Just this week, a client brought me an empty bottle of a new juice she found at Whole Foods and really liked. It was all natural, made from real fruit and comes in a convenient (and pretty) single serve bottle.
Is this OK? she asked.
So, of course I put my food detective hat on and took a look. It turned out their was exactly enough sugar (25g) in just one small bottle of this juice that she would have reached her maximum acceptable sugar for the day. (I found it particularly amusing that there were “1.5 servings” per bottle, when clearly, the majority of people would drink as one serving. This sneaky tactic can mislead consumers into thinking there is less sugar in the product than there really is.)
What’s even more interesting, is that you’ll note on any nutrition panel, most of the components, like fat or sodium, have a % daily value. But guess who doesn’t? Sugar. That’s probably because most products, including the aforementioned juice, would have to admit, they have as much or nearly 100% of the daily value!
Sugar, as you may have heard me mention before, is often the culprit in weight gain. The problem is, it’s no longer found just in dessert and juice, but in practically everything, from salad dressing and tomato sauce to savory meals.
All of this extra and hidden sugar can very well be the reason you’re not losing weight.
Unfortunately, you can’t just pick up anything at the food store, including Whole Foods, and assume it’s healthy.
Last week I took my clients to see the documentary Fed Up, and it really underscored this point. If you haven’t seen it yet, I encourage you to check it out, it’s truly eye opening.
The movie touched on a number of topics that I already teach to my clients, including the reason sugar is making America fat.
When it comes to weight loss, it’s really not about willpower, but rather knowledge. It is imperative that you learn how to read food labels and choose wisely. The maximum acceptable amount of added sugar a day is 25g, and many health experts, myself included, think that’s way too generous, considering how detrimental sugar is to our body. Besides weight gain, it causes pre-mature aging and accelerates cancer growth.
It’s also important that you actively begin to reduce or even eliminate your refined sugar intake. These are both things I teach my clients. Believe it or not, there are specific steps you can take and foods you can eat that will get rid of your sweet tooth, for example, doing a detox. There are also a number of healthier natural sugar alternatives that will wean you off refined sugar painlessly.
If you know someone who drinks fruit juice often, has a serious sweet tooth, or is just having trouble losing weight, share this article with them, they will thank you!
If you yourself have cut out sugar and saw the weight come off, please leave a comment below and share your results!
Maria Marlowe is a holistic nutrition and wellness coach who uses real food to help her clients improve their health, weight, and skin. She offers a healthy eating meal plan that teaches you how to batch cook, as well as one to clear up acne. She has ongoing group workshops both in NYC and online, and writes healthy and delicious plant-based recipes for her popular blog. She is also the author of the #1 New Release on Amazon, The Real Food Grocery Guide, the most practical guide to selecting the healthiest foods, without going broke, which has been praised by Dr. Oz and InStyle magazines. You can find her on instagram @mariamarlowe.