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Too busy to stop now
February 15, 2008 - Kathie Evanoff
I’ve fallen behind in my blogs because it was such an extraordinarily busy week, but hopefully I will be catching up this weekend and getting back on track.
I previously mentioned that I try not to buy anything with more than seven grams of sugar per serving. It isn’t mentioned on the food pyramid Web site, www.MyPyramid.gov, but it is something that concerns me, particularly the abundance of sugar that is hidden in many foods. Sugars in processed and other foods is mostly in the form of high fructose corn syrup, but the amount is high as well in foods that are deemed healthy and natural.
When I read a label on a food product, I don’t pay much attention to the total carbohyrates listed, but instead look for the sugar grams. I also look at the ingredients to see what order sugar falls in the list. On these lists, ingredients are written in the order of their amounts. If whole wheat is listed first, that means there is more whole wheat in the product than anything else. If sugar, in any form, is listed second, that means the second highest amount of anything in that product is sugar. Ingredients such as fructose, sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, pure cane sugar, or cane syrup are still sugar.
Sugar is a simple carbohydrate. It contains no nutritive values whatsoever and is added to the product as a sweetener or as a preservative. In most low-fat or non-fat products, sugar content is beefed up to replace the flavor that has been taken out with the fat.
It annoys me to see packaging and advertisements that tout, low-fat or fat free, yet it never mentions the sugar content. You could be getting as much as 45 grams of sugar in that breakfast cereal bar, but it’s fat-free. As far as I am concerned, that doesn’t make it a better choice.
Tuesday and Wednesday, as I mentioned, were extremely busy days and I didn’t get a chance to update this blog on either day, so I am doubling up here and probably tomorrow. It’s a good thing I have my photos because by now, even I’ve forgotten what I ate those days.
I didn’t take the time for a photo of my breakfast Tuesday, but you can see it Wednesday morning because I had exactly the same thing both days. In fact, I had the same breakfast a few more times this week. It is that good and it really kept me satisfied until lunch.
I started both days with a bowl of Kashi Cinnamon Harvest cereal. They are just like shredded wheat with a hint of cinnamon flavor. I like that they don’t get soggy in milk as I hate soggy cereal. I topped the cereal with a small, sliced banana and a cup of fat-free milk.
Tuesday’s lunch was tuna salad with romaine lettuce on a ciabatta roll with a serving of low-sodium rotini chicken soup. It was a cold day and the soup really warmed me up. I also had a container of Dannon Lite & Fit yogurt. I like this yogurt, mainly because it is one of the lowest in sugar with only seven grams. Most other yogurts I’ve seen, including the increasingly popular Greek yogurts and Fage brand, are very high in sugar. Fage isn’t sold locally, but when I checked the nutritional information on the Internet, I was astounded at how much sugar is in one small container. I added the yogurt to my lunch because I knew I wouldn’t have time for an afternoon snack and wanted to be sure I didn’t get hungry too soon. Tuesday is generally a late day for me and without a snack in the afternoon, it helps to have a bigger lunch to hold me over. Sometimes a busy day just means I’ll have to skip a meal and the next meal may be later than anticipated. I usually try to plan ahead for these moments, but it isn’t always possible. I have found that by eating mainly whole grains and complex carbohydrates, as well as trying to get all food groups in with each meal, I am not as hungry in between as I might be otherwise.
Tuesday’s dinner was another bowl of soup, but I didn’t mind because it was still very cold and I needed something to warm me up. My husband made a pot of potato and vegetable soup and I topped it off with a serving of Kashi wheat crackers. The outside of the box says they are “tasty little crackers” and they are. The hearty soup, crackers and milk were plenty to carry me all the way to bedtime, but I needed an extra fruit so I had a sliced pear (not shown).
Wednesday’s breakfast was the cereal again and you can see it here. I always measure exactly one-half ounce of nuts – in this case walnuts – and chop them just bit for over my cereal. The extra oils and protein in the nuts ensures that I will be good to go until lunch.
Lunch was sliced white-meat turkey with a slice of farmer cheese and spinach leaves on whole wheat bread, a half-cup container of applesauce and water flavored with a packet of sugar-free raspberry tea powder and an orange.
I was able to get an afternoon snack in on Wednesday, so I treated myself to about a tablespoon fig and hazelnut spread on wheat crackers. I bought this spread last fall in a little roadside stand in upstate New York and hadn’t even opened the package until now. It was quite good and was low in sugar (only 3 grams per serving).
By dinner time, my husband had the baked sweet potato “fries” started before I got home and once there, I dry “fried” a salmon filet in cooking spray over medium heat. I cut off a three ounce portion and put the rest in the fridge for another meal. I also added a nice helping of steamed broccoli and shoe-peg corn and about two tablespoons of low-fat Ranch dressing for dipping the potatoes.
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Tuesday breakfast (not shown) and lunch: 4 ½ ounces grains; 2 cups milk; 2 ½ ounces meat; ½ tsp. oils; 3/4 cups vegetables; 1 cup fruit; 30 discretionary calories (mayo)