Healthy Eating Tip: Tomato and BBQ Sauce – Sugar

This is a new series that I will be starting. I have a huge interest in healthy eating and after doing much research, I am shocked by how uneducated the general public is about what they’re actually buying from the supermarket.

The crazy thing is, almost everything on the shelves are your local supermarket is loaded with added sugar. That’s why we keep going back to those products, because sugar can be very addicting.

The reality is, no, tomato sauce actually isn’t really that sweet. That sugar is not coming from the tomatoes (some does of course) but it mostly comes from sugar that is ADDED. Have you ever thought about what tomato sauce actually is? Just tomatoes pureed right? Not at all. If you tried to make your own tomato sauce at home, it would taste awful. It would be sour. It would not be as red. Or as smooth. You can thank added colours and thickeners for that consistency. And don’t even get me started on BBQ sauce. That’s even worse.

Essentially, if you add a teaspoon of tomato or BBQ sauce to your hot dog, you’re essentially adding about half a teaspoon of sugar over your hot dog. Sounds a bit disgusting right? You may as well sprinkle some white sugar over the sausage. And that’s just one teaspoon. I know that I personally, prooooobably have a little bit more than one teaspoon of sauce over a hot dog. I love my tomato sauce.

It’s my belief that everything in moderation is ok. Don’t go cutting out tomato sauce altogether if it going to make your life miserable. But just be AWARE. Use less sauce. Or, make a conscious decision to look at the back of the labels of the tomato sauce bottles and choose one where the sugar count is less. EDUCATE yourself on what is in the food you’re buying. There are huge discrepancies between various brands. The cheapest are not necessarily the worst (in fact I have found this to be the opposite on many occasions) and the most expensive is not necessarily the best for you.

An other alternative is going to the health food aisle and choosing a sauce that is specifically lower in added sugar. This sauce can make a huge difference. I don’t think they taste bad, but they do taste different. If you stick with it, you will definitely get used to it. The fact is, sugar is addicting. Moving on from an addictive substance isn’t easy – it will take a bit of effort on your part, but as I said, I’m not saying cut it out, but I do urge you to have a think about what you’re putting in your body. It’s the little things that add up when you’re trying to lose weight, and I know that I personally felt cheated on when I realised that there are food companies who are freely able to sell these items with such high levels of added sugar to consumers without some sort of warning label. Because to be honest, the amount of sugar in 100g of tomato sauce is AS BAD AS COKE. That’s a fact. Go and look at the labels of tomato sauce and a can of coke and you will see.

I hope this has been of some help!