After discussions with many people, reviewing my clients food journals, and from my own experience, this blog post will give you insights into 5 top foods which you may think are healthy but would spike your insulin faster than you can say ‘no way!’.
No 1: Dairy Products, especially yogurt and milk. So take greek yogurt for example, a popular brand ‘Muller’ (a lower calorie claimed type of yogurt) and you decide on the lowfat version. Sounds like something you may put in your shopping basket if your on a health hunt right? In one container there is a whooping 23g sugar! Now i’m not picking purely on Muller, Activia yogurt per 110g there is 16g sugar and a one of the better ones, fage per 1 cup equals 8g.
Moving onto milk… So personally I don’t drink cows milk, I find my body functions, feels and looks way better without it. When you think about it, it is baby cows growth food. So take 400ml of semi skimmed milk, this equals 20g sugar. If your having lots of drinks with milk in, this can all add up, think lattes and cappuccinos. Alternatively you could have unsweetened almond milk which equals 0g sugar.
No 2: Cereal Bars, lets take the popular ‘Nakd bars’, tempting to pick up instead of that chocolate bar when hunger hits, but be warned. So per one bar (35g) there is a whopping 12.9g sugar. That’s actually more than a mini ‘Mars Bar’ (11.6g). Other Brands which sound healthy, ‘Nutri Grain’ (12g), ‘Go ahead’ snack bar (10g) and ‘Nature Valley’ snack bar (9g).
No 3: Cereal, how can it be that an adult (or child in fact) can have their day’s worth of sugar in one sitting first thing in the morning? Talk about failing before you even get started! So popular UK cereal brands which may appear the healthier options are Granola – Take ‘Jordans’ per 100g there is 17.2g sugar and ‘Crunchy Nut’ per 100g 31.7g sugar may I go on?
No 4: Smoothies (pre made in shops), lets take ‘Antio Oxidant Innocent smoothie’, which is not so innocent with one bottle having 44g sugar and the ‘Naked’ brand with 28g sugar per 8oz.
No 5: Stirfry Sauces, ‘Blue Dragon’ Stirfry Sauce, per 100ml there is 49g sugar, ‘Amoy’ per 2tbp equals 9.5g sugar and Sharwood per ½ jar equals 15g. Still fancy that ‘healthy’ stirfry?
Lets put this into perspective, if you were to ask for a coffee or tea with no sugar. You could of asked for 4 teaspoons to equal 16g! Imagine the taste, could you drink it? Rotting my teeth just with the thought of it. Eating sugar laden products means your blood sugar level rises quickly and this means you feel good in the short term (thanks to dopamine the happy brain hormone) but then it crashes leading you to crave more sugar.
A way to educate yourself about these sugars is to look on the table of contents and check how much sugars there is, usually located under ‘carbohydrates of which are sugars’ and check how many its per serving. Companies are sneaky and may only put the serving size for 100ml of a 1000ml bottle/jar so you have to get your school maths out and count how many grams is per product. You can drastically cut your sugar intake by making informed choices without even realising it.
It may be also worth mentioning that I too love sugary foods (remember that feel good hormone mentioned above :P) a few things I have done is to bake some actually healthy banana bread to take with me when i’m drinking coffee out, chop fruit and sprinkle on top cinnamon and have 1 square of dark chocolate. I also believe that saying no to unhealthy sugar foods is like strengthening a muscle, the more you say and do it, the easier it is to resist next time.
Hope this is helpful! Please leave any feedback in comment section below.