Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sugar, Sugar, Sugar

In all honesty I think I eat a very healthy diet but since I’ve started this “no sugar for 30 day” challenge, I’m seeing that I have been eating more sugar than I realized. As I’ve said before on this blog, ice cream is an actual food group in our house (according to my husband), and most times I don’t eat much ice cream but lately it’s as if I can hear it calling my name from the freezer! Geez! And the chocolate Easter candies that are everywhere are chanting my name. I even dreamt about visiting an M&M factory. Not kidding.

Eating completely sugar free is impossible – well, maybe not impossible but extremely difficult. How did sugar become such a HUGE ingredient in our foods? It’s everywhere! If you want to eat a delicious salad for lunch that’s packed with veggies, great choice! Now, to find a salad dressing that isn’t loaded with sugar, preservatives and chemicals… good luck! I’m not an oil and vinegar kind of gal, but my hubby has concocted a mixture of olive oil and vinegar with a pinch of basil and I have to admit, he may have made me a convert.  

Now it’s one thing to make homemade cookies or anything homemade for that matter; at least then you know exactly how much sugar is being added. It’s quite another thing to look at food labels and see all the ‘added’ sugar to the foods we as consumers purchase.

Did you know that a 6 oz. Yoplait yogurt (strawberry) has 27 grams of sugar? That’s almost 7 teaspoons! Think about that! 7 teaspoons of sugar in that little container of yogurt. Would we even consider dragging the canister over and feeding 7 teaspoons of sugar to our kids before we headed out the door? Of course not! And yet yogurt continues to have this wholesome, good for you snack image. That much sugar doesn't sound like a wholesome anything.

So let’s skip the yogurt and eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast instead. Honey Nut Cheerios has 12 grams of sugar, about 3 teaspoons. And yet 3 Chips Ahoy cookies have 11 grams of sugar. That’s insane. Most parents would never let their kids eat dessert for breakfast and yet the foods that are produced and marketed are packed with the same amount of sugar, or more! Next time you go shopping for breakfast cereals, look up. Most cereals that are at eye level are there for marketing purposes. These companies pay big bucks to have their products placed there. Those cereals up higher may be more difficult to reach but may also have a shorter ingredient list and much less sugar in them. Cereals contain a wide range of sugar content so be sure to read the ingredients! In fact read the ingredient list on everything you buy!!

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