…I got all my sisters with me! What on earth am I talking about? I’m referring to sugar and its’ well disguised relatives. You know, the ones that are well dressed and hidden in the crowd (i.e. ingredient list). Sugar can be categorized into two groups - natural and added. As these names would suggest, naturally occurring sugars are found 'naturally' in foods such as fruits and milk, while added sugars are ‘added’ to products such as baked goods. Foods that contain naturally occurring sugars (e.g. fruit) are nutritious and should be included in your diet. Canada’s Food Guide recommends limiting consumption of foods and fluids that are high in added sugars. So, what’s an added sugar? Drum roll please…
Agave*, brown sugar, cane sugar or evaporated cane juice*, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, galactose, glucose, glucose-fructose, high fructose corn syrup, honey*, maltose, maple sugar*, molasses, nectar*, sucrose, and white sugar.
Wait a minute – did I just say (in not so many words) that some of the 'natural' added sugars like agave are not as good for you as they have been marketed to be? Agave nectar is thought to be a better alternative to sugar because of its' lower glycemic index. The harmful effects of sugar however, have little to do with the glycemic index. It has to do with the large amount of fructose, and agave is high in fructose making this not an ideal sugar alternative. Sugar and its' relatives are carbohydrates that break down in the body to become glucose (source of energy). They provide calories, but are not rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. In addition to sugar being highly addictive, large intakes can cause cavities, contribute excess calories which can lead to weight gain, and increase blood sugar levels rapidly in people with diabetes. Not sure how much sugar you are consuming? Connect with me – lets talk about the bees, the trees, and the sugarcanes. Sounds like a sweet talk to me.
PS: the added sugar list is by no means exhaustive.
PPS: the recipe below is about to make your pancake game strong - higher in fibre, higher in protein and lower in sugar.
Note* These are natural sweeteners that are added to foods and fluids as a sugar alternative
Peanut Butter and Greek Yogurt Pancakes
Makes 7 servings (14 pancakes)
2c Bisquick Heart Smart, baking mix
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 large eggs, omega 3
1.25c skim milk
7 tbsp reduced fat peanut butter, smooth
7 tbsp vanilla greek yogurt, low fat
Heat skillet over medium-high heat; lightly grease with cooking spray.
In a large bowl stir bisquick mix, chia seeds, eggs and milk until blended.
Pour less than 1/4c into the centre of hot skillet.
When edges appear loose/dry, little air bubbles are seen at the top, and the batter has slightly solidified, flip the pancake over with a spatula. Cook for a few more seconds until golden.
Place cooked pancakes on a warm plate. For every two pancakes, top with 1 tbsp of peanut butter and vanilla Greek yogurt. Serve with fresh fruit and enjoy!
Nutritional Information (per 1 serving – two pancakes with peanut butter and greek yogurt)
Energy: 280kcal Protein: 12g Fat: 10g Carbohydrates: 36g Fibre:4g