Diet / Sugar / Weight Loss

GetReal Get Healthy Week 9: Sugar Shacks

Hi-oh Challengers! Welcome to Week 9. This week, we’re learning all about sugar and where it lurks. Ketchup? Peanut butter? A frozen chicken entree? These are all sources of hidden sugars. On top of hiding, sugars come in many different forms. Some sugars occur au naturale in foods (think fruits=fructose) and some are not so natural (think that orange “drink”=high fructose corn syrup). What to do? One must know thy sweetnesses! How so? Read on…

Sucrose: aka table sugar (aka granulated sugar). Sucrose is usually derived from sugar cane and beets. It’s the most common form of sugar kicking around people’s pantries and companies use it a lot in food stuffs. Random fact you may not already know: the stuff is naturally white meaning there’s no bleaching agent used when the sugar is being refined.

Glucose: Glucose is fuel for the cells in most living organisms. For us peeps, the body breaks down carbohydrates to get glucose for energy.

Fructose: Also known as fruit sugar, fructose is a naturally occurring type of sugar almost twice as sweet as sucrose, which is why manufactures love it for use in processed foods. Honey, fruits and some vegetables are sources of fructose. A diet with too much added fructose, over and above the fructose that we get from fruits and vegetables, is related to obesity.

High Fructose Corn Syrup: A highly refined commercial sweetener derived from corn. Researchers are divided on the role of HFCS in human obesity, but soft drink consumption is strongly associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Brown sugar: Often referred to as soft sugars, brown sugars are produced by crystallizing the golden coloured syrup or by mixing molasses syrups with pure white sugar crystals.

How to Find the Sugar in Your Foods:

1. Scope out the ingredient list. If any of the items listed above are added, you know there’s sugar added. Even syrup, corn syrup, dextrose, invert sugar and cane juice all mean sugar was added.

2. Read the nutrition facts label – check under “Carbohydrates” and look for “Sugar”. Tip: if the sugar is “naturally occurring”, it’s not a huge concern (in most cases). You’ll find them in products made with milk (like, um, milk) and fruit.

Here’s your Do It, Post It task for this week:

Do It: See if you can have ONE day of eating without have foods with added sugars (to be clear, naturally occurring is ok).

Post It: Did you find it hard? Were there any foods that have sugar added to them that surprised you?

– A. & M.

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12 thoughts on “GetReal Get Healthy Week 9: Sugar Shacks

  1. Pingback: GetReal! Get Healthy Challenge | The GetReal Gurls

  2. Ack! So today I already ate some added sugar – had regular peanut butter, a cookie my coworker gave me and a granola bar that had rice syrup in the ingredient list. The good thing is my lunch is sugar- free – salmon, broccoli and potatoes. Perhaps tomorrow should be my sugar-free day!

  3. This is a hard challenge. Already had sugar today. Since I am a ketchup fiend, it will have to be a ketchup free day. Something tells me it’s not going to happen.

    • oooh ketchup is a hard one! What do you use ketchup on? It may be a case of just not eating those foods for a day? or less often? I think you can do it if you put your mind to it! We will be posting some sugar-free snack ideas soon so stay tuned 🙂

  4. Wow! I agree with Lisa and Christine…this is a hard one. I was thinking today could be the day but it’s not. All-bran buds have added sugar and I had some this morning. Also, so does the bread I have…and I thought my lunch was free (spinach salad, veggie burg) but there’s some sugar in the dressing for my salad. Man. This is tough…maybe tomorrow…

    • That’s right Erin – some challenges are easier than others 🙂 Don’t get discouraged. The good news is that you are able to identify what foods have added sugars which is a great start. Some things may have to be made from scratch like Rob suggested (below) or like the post last week on easy foods to make from scratch…like salad dressing. Keep us posted!

  5. This one took some time for me to get the hang of, about 2 weeks of constantly monitoring and making odd changes. Peanut butter was the easiest, as you can just get the Natural stuff for about a buck more, and its made with nothing but peanuts, and tastes better too!

    The next step was to cook everything myself. Nothing but fresh my friends (Stupid hard to do with a busy lifestyle). I controlled how much salt was going in, how much sugar, and what kind of sugar, and even so much as which spices were going into everything, including salad dressings. I’ve since slipped on this, but I plan to get back into it after christmas and new years (The most difficult time to eat properly in my opinion).

    • Hi Rob – you make some excellent points:
      1 – natural peanut butter DOES taste much yummier
      2 – this is the hardest time to keep your diet on track :SS (does all celebrating have to equal food??)
      3 – cooking from scratch is the best way to avoid all the stuff we don’t want to be eating so much of, like sugar, salt and fat!
      Thanks for the tips and keep ’em coming 🙂

    • aww shucks! Well if bread is the only one you got caught on, I’d say you’re doing pretty good! Let us know if you are able to find a bread with no added sugar. I’ll look next time at the grocery store as well and keep you posted!

  6. Pingback: Snacking Sans Sugar | The GetReal Gurls

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