One of my pet peeves is the sneaky way that companies market high-sugar, excessively high protein foods as health foods. We will tackle the protein problem later. For now, be wary of sugar and added calories in things like smoothies, granola bars, diet/protein drinks, and many other things that you’re suppose to believe make you healthier because they show a picture of a person on top of a mountain eating it.
One problem is the very high calorie content that can be in some of these foods. If you’re looking to lose or maintain a healthy weight, you could be sabotaging those efforts just by eating the very foods that you think you’re suppose to eat.
Take smoothies. They’re healthy, right? Well they do have fruits and veggies in them, which is great for getting those in your diet and overall health. However, eating liquid fruits and veggies (or any calories in liquid) does not make you feel as full compared to consuming the fruit and veggies whole.
Think about this: if I were to sit down and eat the contents of my smoothie whole: an entire banana, a half cup of blueberries, a handful of spinach, half cup of yogurt and some almond milk, wow I would feel really full – a lot more full than I would if I drank it!
But hey, if eating fewer calories isn’t a concern for you, then won’t worry about this point and keep on drinkin’ your fruits and veggies!
On to sugar…a medium sized “banana-berry” smoothie from Jamba Juice has 81 grams of sugar in it. Some of that is coming from added sweetener, and yes, some are naturally occurring sugars. But compare that to a can of coke, which has 39 grams of sugar (all added), and you can see that it’s a bit excessive.
A Nature Valley granola bar (one of the worst offenders when it comes to marketing a NON healthy food as a healthy one) has 12 grams of sugar in it, which is the same amount as a bowl of Fruit Loops. Nothing wrong with eating Fruit Loops, but you probably aren’t being duped into thinking they are a food that will improve your health.
This is not to say that you shouldn’t eat sugar. Everything in moderation. My advice though is to save the added sugars for things that are more like treats: for me, it’s my sugary coffee creamer or a mid-day brownie. What about you, where do you think you could cut out added sugars and what would you rather knowingly eat it in?
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