Do you know when you are eating sugar?
If you choose to put it in your morning cuppa, eat a tub of ice cream or scoff half a bag of grapes, you know you are eating sugar. But, what if I told you that more than half of the savoury items in your fridge, freezer and cupboards have been drip feeding you sugar without your knowledge?
I chose to dramatically cut down refined sugars and natural sugars as my healthy diet-lifestyle evolved. I thought I was really nailing it, until I checked the ingredients on a few staple foods that had formed the cornerstone of many of my healthy recipes. One or two of these finds are from way back when I first went completely sugar free for 20 days (a challenge I recommend that we should all take on) and others have been very recent discoveries that have really shocked me.
Sausages were one of the things that I gravitated towards when developing my low carb high fat (LCHF) menu. I naively trusted that something as quintessentially savoury as the good old pork sausage would be a safe choice. My big mistake was to assume that there was no place for sugar in a sausage. I now look for alternatives that do not have sugar on the ingredients list.
Dextrose Monohydrate is the type of sugar added to these sausages.
Dextrose contains a lot of energy/Calories and even though it is the last ingredient on the list (listed in order of abundance) you can do without it and there are sugar free products available. It is important to know what you are eating.
Waitrose Free Range Sausages
Back when I was eating a typical Western low fat high carb diet I loved making my “healthy” lunch wraps. Take a look at my early INSTAGRAM posts and you will see them all. Again, when I went 100% sugar free for 20 days I was appalled to find that Weight Watchers Tortillas contained sugar. There are other standard tortillas available that do not have sugar and they taste fantastic, so what on earth are we doing with sugar in tortillas? Nowadays I rarely eat them, but you can still enjoy the occasional wrap, especially when you have to eat out.
Weight Watchers Tortillas
I was especially upset to find that all of the smoked salmon in my local supermarket contained Demerara sugar. Wild salmon is one of the finest sources of fats and proteins that you can find in nature, if you are a meat eater you can benefit from adding a couple of portions a month into your diet. I’m certain that if you ask a fourth generation fish smoker up in the wilds of Scotland what they put in their salmon, they would say salt or nothing at all. Given that smoking is a form of preserving fish, there is absolutely no need for hidden sugars in this fabulous food. Look for the smoked salmon without sugar, it is out there and it is so good for you.
Ghillie & Glen Smoked Salmon
Mayonnaise has taken a bad rap from the low fat generation, but now that the world is coming round (or more accurately, coming back around) to the importance of fat in our diets, mayonnaise is a fabulous way to put good fats onto your plate. The problem is that the naughty food producers keep sneaking sugar into these good foods. Again, I thought that there would be no place for sugar in good old mayo, and yet last time I checked, there was only one brand of mayonnaise without added sugar on my supermarket shelves and the shelves are literally seven feet high. That is a lot of sugary mayo. The best answer is to simply make your own. I’ll do a post on this asap because it is embarrassingly simple; good oil, eggs, mustard, lemon juice, salt, pepper that is it.
Anyone trying to achieve a healthy body weight/body fat level, trying to maintain healthy blood sugar balance and most definitely diabetics need to know what is in their food. I was so surprised to find sugar in so many savoury, non sweet, non confectionary goods. If I were a diabetic, I might not have automatically assumed I would need to adjust my medicine for a sausage supper. Secret sugars can have a significant effect on blood sugar levels in all of us and maintaining stable blood sugar and insulin levels is important for all of our healthy lifestyles. So, next time you are shopping, in the supermarket or online, take a moment to check the label of your favourite foods and see if you can make some more positive changes to your ever evolving healthy diet.