Cutting out snacks, making an effort to cut out takeaways and opting for the (slightly) healthier options in restaurants, and even limiting your alcohol intake frustratingly just doesn’t even seem to cut it these days.
Try as we might to be good, we are being thwarted in the form of hidden sugar in our foods.
To be fair, there’s plenty of delicious calorific foods and drinks you would expect to be high in sugar (because they taste so good).
But it is the ‘healthy’ food – often targeted at the health-conscious and children – that contains the invisible threat.
So if you’re wondering why the hapless hours sweating away at the gym aren’t having the dramatic effects on your waistline that you’d expected, check out these far from ‘wholesome’ foods that could well be undoing all your hard work…
If, like me, you tuck into this for breakfast – often commending yourself on your awfully disciplined and reserved choice, you’ll be indignant to know that these small-containers (that leave you starving and craving lunch by about 10 am), are filled-to-the-brim with sugar.
Even the so-called ‘low-fat’ options contain upon average 5 teaspoons of sugar. So whilst the info on the back may claim ‘120 calories’ overall of fat – an absolutely teensy amount in terms of your daily calorie intake – this is predominantly sugar, thus going straight to our poor hips. Naturally it’s not good news for our choppers either.
Solution: Opt for Greek yoghurt for all of the benefits without the sugar fix and double the protein.
2. Fruit Juices
In a similar vain, this is an often enjoyed breakfast favourite of those under the impression they are doing well by their body by supplying themselves with fruit and vitamins.
But our favourite fruit juices contain so much sugar that often-times we may as well be cracking open the calorific original Coke, absolutely dripping in 12 teaspoons of sugar per can or 108g in just 1 litre.
This is because a single serving of so-called ‘healthy fruit juice’ has been found to contain the same amount of sugar as three-and-a-half doughnuts or 13 hobnob biscuits.
…Maybe we should just stick to tap water and snack on fruit throughout the day to ensure we get our five a day – which contains healthy ‘natural’ sugar – without the dangers of harmful ‘added sugar.’
3. White bread
The sugar content in the average slice of processed bread varies – but it can be as high as 3g. Often ‘savoury’ does not mean low in sugar.
Always try to eat brown bread, the healthier option, whenever possible, and splash out on the slightly more expensive low-fat spreads for sandwiches, rather than full-fat butter and high-sugar mayonnaise.
Particularly aimed at children, especially with the cartoon characters and brightly coloured boxes, this unfairly marketed product contains bucket-loads of sugar. Arguably one of the most popular brands, particularly for kids and adults alike; Kellogg’s Frosties sugar per small bowl – just 30g serving – contains a staggering 11 grams of sugar.
Try switching to breakfast cereals that have wholegrains and that are lower in sugar (and check the salt and fat levels too). Porridge is also a great and filling alternative and you can add some lovely fruit to really jazz up your breakfast and start your day well.
5. Flavoured water
Water is good, right? Sadly, it depends what type. “Enhanced water” has vitamins added to it…but sugar as well. A 500ml glass of some brands contains 15g of sugar, the equivalent of nearly four teaspoons of sugar says Action on Sugar. Once again, it seems we may as well have been tucking in to calorie-laden treats like a glass of wine or coke…
5. ‘Slimline’ alcohol options
A slimline ‘G & T’ is always a popular option for girls, but you’d be amazed at how much sugar each tin equates to. Proseco, surprisingly, is allegedly less damaging to the waistline in that regards. We can’t clarify that one but don’t let us stop you…
6. Breakfast biscuits
‘Healthy’ cereal bars contain more than 40% sugar. Recent research revealed the staggering reality that they could be just as unhealthy as a croissant or chocolate bar.
According to consumer research group Which?, some cereal bars – including, once again, those aimed at children – contain more than 40 per cent sugar. The organisation looked at 15 popular cereal bars, and found that the worst offender was Kellogg’s Coco Pops Snack Bar, which contains 42 per cent sugar.