I recently discovered and fell in love 😍 with what I thought was a ‘health drink’…it was relatively cheap, tasted great and more importantly identified as a ‘smoothie’. Everything was fine and dandy until one of the smoothie flavors offended my taste buds with an overwhelming taste of sweetness 🤨. The nutritionist in me swung into action and belatedly started reading the nutrition label. I was shocked! This item served up in excess of 50 grams of sugar per bottle😳 🤯 it was a sugar smoothie! How many of us have fallen for a sugar trap expertly disguised as a health fix? Ginger this, ginger that, health shot this, health shot that 🤦🏾♂️ How can you identify a sugar trap? The simple answer is read the label. The how part is what needs further discussion.
The general rule of thumb if you can’t be bothered to dig deeper papa is this: anything with 10 or more grams per serving of sugar is a sugar trap 🪤. If you have a keen interest in your sugar intake then you’re looking at about 10 grams or less of sugar per serving in anything that you put in your mouth. Biscuits, snacks, juice etc - basically everything.
Integrity Check for Alcohol drinkers 🍷 🍺 🥃
Read labels and opt for low sugar mixers that serve less than 10 grams per serving. These usually cost more but your waistline will thank you. If your preference is beer find love in ‘lite’ beers 🍻. Alcohol is empty calories and I’ll translate what this means using words my brother Saviour threw at me: “You can’t decide to have a beer for energy when you start to feel tired.” Easy enough to understand, yes? The only energy alcohol gives you is in the form of liquid courage.
💡A tip for the lazy drinkers among us: use the fat secret website to check the calories of your favorite poison and know that every 100 calories you gulp will demand 20 minutes of walking on average. For more context, this means 6 pack castle lite drinkers need to put one leg in front of the other for roughly 2 hours to burn that off before belly dancing becomes a full time gig.
Integrity Check for Regular lads
Low sugar, diet and zero drinks 🥤 are better bets for your love handles. Most lower sugar drinks tend to have the tag of ‘low kilojoule’ soft drink. Look out for this. It won’t taste as sweet as ordinary soda but it has an acceptable level of sweetness that you can adjust to.
Integrity Basics for Nutrition Labels
You get one or all three of carbohydrates, protein and fat in varying quantities in whatever you put in your mouth. Get your eyes on the label and appreciate what’s written there. My beef today is with sugar so that’s what I want you to look for specifically and apply the 10 gram rule. If that’s under control then more often than not you’re not doing too badly.
💡Health gangster tip 😎: I’ve adopted a ‘small bottle, few sips’ approach. I only buy low sugar drinks in minis and I never finish the full contents of a drink in one sitting. I’ll tease my taste buds and then shut down the party till the next meal session. This hack alone has prevented me from using my belt as a waist trainer. It might help you do the same.
If anything purporting a myriad of health benefits tastes great or is labeled in a manner that suggest ‘health’ in a bottle or packet you should be suspicious. It’s all a bunch of marketing gimmicks. Lastly, remember to check expiry dates of products and if something tastes off, it probably is. Don’t turn yourself into a human grenade launcher 💩 🚀 or wonder why you gain weight when all you consume is ‘smoothies’.