We all know to avoid candy bars and donuts… but you wouldn’t believe some of the “healthy” foods sugar is hiding in.
Who doesn’t love the thought of a slice of pizza oozing with cheese, the smell of fresh pastries, the fluffy feel of a piece of cake on your tongue?
We’re living in stressful times… and the feelings of pleasure that food can bring are more precious than ever!
But beneath the taste, smell, feel and look lie hidden sugars that can contribute to troubling conditions.
If there’s one underlying cause of our sugar cravings, it’s stress.
When we start to become stressed, we experience higher levels of a hormone called “cortisol.”
Think of this as our body’s alarm system. It kicks in to alert us that we are starting to feel under pressure, and we need to manage the situation accordingly.
The consumption of sugar leads to the release of dopamine, which helps us experience a reward-like sensation. We start to relax.
To feel the presence of cortisol - to experience stress - is uncomfortable. So we start craving sugar to put an end to those symptoms.
When we consume sugar, our blood sugar rises. In order to counteract this, our body produces insulin - the hormone that lowers blood sugar.
The problem is that with such a quick influx of sugar, the body panics and starts creating an absurd amount of insulin.
Once this happens, our blood sugar drops to the fasting glucose level very quickly… but then keeps dropping, until we are well below our ideal state.
I’m sure you’ve heard of a “sugar-crash.” That’s what this refers to. All of a sudden, our body needs sugar again. We must restore our blood sugar, even though we consumed quite a bit of sugar just a while ago!
The relationship stress has with our food doesn’t stop once we’ve eaten - it continues into our digestive tract.
Stress completely changes our body’s ability to properly digest and utilize the food that we eat. Just a few of the side effects are:
Finding foods that haven’t been stuffed with sugars isn’t easy.
Sugar isn’t just in candy bars and donuts... It’s absolutely EVERYWHERE.
Recent studies have shown that as much as 80% of all packaged foods contain ‘added sugar.’ It may sound surprising, but the next time you’re at your local supermarket, pick up a can of vegetables. Beans, peas, tomatoes, any will do. Look at the ingredients. It will be there. Even in some of the ‘organic’ ones!
Other unusual hidden sugar sources include:
Some of you may know this one already - these sugars aren’t necessarily hidden, but you wouldn’t expect them to be there.
Granola is consistently marketed as one of the healthiest breakfast options. And to be fair, a blend of oats, nuts, and seeds does seem like the right way to start your day.
Unfortunately, there’s much more to granola than that.
With all of the molasses, evaporated cane juice, and corn syrup, for every ¼ cup serving you have, you’re likely consuming roughly 8 grams of sugar.
Mamma Mia! Who could believe it?
Your favorite store-bought marinara sauce can hold as much as 12 grams of sugar… in a serving!
If you’re unsure of how much that actually is - imagine that every time you had a bowl of pasta, you took a teaspoon and scooped 3 spoons of sugar into your mouth. Ridiculous!
Isn’t this supposed to be a savoury condiment?!
A tablespoon of ketchup contains about four grams of sugar.
Many of us use considerably more than a tablespoon of this popular condiment on burgers and French fries without realizing that the sugar from the ketchup exceeds the sugar found in store-bought chocolate chip cookies!