Hidden Sources of Sugar at the Backyard Barbecue!
By Sara Butler
Cookout season is finally here! But with it comes a whole new challenge: Making healthy choices at your next picnic or barbecue. There are many healthy things you can contribute or find at a cookout, but sugar is lurking in some not-so-obvious places. Here are some tips to help you make the healthiest choices possible!
Beware of Sugar
Consuming too much sugar puts you at an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic health issues such as obesity. That’s why it’s important to keep tabs on how much sugar you eat and to be aware of places where it is hiding in plain sight!
Part of eating at a cookout includes barbecue sauce, and it’s where a lot of sugar can be hiding. This condiment can have about the same amount of sugar as a glazed donut. Sugar is added to condiments like this because of flavor, but it also helps to preserve the sauce. When you go to the store for pre-made condiments like this, make sure sugar isn’t one of the first three ingredients on the label.
Ketchup in moderation isn’t a big deal, but be aware that the sugar and the calories that come along with it can really add up fast! Many store-bought ketchup varieties have high-fructose corn syrup as a main ingredient, and that’s simply sugar by another name.
Instead of pouring ketchup over something, use it as a dip. Or try your hand at homemade ketchup where you can control the amount of sugar it contains.
Anything with the addition of sweet relish will be high in sugar. Throw that on top of white pasta and you’re getting more than you bargained for! Try making your own pasta salad without relish but with mashed avocado instead. It ups the fiber content and makes it more nutritious too. You can also use Greek yogurt as a dressing base and whole wheat pasta to make it more filling.
Coleslaw may be made of vegetables, but don’t let that fool you! The sauce used on coleslaw is very high in calories and in sugar. In fact, the sauce probably has as much sugar a bottle of soda! Make your own slaw with a sugar replacement, such as Stevia, or another natural sweetener.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Mission Viejo, Calif.