Over the past few months I have gradually cut out the majority of added sugar from my family’s diet. I kept a food diary for my girls over the course of a week to highlight to me where sugar was entering their diet. This helped me to cut out the extra sugar they were consuming which wasn’t all that obvious.
On my journey to cut out the sweet stuff I came across some shocking discoveries, sugar really is in almost everything we eat!
We all know chocolate, cake, biscuits, lollies, sweets, soft drink and the like are full of sugar but when we look closer we realise a lot more unexpected foods have added sugar too. Here are a few sugar shockers and some alternatives:
- Minced Garlic – this one surprised me. I usually buy minced garlic as it’s more convenient and stays fresh longer than fresh garlic. No more, I noticed sugar is added to minced garlic so I won’t be buying it any more.
- Pasta Sauce – most store bought pasta sauces are full of sugar
- Crackers – I continue to search for healthyish crackers as my kids love crackers. It’s amazing though, even crackers that you think are healthy (wholegrain) have sugar added.
- Yoghurt – avoid any yoghurt with flavour or that isn’t full fat – they are piled high with sugar.
- Condiments – mayonnaise, aoili, BBQ sauce, Tomato sauce, Oyster sauce
- Peanut Butter – unless it says no sugar then it’s overloaded with sugar
- Bread / Wraps – recently I bought wholegrain wraps, they have no added sugar. I shop click and collect so sometimes they replace an item if it’s not available. The wholegrain were replaced with white. I wasn’t surprised to see the white ones have sugar added to them whereas the wholegrain don’t.
Here are alternatives to the items mentioned above:
- Fresh garlic cloves, buy a few every week
- Passatta (check the ingredients to ensure no sugar has been added. Add you own garlic and herbs).
- Crackers – I have found that multigrain corn thins have no sugar added and Saos (although I wouldn’t usually buy what I perceive to be unhealthy crackers as they have no added grains etc – but they have no sugar added to them).
- Yoghurt – buy full fat plain greek yoghurt. Add your own fruit if necessary.
- Condiments – look for sugar free humus or no added sugar BBQ/Tomato sauce
- Peanut Butter – I only buy no sugar/no salt
- Bread Wraps – look for the no added sugar bread and stick to wholegrain wraps (although always check the ingredients!)
It’s tough trying to change the minds and taste-buds of kids (and adults) but one day at a time their taste-buds begin to change and they become excited about other things, like homemade sugar free ice-pops, raw balls and fruit. Check out my Healthy Recipes section for inspiration