Unsuspected "healthy" foods that contain more sugar than a glazed donut

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Elia Tabuenca García
@eliatabuencagarcía

We often buy them precisely because we think they are good for our line, but these foods can be dangerous

Don't store avocado like this: it's dangerous

We often buy them precisely because we think they are good for our line and contain few added sugars, and instead these unsuspected foods are very dangerous for our glycemic level





If we want to lose weight or keep fit, it is important to pay attention to the daily sugar intake. According to estimates by the American Heart Association (AHA), women should limit themselves to no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day, corresponding to about 6 teaspoons; for men, however, the maximum recommended amount is 36 grams (about 9 teaspoons).

So we abolished the sugar from coffee in the office, we removed sugary drinks, candies and sweets from our cupboards and made way for products considered leaner and healthier. But beware: even what we consider 'dietary' can often hide pitfalls, and contain high levels of hidden sugars. Let's see some products to pay particular attention to.

Index

Yogurt

Yogurt represents the first obligatory stop for those who are starting a new and healthier diet, but it is good to read the list of ingredients and nutritional information carefully to avoid the risk of taking 'unwanted' sugars. According to a study conducted in the UK that analyzed eight categories of yogurt commonly found in supermarkets (including drinking yogurt, children's yogurt, Greek yogurt), Greek yogurt is the lowest in sugar of all other categories. Not only that: some of the yoghurts examined have been shown to have such a high sugar content that they are equated with a dessert at the end of a meal rather than a diet snack. These results should not surprise us, however: often sugars (or even salt) are added to products that are low in fat or calories to make them taste more pleasant.

(Read also: Yogurt: 5 criteria by which to choose a really healthy one)

Beware of 'hidden' sugars on ingredient labels, such as agave syrup, barley malt, molasses, rice syrup, caramel, dextrose, ethylmaltol, panela. The milk used to make yogurt naturally already contains a sugar (lactose) which must be included in the group of sugars consumed daily. Therefore, it is better to naturally sweeten the plain yogurt by adding fresh fruit: in this way we will also take in more fiber and water. If children do not like the small pieces of fruit in the yogurt, just blend them with an immersion blender.



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Energy bars

Once considered the exclusive prerogative of athletes and sportsmen, energy bars have now become fashionable - also for their ease of transport and consumption: they can be slipped into a bag and can be taken anywhere, and can be consumed without cutlery. There is no lack of references to line and health in the choice of slogans and images shown on the packaging of these products, but are they really good as they want us to believe?

Many energy bars, precisely because they were originally designed for those who practice sports and consume a lot of energy, have a high calorie and protein content; they also contain a fair amount of fat (from 3 to 5 grams per bar) and fiber. Finally, they are rich in added sugars. Again, it is important to read the ingredients list carefully: if it is longer than our shopping list, it would be advisable to leave the bars on the supermarket shelf.

A good compromise would be to make your own bars at home, in order to always have a quick, nutritious but at the same time healthy snack at hand. Here are some recipes you can start from.

granola

Even granola, the mix of cereals and dried fruit traditionally used for breakfast, can hide pitfalls for those who are trying to limit their daily sugar consumption. One and a half cups of granola are enough to reach the recommended daily sugar requirement for a woman (25 grams). Therefore, it is better to replace it with a mix of dried fruit, fresh fruit and seeds to fill up on vitamins, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids (very important for the health of our heart and digestive system) - or try one of these simple recipes to make your own granola at home.



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