There are about 600,000 food items in a grocery store. Eighty percent of them have added sugar. Food is marketed to get you to buy it with words like “Reduced Fat,” “Diet,” and “Light.” When you take the fat out of food or reduce the calories, it still has the same amount of sugar. Three reduced fat oreos are just as bad for you as three regular oreos. Diet Coke is just as bad for you as regular Coke, in fact, the artificial sweeteners in diet soda makes your body crave sugar even more. So how do you navigate a grocery store when you’re bombarded with all these unhealthy choices?
It’s not easy, especially when you’re going completely sugar free. I almost started chewing some Orbit Sweet Mint while I waited for the guy at the deli counted before I realized it has added sugar. The biggest tip is to stick to the outside of the store- the food in the aisles is more likely to be processed and packed with sugar. When you do venture down an aisle, read the label! Unfortunately, you can’t just look for sugar. There are over fifty different names for sugar including galactose, panocha, dextran, and muscovado. My rule of thumb is if there is an ingredient in the list I don’t know I put it back, even if it isn’t sugar it’s something my body can do without. Also be weary of packages that try and advertise a “healthier” sugar. Whether it’s cane sugar, agave nectar, natural sugar, or anything else our body processes them all the same, and too much of them will lead to metabolic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
With all these rules is there anything left to buy in the grocery store besides apples and eggs? You bet! Here is what I bought on my last trip to the grocery store:
- Sugar Snap Peas
- Pepperidge Farm Stone Ground 100% Whole Wheat Bread
- Thomas Whole Grain English Muffins
- Turkey Breast (from the Deli Counter)
- Cottage Cheese
- Chobani Original Greek Yogurt
- Chicken Breasts
- Whole Wheat Pasta
- Nash Brother’s Trading Company Organic Pasta Sauce
- Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter
- Skim Milk
- Triscuit Brown Rice Sea Salt & Black Pepper Crackers
- Bigelow Green Tea with Pomegranate
- Feta Cheese
- Kikkoman Naturally Brewed Less Sodium Soy Sauce
- The Ojai Cook Lemonaise Light (Mayo)
Keep in mind, bread needs sugar for the yeast to rise, so I’ve given myself a little leeway. There’s nothing wrong with bread, but look for whole wheat bread. The first ingredient should be whole wheat flour. Stay tuned for sneaky foods you think are good for you, but are really packed with sugar, and some better alternatives!
All statistics and facts from Fed Up
Soeching, S. (Soeching, S., Olson, S., Marson, E., Lazure, K., Gibson, S., & Couric, K.).(2014). Fed Up [Film]. Atlas Films