You’re all set: a brand-new pair of comfortable runners, new active wear, membership in that fully equipped gym. It’s important to keep focused, so you decided to pack some snacks for the day: protein balls, cereal bars and sports drinks. They are a quick and easy way to keep the cravings away. There’s just a small detail going unnoticed: the fact that sugar can appear in many forms. Be careful! The hidden sugars could be ruining your new & healthy lifestyle.
In fact, there are over 50 different words that can be used instead of ‘sugar’. They could be hiding behind some trendy names, such as ‘coffee crystals’, ‘agave nectar’ or ‘rapadura’.
Sucrose, glucose and fructose are the most popular forms of sugar
Often found together, they’re added to processed foods for many reasons: to enhance certain flavours, improve the texture, increase the shelf life, just to name a few. What most people don’t know is that behind a single protein ball, you can find, on average, around 40g of sugar – or about 2-3 tsps per ball. Even if these snacks are claiming to be ‘refined sugar-free’, they still contain some form of sweetener.
Get used to reading the labels and make yourself familiar with many other hidden sugar names to avoid not only cavities but also the risk of heart disease, diabetes and all kinds of inflammation. If any form of sugar appears between the first ingredients on the list, be aware that that delicacy is high in sugar.
Fructose: is Fruit Good or Bad for Your Health?
Let’s be honest: it’s nearly impossible to avoid sugar altogether. Every form of sugar, in excess, can cause harmful health effects, including fructose. However, the amount of fructose in an apple or a banana is much lower in comparison to adding agave nectar to your tea – a sweetener considered healthy.
Beyond that, fruit is incredibly filling, full of nutrients and fibers. Because it takes a while to eat and digest it, it’ll give you the energy you may need between meals or before working out. Be cautious: dried fruit and fruit juice, even if freshly squeezed, are not as good as the fruit in its whole form as their level of sugar is much higher, making them easy to overeat
Our final tip: there’s no need to avoid natural sugars unless recommended by a doctor. However, we advise you to read the labels and make an informed and conscious choice. 🙂