We all have seen the commercials, the ads, and the supermarket signs: low-fat this, low-fat that! What they don’t tell us is that some of these low-fat items aren’t just low in fat but low in minerals, vitamins, fiber, or other health-promoting ingredients. And what many of these products do have is lots and lots of sugar. Some examples of low-fat items, without any other health-promoting ingredients but with lots of sugar include soda and candy. I use these two examples because they are one of the top items that are advertised and sold to consumers.
Most people do not realize that eating foods high in sure and calories can lead to weight gain. In addition, sugary foods often take the place of healthier foods. For instance, you might choose a soda over a glass of skim milk or snack on gummy bears instead of an apple. Don’t allow yourself to be fooled. These foods may be low-fat, but they’re also low-nutrition. Often, when food manufactures remove fat from cookies, crackers, and cakes they add sugar to make up for the flavor lost with the fat. The result is that many low-fat snacks provide the same amount of calories or more as the original product. So a low-fat banner on the package doesn’t give you a free reign to eat the whole box!
Get to know the glycemic index of foods that you eat. Foods with a low glycemic index cause minimal fluctuations in your glucose level and, therefore, are much more beneficial to your health.
Sometimes a little bit of sugar goes a long way. Perhaps trying one of these tactics will assist you in satisfying your sweet tooth.
- Instead of sugary cereal, try a bowl of oatmeal and top it off with brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup.
- Snack on applesauce and add some raisins for an extra kick of sugar.
- Instead of hard candy, why not a fruit? You can eat either fresh or dried fruit.
- Dark chocolate (made with 70% cocoa or more) has less sugar than regular chocolate and is sensationally satisfying. (But pay close attention to serving sizes!)
- Try yogurt that comes with fruit, or you can add fresh fruit to plain yogurt.
- Fruit smoothies make great snacks! Add a handful of fruits (like strawberries and blackberries), some milk (soy or skim), and a scoop of LiveRite protein. Mix in a blender, and in minutes you will have an explosion of happiness in your mouth!
There are a number of healthy ingredients waiting for you in the supermarket. It only takes time and patience for happiness and satisfaction to occur.
If soda is your number one love, and you are one of those people that make a big deal of dying if you don’t have a glass, can, or bottle of soda every single day, I have news for you: you will not die if you don’t drink soda! There are many alternatives to soda, which would satisfy your craving. If it’s the bubbles you crave, I have solutions for that, too:
- Seltzer water–This comes in flavors and is carbonated.
- Club soda–Add a splash of fruit juice for flavor. My favorite is mixing club soda, a splash of orange juice, a splash of cranberry juice, and lots of ice. I garnish it with an umbrella and a piece of orange. I call this my “I have gone to heaven” drink!
I challenge everyone to come up with new ways to satisfy their sweet tooth by eating healthy snacks that are not high in sugar. Get creative and have fun while enjoying your healthy lifestyle!
Trainer Tip by Christina Perez, personal trainer at Lucille Roberts Harlem.