It is said that we know how to eat well; it’s just a question of doing it. It’s true. We really don’t need The South Beach Diet, or Weight Watchers to guide us on how to eat. They will gladly do it to enrichen themselves off of us. But let’s cast them aside, for we all know that eating loads of vegetables with responsible portions of meat and the virtual elimination of Franken-food middle aisle foods and refined sugar is the road to optimal health. But there are certain foods that we perceive to be healthy but in fact are not. Let’s cover some of these high sugar healthy foods.
High Sugar Healthy Foods
The first of the high-sugar healthy foods. Naturopathic Earth promotes dark chocolate as much as much as the Kardashians promote themselves. The cacao in dark chocolate is loaded with phytonutrients, antioxidants, healthy fats, and fiber. The problem is that most dark chocolate is loaded with extra sugar to make it taste less like dirt and/or to give it a fruity taste. A bar of 60% raspberry or toffee dark chocolate can have as much sugar as a soda.
Solution: Consume only 85-90% unflavored dark chocolate. Read our Review of Dark Chocolate Bars for more info. Green & Black’s is my recommendation.
The dairy entrée of the high sugar healthy foods. Yogurt, in particular those with live cultures like Greek yogurt, is a great, inexpensive source of probiotics. (Click HERE to learn more about probiotics & the microbiome.) You can buy a cup of Greek yogurt at my local mega-grocery store for as little as 90 cents.
Yogurt is also a good source of Calcium, Vitamin D, protein and fat. It also contains little lactose for those with dairy issues. The problem is that the large majority of people purchase flavored yogurt or those that come with granola and/or chocolate chips. This brings in much unneeded sugar.
Solution: Purchase only full fat, unflavored Greek yogurt and mix in your own fruits (e.g. blueberries), cinnamon, chia seeds, and a tad of Manuka honey. This way you are getting the fiber of the real fruit plus the enormous benefits of consuming cinnamon. (Click HERE to learn more about why cinnamon is so great. Read our Review of the Most Common Greek Yogurt Brands.)
Of the high sugar healthy foods, this one is the most acquired taste. Kombucha has become quite popular the last 5 years. As it should. Kombucha is fermented black tea, which means it boasts probiotic bacteria. It is in fact one of the healthiest beverages in the world. The problem, again, is sugar added. Many makers of kombucha are adding excessive amounts of sugar to get you to overcome the vinegar taste of this drink. As such you can find kombucha bottles that contain up to 30 grams of sugar.
Solution: Make your own kombucha. Check out the video below. Or buy kombucha brands that contain LESS THAN 6 GRAMS of sugar PER SERVING.
The trickiest of the high sugar healthy foods. Wait, I thought all fruits are healthy?! We all love trail mixes, even when we are not hiking at Yosemite. The crunchy, yet soft pieces of apricots, pineapple, mango, banana, raisins, and alike are tasty. But the reason they are packaged and remain crunchy, yet soft is because they are loaded with preservatives and added sugar.
Solution: Don’t eat dried fruit. If you must, there are some brands which don’t add sugar.
The most “dippible” of the high sugar healthy foods. Like the Parable of Jesus in which he divides half the flock into those that are going to heaven and those that are damned in hell, condiments are the same way. Half are good and healthy while others are loaded with sugar and industrial grade vegetable oils.
Good ones: salsa, mustard, vinaigrette. Those who should limit: Mayonnaise, ketchup, honey mustard, BBQ Sauce, and most heavy salad dressings. Yes, I know all the “good” ones are prohibited but you can develop a taste for dipping your fries in mustard.
The stinkiest of the high sugar healthy foods. We think protein bars are healthy simply because they boast 20-25 grams of protein. First of all, excess protein is converted to sugar through gluconeogenesis. Plus it causes stinky flatulence.
Secondly, just because it contains loads of protein doesn’t mean the other ingredients are healthy. Most protein bars have loads of refined sugar and preservatives. Some even contain aspartame or sucralose, two horrific artificial sweeteners, to advertise the fact it has less sugar. All bad.
Solution: Don’t buy them. Stick to natural sources of protein. And don’t stand behind people who eat too much protein. Or make your own homemade energy bars.
Of all the high sugar healthy foods this one will give you the immediate heart attack. Energy drinks are problematic for a host of reasons. We even dedicated a Holistic Health News episode to their toxicity. Click HERE to listen. Vis-à-vis this article, it is the excess sugar that is the problem. If you have ingested Monster, Red Bull, and alike, you know they taste like garbage. Pouring sugar in them makes them taste LESS like garbage.
Solution: Don’t drink them. Need energy? Drink coffee.
The purest of the high sugar healthy foods. Speaking of the Arabica bean, coffee is good for you. Don’t fall for the junk science. You can drink up to four 8-oz cups a day and enjoy the health benefits of coffee, like increased metabolism, cognition, memory retrieval, heart health, and alike.
Tea is no different. The “colored” teas that come from the Camellia Sinensis bush are the beverage par excellence (next to water). They boast loads of antioxidants and are great for burning calories and the other benefits associated with the coffee. Learn more about the “colored” teas.
The problem is that we adulterate our coffee and tea with horrible coffee creamers, sugar, and other additives. Think of your Unicorn Frappuccino and all the other kid-centric sweetened coffee drinks. These “Franken-drinks” brings in unneeded additives.
Solution: Learn to love your coffee and tea “black” or at the least add small amounts of Manuka honey, full-fat organic milk, and/or cinnamon.
These are just a few of the high sugar healthy foods that you might encounter on a given day. Honorable mentions would be flavored nut butters and hummus. Many of these foods you should try to incorporate into your life, like dark chocolate, coffee, kombucha; while other you should eschew like there is no tomorrow, like energy drinks.
Either way, we know what we need to do to maintain optimal
health vis-à-vis dietary habits.
#eatclean…..eat Paleo-inspired foods.
“If God didn’t make it….don’t eat it.”
I don’t know how many more hackneyed aphorisms I can throw out. Just limit your added sugar, preservatives,
and foods that don’t exist in nature.
Simple as that.