Healthy Tip: Avoiding Hidden Sugars
Reducing our intake of sugar can have a beneficial impact on our heart health and reduce our risk of cardiovascular diseases. Consuming some sugar in our diet is perfectly fine, and many healthy foods such as fruit contain naturally occurring sugars. However, it is the added sugar we need to be cautious of as this is usually what pushes our intake above healthy levels. We all understand that table sugar, soft drinks, sweets, and cakes contain high levels of added sugar and we can choose to eat these in moderation. However, many foods that we may not be aware of can contain high levels of sugar.
Yoghurt is a great source of calcium and protein, but it can also be full of hidden sugars. Opt for natural, unsweetened yogurt and avoid flavoured varieties, you can add fruit if you want to add some natural sweetness. It’s also a good idea to choose a live yoghurt, meaning it contains beneficial bacteria that our guts love, look for the word live on the packet.
Condiments & sauces
Ketchup is one of the most popular condiments worldwide. Most of us probably know it’s high in sugar, containing on average one teaspoon of sugar per one tablespoon of sauce. However, many other shop-bought condiments and sauces we don’t think of as sweet can contain high levels of added sugar. Always check the label when shopping and consider swapping your shop-bought sauces for homemade, added sugar free versions like this veggie-packed tomato sauce.
Although 100% pressed juice does contain vitamins and minerals, it’s devoid of fibre and very high in sugar. Swap your fruit juices for eating the whole fruit which contains lots of fibre which also protects the heart. Save the fruit juice for special occasions, as you would other soft drinks, and only drink it alongside a balanced meal.
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