When I started following the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, I had to make some changes. One of things I quickly realized I had to do was give up certain brands of foods that contained unhealthy ingredients, such as GMO oils, toxic additives, and excessive sugar.
As it turned out, going “DIY” with certain foods was the best thing I could have done for my bone health.
Today I am going to expose the hidden sugar in seven foods, many of which are erroneously touted as “healthy”. And I also give you a delicious yet quick-to-prepare low-sugar sweet treat with (believe it or not!) alkalizing veggies.
So let’s get started!
What’s The Problem With Sugar?
Savers are well aware that sugar is toxic to your bones. It is not only acidifying; refined sugar robs your body of vital, bone-nourishing vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C and calcium, suppresses your immune system, and even damages your brain.
Because sugar preserves food and makes it more appealing to our taste buds, it gets added to many processed foods (as do a host of other toxic chemicals).
Sadly, many of these sugar-rich foods are not desserts or obvious sweet treats. In fact, they are the kinds of foods that people often turn to when they want to eat a health-conscious diet. This is why the sugar content of these foods is considered “hidden”.
7 Sugary Foods That Sound Healthy
Let's take a look at these 7 key foods so you can avoid them when you shop for bone-rejuvenating foods at the supermarket. (The actual amount varies among brands, so the key is to read labels for actual grams – more about label-reading later.)
1. Salad Dressings
What could be healthier than a salad? Unfortunately, commercial salad dressings can undermine the bone-healthy ingredients in your salad. Be particularly wary of “fat free” or “lite” dressings. Manufacturers make up for the thick mouth feel of oils and fats by loading the dressing with sugar (especially corn syrup).
In addition, salad dressings with a ketchup or fruit base (such as French or raspberry vinaigrette) tend to have lots of added sugar. It's easy to make your own salad dressings that rejuvenate bones. The Save Our Bones cookbook, Bone Appétit, has lots of homemade dressing options.
2. Flavored Yogurt
I have seen ads for healthy living that show people eating sweet yogurt from the container, but the truth is, sweetened, flavored yogurt is nothing short of a decadent dessert. With flavors like chocolate cheesecake and bright colors (especially in yogurts marketed for children), it's best to skip this sugary snack or breakfast food.
Plain, organic yogurt (Greek or regular) is free of added sugar and alkalizing, and you can sweeten it with stevia, fruit, or a little raw honey.
3. Fruit Juices
In the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, unprocessed fruit juices are considered alkalizing. But processed fruit juices, such as “juice cocktails” and boxed, “pouch” drinks are acidifying due to the additional sugar, preservatives, colors, and other additives.
Pure, fresh fruit juice is fine in moderation – especially if you make it yourself – but it is still a concentrated source of sugars (although natural ones). So you'll want to avoid consuming large amounts of fruit juice regularly.
4. Barbecue Sauce
For many people, cooking a piece of beef in a slow cooker and dousing it with a whole bottle of store-bought barbecue sauce sounds like a great low-carb dinner. Little do they know that the amount of sugar in the dish is very high – especially after long cooking that concentrates the sweetener even more.
Check the label – most barbecue sauces have “sugar” or “corn syrup” at the very beginning of the list. Opt for homemade sauce, or learn to appreciate meats with other forms of seasoning.
5. Pasta Sauce
I’m pretty sure this one will surprise you: many well-known jarred pasta sauces are loaded with sugar.
Pasta is acidifying, even whole grain pasta; but as with all healthful acidifying foods, it's certainly not off-limits on the Program. To balance the pH, pasta can be topped with sauteed veggies, homemade pesto, and all sorts of other flavorful ingredients.
6. Granola Bars
A favorite of hikers everywhere, granola bars may give you an energy boost, but that is due to the sugar content. Again, how much sugar these bars contain depends on the brand.
Compare sugar amounts to a typical candy bar to get a perspective on what's within healthy range. Or you can make your own granola. One of my favorites is the delicious low-sugar recipe for Country Style Granola in Bone Appétit.
7. Frozen Desserts
If you are browsing for something healthful among the desserts in your supermarket's freezer, you might pick low-fat frozen yogurt or dairy-free items.
These, too, are full of sugar – like the salad dressings mentioned above, many low-fat frozen desserts have more sugar than their full-fat counterparts. And to compensate for the thinner consistency of non-dairy milks, the dairy-free frozen desserts often have a tremendous amount of sugar.
Your Bone-Healthy Alternatives
So now that you are aware of the hidden sugar in these seven foods, what is the best thing to do? You can look for lower-sugar brands by comparing labels.
Sometimes it’s best to ditch certain store-bought foods altogether and make your own bone-rejuvenating versions. That's what I've done, and I have found the home-made bone-healthy foods to be even more delicious and satisfying.
To recapture youthful bones, it's vital that you step away from too much sugar and learn to embrace the flavors of real, whole food. You will not regret it, especially when you learn just how amazingly flavorful bone-smart food can be.
And because Bone Appétit gives you step-by-step, easy-to-follow directions for over 200 recipes, you’ll discover how simple it is to prepare dishes to reverse bone loss.
Of course, it's perfectly fine to cheat now and then – I certainly do! But the point is to develop an overall dietary philosophy that embraces the 80/20 balance the majority of the time. Even if you cheat, it's good to have healthy foods at home that you can turn to any time.
Now I will share a wonderful pH-balanced recipe with you that is not saturated with sugar or other toxic additives. These are great to have on hand and they freeze well, too.
Carrot Zucchini Squares
1½ cups almond flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground ginger
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1½ cups shredded carrot
1 cup shredded zucchini
½ cup almonds, slivered
½ cup coconut oil
¼ cup honey and use stevia to taste to increase sweetness, if desired
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and ginger.
- In another large bowl, mix the eggs, carrot, zucchini, almonds, oil, honey, and vanilla.
- Add carrot mixture to flour mixture, stirring until combined.
- Pour the batter in a 13×9 inch baking pan and bake for approximately 25 minutes or until a fork comes out clean.
- Once it cools down, cut into squares. Best if stored in an airtight container.
I hope you’ll enjoy these bone-healthy treats, and that you’ll share them with your family and friends. I also hope that you’ll always remember that…
A Natural Approach To Reverse Osteoporosis Does Not Forego Science
Science and natural health are not mutually exclusive. You do not have to forgo a sound knowledge base to embrace a drug-free lifestyle to reverse osteoporosis.
There's real science behind the drug-free approach, which is why the Save Our Bones Blueprint, the main part of the Program, contains an extensive bibliography with over 100 references from mainstream journals like The Lancet and the Journal of Bone Mineral Research.
Contrary to what the Medical Establishment would like you to believe, the fact that drugs are not necessary to reverse osteoporosis can be scientifically shown.
The Save Our Bones Blueprint is so called because it gives you step-by-step instructions on exactly what to do to to reclaim youthful bones.
And if you know exactly what to do, reversing bone loss through nutrition and exercise is effective and, frankly, enjoyable!
Till next time,