I can sleep comfortably again at night. A few months ago something compelled me to check the nutrition label on my fat free milk container…holy bleep! 15 grams of sugar per cup!? I like my sweets every once in a while but I hate to drink them. If or when I take in sugar I like it to be worth my while; in the form of black licorice for example (can’t take that out of a Dutch girl). While vacationing in Holland I checked the milk bottle there and it also had sugars listed. Balls! I love milk; love it with my cereal, love it in my oatmeal, in my coffee….I also love yogurt but I lowered my intake for different reasons. To be discussed in a later blog!
Today I found out these are not the sugars we have to worry about! Yay! Milk, plain yogurt and other unsweetened dairy products contain “naturally-occurring sugar lactose”. Whatever that means but I will take it! These sugars are not the same as added sugars, those are the ones that pack the calories. Sugars in fruit I am not worried about either since fruits also provide vitamins, minerals and fiber (which by the way slows down the absorption of sugar in your body). There is a load of sugar in flavored yogurt though, you are better off buying plain yogurt and adding fresh fruit.
People often ask me why the level of obesity is so low in my home country. I think first and foremost this is due to the level of exercise we get. No matter the weather; we ride our bike or use public transportation…the last mentioned doesn’t always go door to door therefore there are some forced miles to be walked to and from the train station and/or bus stops. We also do so all around the year! No wind or weather will stop us from riding our bikes. We average about one car per family, since gas is costly.
Secondly; preservatives! Milk will go bad after several days in Europe, as will bread and cold cuts. In the US we allow azodicarbonamide (I may have misspelled that!) I believe it is even illegal to use in Europe…this is what keeps the bread good for weeks here…it’s the same stuff they put in yoga mats!!! It is listed as ADA here and you can find it in a lot of products…ironically Wendy’s and McDonalds forced it out of their menus. I can’t say if this aids weight gain but it can’t be good for you right? The other one is Olestra; fat free, calorie fee, cholesterol free chemical which makes your fat free pototoe chip still taste like a nice fatty chip…no thank you!
I always keep my smiles to myself when people who go on a diet here proclaim they are going to stay away from bread and dairy…the two things my whole country was raised on for breakfast and lunch (see pic above)….dairy and bread do not make you fat. Neither do rice or pasta…look around if you ever have the luxury to visit Asia or Italy. Rice and pasta are a part of their daily diet. Multiple times a day. Just saying….But the ingredients of the so-called “healthy bread” in your supermarket will pack on pounds. Check these and the shelf life; if there is anything you can’t pronounce on the ingredient list and if the shelf life is over 3 days than it is most likely not good for you. Also watch what you put in and on your pasta, rice and bread….that may be the culprit.
Holland is not perfect, believe me, healthier maybe…although the amount of cigarette smokers are still way higher than in the US. But when it comes to food, it is a little better…and the coffee too. Why are you still in the US you may ask? Because I do love Dunkin Donuts, cheesesteaks, chicken fingers and fries….although I still prefer them with mayo than ketchup. And yes I know ketchup is a lot healthier!!!