In my efforts to reach my health goals, there is one opponent I battle more fiercely than all others.
This opponent lurks in every morsel, hiding among the sometimes misleading “serving size vs. grams per serving” conundrum, which foils even the most well-meaning herbivores. I stumble into his traps more regularly than I’d like to admit, and when he’s beaten me, I deal not only with the ill feeling he creates, but also with the depressing results they show on the scales. He adds two pounds here, five pounds there — sometimes all in the span of a day or two!
His name is sugar, and he is a Ninja Assassin of great skill and cunning. You should run from him.
One of the maxims of the Esselstyn diet is that you should watch how much fruit you eat, mainly to avoid having too much sugar in a given day, packing on pounds. I generally try to limit my fruit intake to three or four pieces of large fruit, such as bananas or oranges, or maybe a bowlful of a small fruit such as grapes, all of which I love!
Fruit, however, isn’t the weapon sugar uses against me, however. It’s always the goodies. I will occasionally allow myself such treats as Blue Bell’s Lime Fruit Bars, or their Mixed Berry Bars. Sometimes, I will allow myself some Haagen-Dazs Fruit Sorbet. On occasion, I like to eat Kashi’s Cinnomon Harvest cereal, or something similar to munch on when I’m watching a movie. All of these items are loaded with sugar (not just fruit sugars, either), and I try to compensate my fruit intake if I know I’m having these desserts.
The problem with sugar, however, is its almost supernatural ability to persuade and coax you into eating more and more. I can never settle for just a bowlful of the cereal, or just half a pint of the sorbet. I eat it — I inhale it, truthfully — but don’t feel satisfied because these snacks aren’t dense foods at all. So I eat more. And then I eat more.
And then I don’t feel good at all, and I’m going to feel worse in the next couple of days when I see the scale.
The ninja has beaten me again.
The last few weeks, I’ve really been working on keeping these sugary snacks out of my stomach. The best way to beat them is to avoid them as much as possible, filling them instead with something else. I really like fruit, and the more I eat it, the less I need the super sweet stuff.
There are also a ton of quick and easy recipes online to make frozen desserts with fruit, or healthy alternatives to things like ice cream.
And finally, as G.I. Joe used to say, “Learning is half the battle.” So I leave you, my four faithful readers, with this great article, entitled, “9 Surprising Foods With More Sugar Than A Krispy Kreme Doughnut.” Number three was a COMPLETE surprise, by the way! The article comes complete with a chart of how many doughnuts you would have to eat to equal each surprising food.
Sugar is a ninja…everywhere and nowhere. Tread carefully!