar like honey. That means beverage and food manufacturers can earn more by using this on their products. This increases the intensity of sweetness, as well as the calories, resulting in higher chances of sugar dependency. No wonder why soft drinks can be so addicting.
Aside from carbonated beverages, energy drinks also contain sugar. Yes, you heard it right. A lot of people think that sports drinks are actually a healthy choice, especially during workout routines. However, if you’ll think about it, these beverages are made to keep the body hydrated, and give energy to those who have to perform intense workout routines. Sugar is a good source of energy as it can be quickly absorbed by the body. That means a standard bottle of sports drink probably contains around 32 grams of sugar and 159 calories!
That’s why most fitness experts even consider these energy drinks as “sugary drinks,” like soda and fruit juices.
How to Completely Eliminate: There’s a healthier alternative. Water. Drinking water wouldn’t only help you lose weight, but it’s also good for the skin and body.
2.) Frozen Meals
If you really want to reach your fitness goals, better stay away from frozen meals. These meals are filled with meat and vegetables; how come it’s included in the list? Well, frozen meat usually contains around 30-40 grams of sugar per serving and 500-600 milligrams of salt! This combination is very bad for you. Not only will you be suffering from high blood pressure due to a sudden rise in insulin levels, the amount of sodium can also have a negative impact on your kidneys.
How to Completely Eliminate: Instead of completely relying on prepackaged frozen dinners, why not make your own? Better yet, whip up some fresh meals whenever you can.
3.) Protein Bars and Meal Replacements
You’ll think protein bars and meal replacements are healthy because they contain fiber and some important nutrients. However, aside from that, they also have 4 types of sugar in them, giving them a taste that even kids love.
How to Completely Eliminate: Just make your own protein bars– there are a lot of healthy recipes online. As for the meal replacements, you can also consider some healthier alternatives, such as homemade smoothies, pureed healthy soups, protein in bone broth, other plant-based protein powders, and higher-calorie shakes for intensive workouts.
4.) Fruit Juices
Even the freshly squeezed juice contains sugar. Obviously, you’ll also be getting the juice from the fruit, and it’s a glass full of sugar, water, and some active nutrients. How about concentrated juices? Apparently, they also have synthetic sweeteners that are definitely bad for you.
How to Completely Eliminate: Instead of just drinking fruit juice, it would be better if you’ll just consume a whole fruit instead. That way, you’ll be getting all its nutrients from fiber and not getting just straight sugar.
5.) Sauces and Dressings
Try to read the labels of your favorite dressings and sauces– barbecue sauce, ketchup, vinaigrette, and so on. You’ll be surprised at their sugar contents! For instance, in a bottle of ketchup, 1/4 of it is sugar.
How to Completely Eliminate: Look for better options and one which is mustard, but also checks the ingredients for added sugars. Then there’s hot sauce, vinegar, salsa, and herbs and spices. As long as you’ll learn how to use them, you’d get the flavor you want without the added sugar.
Although this can be a very nutritious food because of the probiotics present, you have to consider that not all yogurt is considered. For instance, just like with other low-fat products, even low-fat yogurt has added sugar to improve the flavor.
How to Completely Eliminate: We are not saying that you should completely eliminate yogurt from your diet, however, instead of eating low-fat yogurt, natural, Greek, or full-fat yogurt are healthier options. Stay away from yogurt that has been sweetened with sugar.
Article was written & contributed by Lydia Mattern, NASM Certified Personal Trainer