Label Reading: How Do I Know If This is Sugar Detox Approved?

Sugar is sneaky and is hiding in most of the foods we eat on the day to day if we’re not careful-take some time this week to read the label and ingredient list of foods you typically enjoy. Use my tips below and consider swapping out those sugary items for ones with lower or no sugar for the long term!

  1. Start With the Nutrition Facts
    • Check the label on the box/bag of food you’re eating->Check out where it says Total Sugars
    • If the total sugars is 0 this food item is sugar detox friendly (yay!)
    • If the total sugars and added sugars is >0 then this is NOT allowed on the sugar detox 
    • If the total sugars is >0 with no added sugars go to Step # 2
  2. Added Sugars vs. Natural Sugars
    • A food with 0 to 5 grams of total sugars and 0 grams of added sugars can be sugar detox friendly because this means the sugar is coming from NATURAL or plant based sources
      • For example, shredded unsweetened coconut flakes may have a few grams of total sugars due to the fact that the fruit itself contains some natural sugar
    • The take home message: A food with a few grams of total sugars coming from a natural source (like coconut, fruit, tomato) is sugar detox approved! BUT see Step 4.
  3. Read the Ingredients List
    • If you’ve identified that a food with a few grams of total sugar (0 added sugars) seems like a healthy one, double check the ingredients list for where that natural sugar is coming from 
    • Be sure to avoid foods with the following added sugar and sweeteners listed in their ingredients to stay sugar detox friendly:
      • Agave, blackstrap molasses, brown rice syrup, coconut sugar, corn syrup, date sugar, dextrose, erythritol, evaporated cane juice, cane syrup, fruit juice concentrate, high fructose corn syrup, honey, maltodextrin, maple syrup, monk fruit, palm sugar, stevia, sorbitol, xylitol
  4. Stick to the Serving Size
    • Keep in mind that serving size can be the key to success-you may be cooking with a hot sauce with 1 gram of added sugar-but if the serving size is 1 teaspoon and you typically use 2 T (this is not that much!) you could end up eating 6 grams of sugar!
    • Be mindful of foods that are easy to over-consume including snack foods like chips and crackers, granola’s and cereals, juices or sweetened coffees and condiments in general
      • Think about measuring out some of your favorite foods and snacks to familiarize yourself with how much you’re actually eating
  5. No label no problem
    • If it’s a fresh fruit or veggie without a label, you can skip this handout all together-it’s sugar detox approved! Limit fruit to 2-3 servings daily (1 serving=1 piece of fruit or 1 cup of berries) and spread out your intake throughout the day.  Eating MORE of the foods that don’t come out of a package or container is always going to be healthier!

Did some sneaky sugar sneak its way in? No stress! The ultimate goal of the sugar detox is to increase awareness around understanding what’s in the food you’re eating and how detoxing from sugar can make your body feel! It is not about punishing or getting down on ourselves. Move forward with positivity and use that awareness to feel empowered about your food choices!

Stay in the loop!