Tag Archives: whole foods

10 Foods that are High in Sugar

Following on from my Added Sugars post, I thought I’d point out 10 foods that are relatively high in sugar.

You’d be surprise to find out that some of these foods are assumed and/or claimed to be “healthy” and good for you.

As you’re reading this post, keep this in mind (for context):

1 tsp of sugar = 4g

1 can of coke (350mL) = 10 tsp of sugar


1. Low fat yoghurt

Yoghurts with the right strain and amount of probiotics are good for gut health. They are also a good source of protein and calcium.

With the low fat trend still trending, many are made without the fat.

BUT yoghurt without the fat would not taste as nice. And so manufacturers tend to add quite a bit of sugar to make up for it.

Low Fat Greek Natural Yoghurt344668_1

100g = 6.7g of sugar

1.7 tsp of sugar

A2 Protein Whole Milk Natural a2_1kg

100g = 4.1g of sugar

1 tsp of sugar

I know that it is not a MASSIVE difference but just so that you are AWARE. And this is just one example.

Also, check out this study about FULL fat and LOW fat dairy products.

Solution:

Go for all natural Greek yoghurt or plain yoghurt. READ the LABELS and INGREDIENTS list. Sometimes, these natural plain versions have added sugar!

Ideally, you’d be looking at <15g of sugar per 100g.


2. Breakfast cereals

For many, breakfast cereals are a staple. It is a fuss free and quick breakfast option.

If you eat them every day, your choice of breakfast cereal is crucial. Most breakfast cereals are loaded with sugar (especially those that are marketed at children) and contain very little fibre, protein and other nutrients.

You’re basically having sugar for breakfast. A big NO-NO.

Kellogg’s Coco Pops

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1 cup = 14.4g of sugar

3.6 tsp of sugar

Solution:

Get up a little earlier and cook yourself a nutritious breakfast. Some eggs + avocado +/- toast will provide you with some protein, carbs and healthy fats to power you through your morning!

If you must have your cereal, choose those that are high in fibre, made from 100% wholegrains and with NO/least amount of added sugars.


3. Fruit juice

Whole fruit is good for you. Fruit juice contains fruit. So, it must be good?

I’d definitely think twice about that! Yes, fruit juice is made from fruit BUT without the fibre from a WHOLE fruit. It will still contain the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals from the fruit but it also comes with a huge hit of SUGAR.

Just think about it: How many oranges would it take to make a glass of juice?

Easily more than 5 oranges. It is so easy to drink 1 glass of orange juice (made from over 5 oranges) than to actually EAT 5 oranges! That’s a lot of sugar in a tiny glass!

Without the benefits of eating a whole fruit, sugar from fruit juice is still sugar. The body processes it the same way. Shockingly, the sugars in fruit juice can be as high (or higher) as those found in a can of coke.

Love potion from Juice Labstatic1.squarespace.com400mL = 43.4g of sugar

10.9 tsp of sugar

And look, it is actually given “5 health stars”.

Solution:

EAT the whole fruit! If you MUST have your juice, please make sure that there are no added sugars. And if you order fruit juice from a stall, ALWAYS ASK FOR NO ADDED SUGAR. Most places add some form of syrup/sugar in them!


4. Smoothies

Like fruit juice, smoothies are always assumed to be “healthy”. Yes, they can be!

But many commercial smoothies (bottled or from smoothie bars) are sweetened with fruit juice (apple juice, orange juice), flavoured yoghurts, sorbets, ice cream, honey or some other sweetener (natural/artificial).

Boost Juice Passion Mangoboost1

Med size (450mL) = 61.3g of sugar

15.3 tsp of sugar

 Solution:

Make your own smoothie at home! 1 cup of Strawberries + 1 Banana + Cacao powder + Milk/Yoghurt + Ice (optional) = YUM!

If you’re going for a commercial smoothie, check the labels and ask what’s in them! And a reminder to watch portion sizes.


5. Granola

Granola is made from rolled oats and combined with other foods like dried fruit, nuts, seeds and sweetened with either honey or other sweeteners.

With the right ingredients, granolas can be a good source of unsaturated fatty acids, iron, fibre and protein. But most commercial granolas are filled with sugar.

Five:am Apple Crumble Granola7807531 cup = 18.4g of sugar

4.6 tsp of sugar

Solution:

Check that there are no added sugars apart from the sugars found in dried fruit. Opt for the ones with the least amount of sugar per 100g. I’d also avoid those with some form of “vegetable oil” added to them.

As granola is more dense than cereal, use it as a topping (instead of having a whole bowl) on your yoghurt, fruit or even in your smoothie!

Alternatively, you can make your own!


6. Protein bars

With the word “protein” attached to these bars, surely they’re a healthy option?

Most of these bars are just candy/chocolate bars in disguise. They are usually loaded with sugar, low in fibre and with some protein.

Power Bar Peanut Butter Caramel Protein BarProteinSnack_Peanut-Butter-Caramel1 bar = 12g of sugar

3 tsp of sugar

Just for comparison, 2 large eggs contain around 25-30g of protein! Now, THAT is a high protein snack!

Plus, just look at the ingredients in this bar:

CHOCOLATE FLAVORED COATING (SUGAR, FRACTIONATED PALM KERNEL OIL, COCOA POWDER, WHEY POWDER, NONFAT MILK , SOY LECITHIN, VANILLA FLAVOR),CARAMEL FILLING (CORN SYRUP, SUGAR, CREAM, FRUCTOSE, PALM OIL, SALT, NATURAL FLAVOR), MALTITOL SYRUP, SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, PEANUTS, SOY CRISPS (SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, TAPIOCA STARCH, SALT),OATS, OLIGOFRUCTOSE (FROM CHICORY ROOT) , PEANUT BUTTER, WHEY PROTEIN ISOLATE, FRUCTOSE SYRUP, CANE INVERT SYRUP, CALCIUM CASEINATE, AND LESS THAN 2% OF: PEANUT OIL, NONFAT MILK, SOY LECITHIN, WATER, SUGAR, SALT, NATURAL FLAVOR, SUNFLOWER OIL.

Look at all the different forms of sugar!

Solution:

Have some good ol’ hard boiled eggs for a snack. They are loaded with protein, vitamins, minerals, choline (in the YOLK) and carotenoids (in the YOLK) without the excess “junk”.


7. Sauces

Sauces, especially savoury ones, are probably the last place you would think of that would be high in sugar. Check out the sauces below!

Hoisin Saucemed105801_0710_hoisin_sauce_vert1 tbsp = 7.2g of sugar

Tomato Sauce

Ketchup1 tbsp = 5.2g of sugar

BBQ Saucethumbs_bbq_sauce

1 tbsp = 11.4g of sugar

Oyster Saucezhzhenka4-300x3001 tbsp = 4.8g of sugar

If you’re a sauc-y person, it is easy to consume a lot of sugar in one meal!

Solution:

Read the labels. Go for the ones that have no added sugar/least amount of sugar. Also, be mindful of HOW MUCH you’re having!

Try seasoning your food with herbs, spices, olive oil, lemon and vinegar. SO GOOD!


8. Sports drinks

Another question that I often get is “which is the best sports drink?” or “do I need sports drinks?”.

My standard answer would be: unless you’re an elite athlete training at high intensity levels every day (+/- under the sun), you don’t need a sports drink.

Sports drinks are designed to hydrate and fuel during/after intense and prolonged bouts of exercise. As such, most have a lot of sugar that can be easily absorbed and used for fuel.

If you are consuming them outside of this context, you’re just drinking unwanted sugar. Sports drinks are just another form of sweetened beverage and have been linked with obesity [1].

Gatorade81oG+Clh3nL._SY450_

600mL = 36g of sugar

9 tsp of sugar

Solution:

WATER! If you find it hard to drink plain water, squeeze some lemon and add some ice. Alternatively, have some fresh coconut water!


9. Flavoured milk

Milk on its own is highly nutritious and a good source of protein and calcium. Flavoured milk… not so much.

Along with the good stuff, flavoured milk comes packed with added sugars!

Oak Chocolate Milk 20160713055518OAK_Chocolate_600ml_3D

600mL = 63.6g of sugar

15.9 tsp of sugar

Solution:

Plain milk.


 

10. Iced blended coffees

Just look at the numbers…

Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino665e04ca364a4253a5b2c1fb9b514917Grande (16oz) = 61g of sugar

15.3 tsp of sugar

Solution:

Stick to the usuals: black coffee, latte, cappuccino etc. They are also a lot cheaper. 😉


I hope this was helpful!

Please note that I have NOTHING against these brands listed. Just providing some examples.

I am not saying that these foods do not have a place in your diet or that you should avoid them at all cause. BUT I do want you to be AWARE of foods that have hidden sugars.

Most people say that they do not have a sweet tooth or eat desserts, yet wonder why they struggle to lose fat. Well, you may very well be eating these foods that could have the same amount of sugar in desserts!

Also, be careful of “health claims”. As you can see, some of the foods listed above are sold as health foods.

I always say FRESH IS BEST! But if you are buying packaged foods, ALWAYS check the nutrition label and the INGREDIENTS list!

Let me know if you have any questions!

xoxo

Back to Back: Cyberjaya Firefighter Night Run & Great Heart Charity Run

Saturday:

I was psyched to run my first night run since two years ago (Energizer Night Run 2012)!

I had only decided on Sunday (the week before the run) to participate in the Great Heart Charity Run. I was in doubt as to whether or not I could do a back to back race. Experience told me that I couldn’t but I thought I’d give it a go.

As this was my first back to back race weekend, I kept my mileage low (rested and cross trained more than usual). I had to alter my Friday night sleeping pattern to be ready for the night run on Saturday. I usually stay up till 4-5am (Saturday morning) just because it’s the weekend.

I had planned to sleep before 12am (the night before) but I had to meet up with Gillian and Swan. They totally messed up my sleeping schedule (Haha!). Totally worth it though, they were my Friday night happy pills!

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Corn for breakfast!

The whole of Saturday was spent lazing around in bed, eating and spending time with the family. Family time was extended beyond what I had allocated and I came home at 5pm. I had to be at Cyberjaya before 6.30pm to collect my race pack and I knew that I would not have made it. I still had to prepare my post-race meal, get changed and leave to Cyberjaya (25mins away). I was glad that Chee Wai was there early and he collected it for me!

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We had 2 hours to kill. Met up with a lot of other runners and got a chance to catch up with them.

Warmed up my muscles at 8pm. The race started on time at about 8.30pm, after the 21KM pack.

The starting is always the hardest – navigating through the crowd. The road was narrow and slightly wet from the light evening shower. I was trying to avoid running into a lady in front of me that I dashed a little too quick to the side and got in the way of Chee Wai who was directly behind me. There was a mini stumbling sesh and I thought that the both of us were going to fall flat on our faces. Luckily, we got our grip and we were off to the front of the pack. Looking back, it was pretty funny!

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Thanks to Aron for this picture. He was on his bike and he called out to me during the race. Always good to see familiar faces!

I knew I was up front so all I had to do was to maintain the pace and speed up towards the end. The roads were long and wide. I kept running in the middle of the road because I wasn’t familiar with the race route. I didn’t know where to turn and I remember at one point, I zig-zagged 4 times in a row. I had to ask the marshals at every turn for directions.

The race would have been slightly better if there were proper signage and road marshals to direct the runners. The roads were also not completely closed and every now and then cars would zoom by.

Kevin waited for me 500-600m from the finish line. When Kevin told me that there was nobody behind, I slowed to a jog before sprinting the final 100m of the way (to conserve energy for the next day, although I don’t think it made any difference).

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After crossing the finish line, Wai Ching (kid to my right) was the first person to shake my hand to congratulate me. Such a sweet kid! I was still too frazzled from the run to give a proper response.

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Warmed down properly to avoid post-race muscle soreness. Wore both compression calf guards this time. They fit like a glove. So warm and snug. They work wonders for my calf muscles, protecting against muscles soreness and leg fatigue.

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Post-race smoothie: Oats, frozen banana, Greek yoghurt and chia seeds. Just throw everything into the blender and start blending away! I didn’t measure out the ingredients. I just went with whatever I wanted.

Nutrient breakdown:

Banana- Rich source of potassium which helps lower the risk of muscle cramps. It is also a good source of manganese, dietary fiber and vitamins B6 and C.

Coconut water- Coconut water is the ideal post-workout drink packed with electrolytes, minerals and simple sugar to replenish hydration levels within the body. It is also a rich source of potassium.

Greek Yoghurt- Greek Yoghurt has nearly twice the amount of protein compared to regular yoghurt. It is a great post-workout snack as your body needs the extra protein to repair worn out muscles.

Chia Seeds- It boasts 20% protein, having 5 times more calcium than milk, 7 times more vitamins than oranges and 8 times more omega fatty acids than salmon. Need I say more?

10376842_10152496580426388_5993620772211893420_n

Thick, creamy goodness! Give this recipe a go!

Had my recovery smoothie 30mins later to replenish lost calories. I don’t usually prepare post-run smoothies but because I was going to run the next day, I had to make sure I was properly fed.

10406574_10152496580316388_2125631252791040804_n

My recovery meal was a tuna-avocado-egg mash. I had no appetite but I had to force feed. It was so good but so hard to chow down. I kept everything in the cooler bag so it was still fresh and cool when it was time for me to savour them.

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Chooi Fern was so hyper! Like a charged up bunny!

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The boys monkeying around.

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It was supposed to be a group picture of all the top 5 runners. Don’t know why they didn’t get up on stage so the both of us had our syok-sendiri moment. Congrats to Sylvia too! 🙂

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We left after the prize giving ceremony.

I had exactly 4 hours of sleep before I had to wake up for the next race.

Sunday:

The alarm had to wake me up this time. I was dead tired.

I felt energized and pumped as soon as it hit me that I had to run. Oh, the wonders of adrenaline.

Got dressed and had my breakfast in the car. I was so hungry. My stomach felt like a black hole. Breakfast didn’t fill me up but I couldn’t eat too much before the run.

We got there at about 6am. Collected my race pack and we went to McDonalds to chill. Met up with Shu Wei but Daniel was nowhere in sight.

By 6.30am everyone proceeded to the starting line. The race was supposed to start at 7am so I was puzzled but I followed the crowd anyway.

To my surprise, they flagged us off at 6.40am. I didn’t even have time to decide whether or not I wanted to wear my calf compression guard.

The push off from the crowd felt a lot harder. My legs felt jelly-like. Thank God my muscles were not sore, just overworked. I guess post-race fuel is very important for your body to begin repairing and replenishing worn out muscles.

I should make it a habit to prepare post-race smoothies in the future. A little bit more effort and time but oh so WORTH IT!

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Daniel was late because he dropped his key into the toilet bowl. Gross! He had to pick them up with his bare hands! As he ran passed me, I told him the lead pack was about 1.5KM ahead. He sped up and manage to come in 3rd!

This was supposed to be my “recovery” run. So, I took it easy towards the end. As usual, Kevin ran the last 500m with me. 🙂

He was there to support me and drive me to both races (in fact, almost ALL the runs). Thank You! 🙂

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I was the first female runner to arrive. WOOHOO!

Double champion for my first back to back race weekend. What a great end to my week!

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Post-race treats! Double load of ICE CREAM! *pats back*

 Share your back-to-back race weekends (if any)! I’d love to hear them!