Sugar from fruits, cereals, vegetables and milk is an integral part of the product. You might think, "Sugar is sugar. You may think what is the difference for a child, whether he/she receives it from the processed product or a natural source? "The difference is with what substances this sugar is "found ". Sugar in vegetables and fruits, whole grains and dairy products is a good company: minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients. It is important for children to grow up healthy and strong.
But sugar in processed food is friend with "bad guys": trans-and solid fats, salt, artificial colors and flavors, and preservatives.
In the world of food, they are like hooligans in the schoolyard.
Instructions: how to find and replace hidden sugar.
We buy a lot of products, where treacherous sugar hides. This list will help you calculate the "pests" that have settled in your refrigerator.
Many children like to dunk food in the sauce: without this it is not so tasty and interesting, besides, you can "sweeten the pill", if on a plate - boring vegetables or proteins. In sauces, loved by many children - honey, sweet and sour, barbecue, ketchup - often full of sugar. Usually, one teaspoon of sugar (4 g) is needed for each tablespoon of ketchup. Ketchup and sauces, in which a lot of sugar, you can replace with sour cream, homemade ketchup, yogurt and nut butter. Still useful are "Tabasco" and "Salsa" without sugar.
Be aware of how much sugar there is in the product
Look, what about the sugars written on the label of the products you buy, especially those that the children are asking for. It is very likely that in them you will find added sugar. Remember that 4 grams of sugar equals one teaspoon, and that's a lot for foods that do not have sugar at all: crackers, canned vegetables, sauces. Children can eat only 3-8 teaspoons (12-32 grams) of extra sugars a day, depending on the age.
Do not forget that sugar can be called in different ways.
Do not buy low-fat food
Fat-free food usually contains more sugar than in conventional varieties. Look at the list of ingredients, but generally speaking, it's better to buy for a baby food with normal fat content, but in less quantity, and not fat-free varieties with excess sugar.
Yogurts are not always useful
Because of excess sugar in most cases, yogurts are not at all such wonderful products as it may seem. In 225 grams of low-fat yogurt with a fruit flavor there are eight teaspoons of sugar!
Canned fruits and vegetables contain sugar too
Choose canned vegetables without adding sugar. We found extra sugar in the following products: canned corn, peas, zucchini, cabbage. Fruits in bottles, cans and individual packages usually contain some form of added sugar: syrup, fruit juice and so on. It is better not to buy fruit with any kind of syrup. Look for canned foods without sugar or with water, and if they are not, stop choosing foods that are sweetened with fruit juice.
Be careful with grain
Many cereal products, such as cookies, cakes and pies, are overloaded with sugar. And this is not only the standard sweets but also bread, biscuits, breadcrumbs, crackers, cereal bars, muesli, bars and ready-to-eat breakfasts.
Read the labels correctly
A list of ingredients will tell you about the product more than anything else on the package. The first specified ingredient is contained in the largest quantity, and the last - in the smallest. If sugar is in one of its many varieties among the first three ingredients, look for something better. Water is not considered as an ingredient, so if sugar is in fourth place, but before it is water - do not take this product.
What else will the product label tell?
Buy products in their natural form
If a child eats 37 grams (1/4 cup) of strawberries, he will get 1.8 g of sugar. And if you buy him a 100% fruit bar weighing the same 37 g, sugar will be as much as 29 g. If the packaging says "100% fruit", this does not mean that it has less sugar than a chocolate bar.
Carefully choose products based on tomatoes
Products on a tomato basis are an important source of hidden sugar. It is impossible to determine how much sugar was added, and how much is contained in the tomatoes themselves. To help you a little: if you do not add or remove anything, half a glass (120 g) of tomatoes will give 6 g of sugar. For comparison: half a glass (125 g) of tomato paste contains almost 32 g of sugar.
Gradually removing sugar from the diet, you make the food - your own and your children - more healthy.