People might consider candies or sweets as food with sugars. But, there are many foods that people would consider “healthy” that may actually have a lot of added or hidden sugar in them. Consumption of excess sugars is unhealthy in many ways. So, it’s important to be aware of foods that have high sugar content.
We usually associate protein bars with ‘health foods.’ These bars though have many sweeteners like corn syrup or brown sugar, that are high in calorific value. These bars are often tagged as low-fat health food, despite being high in both calories and sugar. If you are someone who cannot resist a granola bar, try choosing the ones with less added sugar or maybe try making one at home! It can also be used as a topping for fruit or yoghurt. Just keep an eye on the total sugars in the bar!
Many breakfast cereals like corn flakes’ or ‘chocolate cereals’ have as much as 10-20 grams of hidden sugar per cup. Always read the label before you buy breakfast cereal. Go for the ones that are high in fiber and don’t have added sugar. As breakfast cereals are consumed daily in many homes, it’s important to go through the ‘nutrition facts’ panel so you know what you’re getting. Also, remember that the total amount of sugars recommended for children will be lower than adults- so keep an eye on those portions.
Energy drinks are meant to hydrate and energize the body in a short period. Due to this reason, they have sugars of which we aren’t aware of. Drinks like Redbull, Monster do serve the purpose if we talk about ‘quick-energy.’, but aren’t great for our body in the long run.
Instant upma, poha and other ready-to-eat food items have added sugar because of which they could be classified as ‘not-so-healthy.’ Sugars and salts help preserve the food longer – which is why they’re present in generous proportions in most ready-to-eat foods. Try cooking at home whenever possible so you know what you are consuming. Again, checking the labels before making any purchase is the right approach for all consumables.
Canned fruits and juices
Sugar acts as a preservative and hence is added to canned fruits and juices to prevent spoilage. Canned fruits and juices also lack the nutrients that fresh fruits and juices provide. So we’d say that you include fresh fruits and juices in your meals rather than the canned ones. Opt for brands that don’t have too much added sugar. When selecting juices, read the label to see if it says “100% fruit juice” or if it is juices made from pulp/ concentrate with added sugars and water, along with preservatives.
Children’s Health Drinks
That yummy chocolate-flavoured powder we’re mixing in our child’s milk, to make it more palatable, we think it’s a win-win right? Our children love it, plus it’s got all those added vitamins to boot! Well, there’s one more ‘added’ thing in them that you probably didn’t expect. Added sugars. Yes, a lot of health drinks available in the market have a lot of added sugars. This makes them appealing to our children. It’s time we took a good hard look at the labels and see just how much added sugars your ‘health’ mix has. A healthier option might just be to offer them a home-made banana or strawberry shake.
Flavoured milk/ Yoghurt
It’s the same as the health drinks – we think we’re offering our children a healthier alternative. But, while the milk and yogurt by themselves are great for your children, the moment we add the flavours, there might be sugars added to sweeten the drink up. Again- you might find it a healthier alternative to serving your yogurt up with fresh fruit, raisins and nuts.
Anything consumed in excess is not healthy! Keeping a check on what we are consuming helps. Especially in this day and age when we tend to be overly dependent on readymade sauces, spreads, and juices. . It’s always better to t be aware of the daily sugar intake of the family. . Freshly cooked meals do go a long way in being conscious of what’s going onto the family’s plates. But if that’s difficult, look around for the healthy options – by making sure to check the nutritional information and ingredients of the products we buy.