You may be the type of person who routinely hits an afternoon slump at work and can only think about coffee or chocolate (or both). And when that happens, the thought of eating something sugar-free sounds about as appealing as eating your mousepad.
But luckily, there are some options for meals and easy snacks you can make the night before that have less than two teaspoons of sugar and sometimes, even no sugar at all. Dr. Brenda Watson, a naturopathic doctor and author of The Skinny Gut Diet, has come up with a weekly recipe guide for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks and is sharing them with us.
Using her own sugar calculating formula (carbohydrates - fibre / 5 = sugar teaspoons consumed), Watson wants to encourage Canadians to figure out how much sugar they're actually consuming on a day-to-day basis and where they can cut back.
"Start with removing obvious contenders like sugary sodas, fancy coffees, and baked or processed goods," she says. She also suggests eating non-starchy vegetables, low-sugar fruits, healthy fats, lean proteins and nuts and seeds.
Why focus on the sugar? Often, snacks filled with sugar don't have much to offer in the way of nutrients, especially those that fill you up. And while the World Health Organization (WHO) only recommends six teaspoons of sugar a day for the average adult, studies have shown Canadians consume up to 26 teaspoons of sugar a day.
Watson says the WHO recommendation, however, doesn't include sugar from starchy carbohydrates like pasta, bread, cereal, potatoes and corn. "Starchy carbohydrates actually break down into sugar in the digestive tract, which increases your body’s total sugar load, which triggers gut bacteria imbalance and leads to weight gain."
To keep things simple, especially in the office and snacking world, Watson has come up with the best snacks to eat during the day with little or no amount of sugar.