THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NATURAL AND ADDED SUGARS
Sugars are naturally found in fruits, vegetables, milk and grains. Artificial sugars - that are often added to foods, drinks and condiments to help with preservation - may increase the risk of heart disease. Added sugars and increased added sugar consumption is linked to the obesity epidemic in the U.S. Added sugars have also been linked to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, inflammation and diabetes.
Up until this year, food and beverage companies have been able to group together sugars and added sugars on nutrition labels. You may have noticed in the past few years companies have began conforming to the new rule, listing out both naturally occurring sugars and added sugars and sweeteners. This is a great help in identifying where added sugars may be lurking in your food and drinks. Sometimes added sugars and sweeteners can be found in foods where you least expect it! Check out the list below for some common culprits of added sugars and sweeteners.
Classic spaghetti and tomato sauces can be loaded with added sugars, which is surprising because many of us don't think of spaghetti as a "sweet" dish. If you'd like to avoid this added sugar, try making some tomato sauce on your own! It's not too difficult and can greatly reduce your intake of unnecessary additives.
Yogurt is known for being a gut-healthy probiotic, however some brands load on the added sugars. Even some of the healthiest branded yogurts can have up to 5 teaspoons of added sugars in one serving! When shopping for yogurt, be sure to read the label and see what you're really getting.
There's a reason why the New York Times recently called granola a "junk food in disguise." Granola is marketed as a health food, but you may be better off eating a couple of donuts. It's crucial to check the labels for the sweeteners used in granola as well as any added sugars in the mix-ins. If you're looking for a much healthier, low sugar, vegan recipe try ours!
Buying salad dressing is convenient and easy, but store-bought salad dressings can be loaded with unnecessary sugars, sweeteners and preservatives. We recommend opting for homemade when possible! Salad dressings don't need to be complicated and a fresh dressing can liven up an otherwise dull salad. Try our lemon vinaigrette today!
Oatmeal is a great source of potassium, fiber and iron. However, flavored instant oatmeal can be unnecessarily sweet, with up to 3 teaspoons of added sugars per serving. If you love oatmeal, try to avoid instant packets with added flavors and sweeteners. Classic oatmeal only takes about 5 minutes to make on the stove and your body will thank you!
Juices & Smoothies
Juices and smoothies (even cold-pressed, organic juices) can have added sugars and sweeteners! At O2 Living, we never add any sugars or sweeteners to our organic, cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juices. Living Juices only contain naturally occurring sugars from fruits and vegetables, unlike many other juice companies. You can rest assured that you're getting a healthy, no-sugar-added juice when you drink Living Juices!