Sugar Ain’t So Sweet

“The politics of sugar are the same as the politics of tobacco….” Sugar Crash – Documentary

 

After the documentary “Sugar Crash” on RTE last week – sugar is definitely the topic of the moment. Cutting back on sugar was 100% a game changer for me in term of body composition. And after watching the one hour special (it’s still available on the RTE Player) it’s evident that cutting back has also been good for my body on the inside. I used to eat jellies DAILY because my misconception was that they were FAT FREE and therefore a good choice when “on a diet”. This was ABSOLUTELY NOT the case. One small roll of 12 jellies contains 36g of sugar. And what’s the RDA according to the World Health Organisation – 25g. You’d exceed it in a single packet. In Ireland we are one of the highest consumers of sugar in the world – consuming on average 24 teaspoons PER DAY when the recommended level is LESS THAN 6 teaspoons.

 

So what can you eat if you fancy a “treat” without all those unwanted grams of sugar? Here are a few of my favourite snack options.

1: Low Sugar Protein Bars
Quest
Nutramino
Yeah Nutrition
Fulfil Nutrition
2: PRO-YO (Protein Yoghurt)
• 3-4 Tblspns Liberte or Fage or Chobani 0% Fat Greek Yoghurt
• 1/2 Scoop Whey Protein (flavour of your choice)
• Small handful of chopped nuts

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and DEVOUR!
For an extra treat as a clean dessert idea – you can add some toasted oats, blueberries, nut butters or raw cacao sauce. Delicious! Tastes like a crunch corner or angel delight!
3: Kale Crisps

• Fresh Kale
• Low calorie spray
• Seasoning  (According to your own taste! I usually use Cayenne Pepper, Himalayan Pink Salt, Chilli Powder)

Preheat oven to 200C
Tear the leafy part of the kale from the husk and place – spaced out – on a covered oven tray.
Spray with low-calorie spray (you can use melted coconut oil but it’s harder to coat the kale).
Season with spices of your choice.
Turn off the oven and place the tray inside to sit in the heat for 5-6 mins.
Keep an eye as they can burn quite quickly. Once the kale has become crispy it’s ready to serve!

 

4: Corn Cakes, Peanut Butter/Almond Butter and 1/2 Banana

 

 

And it’s not just the food you have to be aware of. Obviously the crack down on fizzy drinks is also a hot topic at the moment with 30g+ of sugar per 330ml can. But alcohol is also a massive culprit. Previously I wrote an article about the sugar content in alcohol – here’s a little recap on the sugar content of some of our favourite tipples. (All the values listed below are sourced online – as most companies do not list the nutritional information. In each case the number is a good indication of what each drink contains.)

Glass of White Wine –  110 calories 1.4g Sugar
Glass of Red Wine – 109 calories 0.8g Sugar
Bottle of Vodka Mix (eg. WKD/Smirnoff Ice) – 185 calories 14g Sugar
Glass of Champagne – 113 Calories 2.5g Sugar
Glass of Prosecco – 69 Calories 1g Sugar
Pint of Beer – 233 Calories 17g Sugar
Pint of Cider – 210 Calories 23g Sugar
Bottle of Beer – 139 Calories 11g Sugar
Bottle of Light Beer – 94 Calories 4g Sugar

Putting this into perspective – a pint of beer is ALMOST as calorific as a standard size bar of Dairy Milk chocolate which comes in at 280 calories and 30g of sugar. Consume 5 pints of beer and you are racking up 1165 calories and an incredible 85g of sugar.

If you are interested you can read the full article HERE.

 

Sugar seems to be sprinkled everywhere. My biggest piece of advice to you is to become a LABEL READER. Take time with your grocery shop over the next few weeks. Look at the sugar content in the pre-packaged foods you buy (listed under the main carbohydrate value). Buy as many FRESH foods as possible and steer clear of the sugary madness.

 

If you are unsure how to check for the sugar value on a particular item – the easiest way is to look at the CARBOHYDRATE value. Underneath there is usually a value for “of which sugars” or simply “sugars”. That is the important number you are looking for. Make sure you read “per portion” or “per bar” etc  and not “per 100g” as that is another mistake people make.  Here’s a little example.

 

nutrition_facts1

 

 

I hope you can take a little something from this post. Be sure to follow me on INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK for more ideas, motivation, tips and tricks.  I’m also on SNAPCHAT: Leanneacmoore

 

See you there,

Leanne x