It’s been in the news, it’s been on social media and it’s been on our minds at Primal Cure HQ. This week we’re talking about sugar, one of the nation’s favourite snack, and how to avoid hidden sugar.
Sugar is everywhere
It’s come to the public’s knowledge this week that many yoghurts are actually full of sugar and should not be seen as a healthy snack, despite their misleading health claims This conclusion comes from a study led by Leeds University that researched almost 900 yoghurts on sale in UK supermarkets. Scarily, the research found that organic yoghurts were among some of the most sugary ones and contained more sugar than 100g of coke. That’s almost 9g of sugar based on a typical serving of coke!
In conclusion, it was claimed that only natural/Greek yoghurts could be classed as low sugar yoghurts making these the healthiest amongst other brands.
Of course, our Primal advice would be to choose organic and natural/Greek yoghurts, and if you’re a lover of added sweetness then mix in your own berries or add a teaspoon of cinnamon/ginger for extra health benefits. This way you’re not consuming any refined sugar and as we all know, this is crucial when living a Primal lifestyle.
However, with all the above said, it brings us to the most important question; How much sugar is hiding away in your food? In the UK, we consume over two million tonnes of sugar every year. Yet, we’re unaware that we’re eating the sweet stuff without meaning to. Scary, huh? Many companies will be caught saying that ‘everything in moderation’ is important, but if these companies are the ones guilty of hiding away the sugar in our foods, then how exactly are we meant to tackle the problem? Well, the answer is simple. We check the labels of absolutely everything we’re eating!
Companies love sugar
You’ll most likely find that some of the added sugar we consume comes from food and drink products that are claimed to be healthy. The chances are, however, that your favourite ‘low fat’ product has simply had its fat content replaced with extra sugar to help disguise it’s blander taste. Think of it this way: whatever ‘unhealthy ingredient’ has been removed, has been replaced in another unhealthy way.
Sadly, companies love sugar because 1) it adds flavour to their products and 2) it’s cheap. Foods that are guilty of this are granola bars, granolas, yoghurts, protein powders, protein bars, shop-bought snack bars and flavoured waters – to name a few. And because we’re unaware of the fact that we’re eating extra sugar in our so-called ‘healthy products’, it can lead to weight gain or a frustration of not being able to lose weight.
When we eat sugar, we are consuming empty calories. Sugar does not possess any of the vitamins and minerals our body requires and although we don’t count calories at Primal Cure, it’s important to note just how many of our calories come from empty ones. For example, if we have on average six cups of coffee a day, with two spoons of sugar in each, that’s 12 spoon’s of sugar a day. Now let’s say that each spoon has 30 calories, that’s 60 calories a cup. Now multiply that with 6 coffee’s a day and all of a sudden we’re consuming 360 calories of absolutely nothing.
Just like cigarettes and alcohol, sugar is addictive. Have you ever wondered why you suddenly start craving sugar as soon as 3pm rolls around? That’s because you’re addicted and it may not be your fault. If, for example, you’re consuming ‘low fat’, ‘healthy’ packaged foods that are anything but healthy, then the chances are that you’re having sugar with almost every meal. No wonder you’re addicted!
For the sake of our health, we advise you to avoid sugar wherever possible. Too much sugar can lead to many health problems including obesity, cavities, leptin resistance (constant hunger), diabetes, high blood pressure, fatigue, liver failure, pancreatic cancer, kidney disease and heart disease, to name a few.
How to avoid hidden sugar
As a Primal company, our top tip would be to investigate every food label. Any ingredient ending in ‘ose’ should in our opinion, come with a big health warning. As a general rule, we should be aiming to eat naturally and not artificially. We should only be looking to consume foods that our body has evolved to eat and therefore, we must avoid anything that has been altered or manufactured by humans since the end of the Stone Age.
Whilst food manufacturers are really clever and have all sorts of marketing spins, with a little bit of knowledge we can easily spot the deadly white stuff, even if it has been hidden well. On food packages, pretty much every word that ends in ‘ose’ is a sugar. Dextrose, fructose, galactose, glucose, lactose, maltose and sucrose are all simply different types of sugar. As well as watching out for the deadly ‘ose’, treat all syrups with the same contempt. They are all high in sugar, with tons of empty calories. Instead, eat as organically as you can and consume only natural sugar that mother nature blessed us with.