When following a weight loss program, most people find that resisting sweet temptations is one of the most difficult things to adjust to and often opt for 'diet' products as a low calorie option to satisfy the sweet craving as well as stay on track with their progress.
So how can something that tastes so sweet be so low in energy? Well the reason is that it is artificially sweetened.
Artificial sweeteners are designed to be sugar substitutes as a low calorie alternative to sugar. The marketing line being that if you eat less energy these products are less 'fattening'. Sugar substitutes are found in diet sodas, yoghurt, sugar free lollies, gum and sweeteners. The additives they contain mimic the flavour of sugar but with virtually no useful energy and as they are many times sweeter than table sugar, smaller amounts are needed to create the same level of sweetness.
- Check your food labels at home and remove or reduce everything that has on its label: Aspartame, Sucralose Equal®, NutraSweet® or Splenda®
- Use natural sweeteners like agave nectar, xylitol, stevia or raw honey.
- Avoid products that are labelled "low calorie," "diet," "sugar free," or "no sugar added" since they all likely contain sugar additives.
OPTIONS TO REDUCING THE AMOUNT OF SUGAR
- Check food labels for sugar and buy the lower sugar option
- Aim for less than 15 grams sugar per 100 grams on labels
- Use fruit to sweeten recipes rather than sugar
- Add vanilla or cinnamon for sweetness without KJs
- If you eat dessert, have fruit
- Drain syrup off canned fruit
- Sweeten wheat biscuit breakfast cereals with sultanas or raisins, if you need it
- Eat bread instead of sweet biscuits
- Gradually reduce sugar in tea and coffee
- Mix spirits with diet mixers
- Eat the fruit rather than drink the juice
Other names for sugar on food labels
If the words below appear first or second on the ingredients list or there are several listed the food is likely to be high in sugar.
Brown sugar, raw sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, honey, fructose, fruit juice concentrate, glucose, invert sugar, lactose, dextrose, maltose, syrup, sucrose.
Sugar contains less energy than fat, but it can add up easily in your diet, especially if you are eating more low fat, sweet foods.
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.