Nutrition Talk: Are Doughnuts as Healthy as Our “Health” Foods?

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By Sneh Jaisingh
INDIA New England Nutrition Columnist
WALTHAM, MA–By now we all know that sugar is a drug and we all are addicted to this new cocaine. Sugar, a simple carbohydrate = energy. It’s not about red flagging sugar, it’s about how much and in what form one’s consuming.

We all know that candies, desserts and its cousins have sugar in it and we have learnt the art of “moderation” with desserts. Haven’t we? Now what if I tell you that doughnuts are healthy snack and you can consume it daily. Not only that, I am saying consume more than one/day. You would immediately say, she has lost her mind. Won’t you?

Yes, we all have become very mindful of the obvious sources of sugar, what we don’t realize is the “hidden” sugar especially in our so called HEALHY foods. In today’s fast paced life, we all rely on read to buy and consume food and this is where the corporations take advantage of.

Sometimes our health foods are loaded with sugar not little but a lot of it. The false marketing tactics, supermodels and celebrity endorsements (sodas, sports drinks, junk food) and use of “all natural”, “no added sugar” or “100% pure” labels are so misguiding. One falls prey to these, thinking that it’s safe to consume and then we wonder that why are my health food making me sick instead of healthy. Sad but true.

Let’s look into some of the most common “healthy” foods and compare it with our friend Mr. DOUGHNUT and find out if I have really lost my mind.

READY? Remember 1 tsp = 4 gm of sugar.

YOGURT:
Not picking on a specific brand but these are the most popular mid-morning or mid-afternoon pick me up health snack.

Remember 1 tsp = 4 gm of sugar then 20 gm of sugar = 5 tsp of sugar. YIKES! BE-AWARE!

BREAKFAST CEREAL

Don’t we all parents struggle to make sure our precious ones eat their breakfast before going to school? How about we feed them doughnuts instead? What you say?

JUICE
Aren’t Juice/Smoothies of this brand synonym to health food “100% natural” and “no added sugar”

SPORTS DRINK

It breaks my heart to see 90% of kids consuming sports drink and we parents buy that thinking it will keep our little athletes hydrated. Let’s check the most famous Gatorade and decided

BREAD ANYONE?

This is on an average.
Let’s do some math. 1 tsp of sugar= 4 gm meaning 3 tsp = 12 gm
A regular donught has about 8.5-9 gm of sugar. YIKES!!

THE WORLD FAMOUS LIFESAVING CEREAL BARS

Don’t we all have these in our travel bags?

Recently I had shared an interesting article on NutriAge: An Australian actor Damon Gameau was off sugar for three years, and then he decided to do a documentary That Sugar Film for which he ate 40 teaspoons of sugar every day for 40 days. He didn’t consume these 40 tsp by eating a candy bar instead, he consumed the so called “healthy food” that were actually packed with sugar. Something that I shared above yogurt, cereal bars, etc.

Now can you imagine what happened to Gameau after his 40 day experiment? In his words “By the end of the experiment I had put on 8.5 kilograms (18 pounds), developed pre type 2 diabetes and heart disease risks, had an extra 10 centimetres of the dangerous visceral fat around my belly and noticed an enormous impact on my moods and cognitive functions “Shocking outcomes isn’t it?

So have I really lost my mind or are the food industries making us go nuts? What is the moral of this?

• READ food label and be in the lookout for all these different names of •hidden” sugar, sometimes you will find more than 1 different sugar in one packet. How sneaky is that!

• Don’t be afraid to say NO to your kid, if they ask (even throw tantrums or say I hate you) for sugary foods on daily basis. You smile and keep calm.

• Moderation is the key. Typically a 80-20 ratio works.

• Be a SMART shopper and don’t fall prey to the marketing gimmicks.

• Make SENSIBLE choices.

• Eat REALWHOLESOME food instead, like fruits, Nuts, etc.

• Take CHARGE of your health.

(Sneh Jaisingh, MS, is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. She will write about nutrition, diet and weight loss. She works for Berkshire healthcare’s skilled nursing facility in the north-shore area of MA. Along with that she is also a free-lance Health &Lifestyle coach. She combines the best of nutrition science and holistic nutrition to help people get to the root of their imbalances and find optimum health. Her personal interest includes coaching younger generation helping them make better food choices. Jaisingh runs a blog on Facebook called NutriAge- Nutrition for all ages, which is followed by many around the globe.)

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