Thursday 18 December 2014

Avoiding processed foods and sugar

Siobhan Byrne

Published 12/08/2014 | 02:30

A glass of fruit juice contains the same amount of fructose as a glass of Coca-Cola
A glass of fruit juice contains the same amount of fructose as a glass of Coca-Cola

AT this stage in your challenge you may be finding the food difficult. Eating well balanced meals will mean preparing your food in advance. Simple pitfalls, like allowing yourself to get overly hungry, will simply mean you have less control over what you will eat next.

Having your food ready and eating every three hours will mean being less likely to gorge on other less healthy foods.

If you allow yourself to get hungry, sugary and processed foods will be one of the first things you will reach for, which may be in the forms of bars, biscuits, cakes, cereals and white breads, to name but a few.

Look for healthy snack options that can tide you over. Some of my favourite snack ideas include sliced apple with almond or peanut butter (that's the real thing with no added extras only nuts), raspberries, boiled eggs, corn or rice cakes with nut butter or kale crunchies. Finding the snack that you can enjoy is key.

Sometimes we can be mislead to think that certain healthily looking foods are good for us when they can contain quite high levels of sugar.

For example, 500 mls of fresh orange juice can contain up to 10-and-a-half heaped teaspoons of sugar, while a bottle of reduced sugar flavoured water can contain up to 16 teaspoons and a small low fat yoghurt up to seven teaspoons. If you think sweeteners are the answer there are other side effects that can come with aspartame including memory loss, nausea and temper.

Keeping an eye on the sugar quantity in foods you consume is crucial to any weight loss programme. One sure way to avoid adding extra sugar into your diet unnecessarily is to prepare your own foods at home.

It may take you time to find foods that work for you and can adapt to your daily life. You may not have access to a fridge or microwave while out and about but this shouldn't hinder you eating a well balanced, nutritious meal.

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