Sugar suppresses immunity, with no exception. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t want better immunity against pathogens and cancer cells, so I’m always about reducing simple sugars from the diet.
Here are three foods I see in clients’ food logs that are mistakenly thought to be part of a healthy breakfast:
Flavoured Yogurt. Would you eat ice cream for breakfast? Coming in at around 25 grams of sugar per individual serving, fruity yogurts—as well as vanilla and mocha-flavoured yogurts —contain more added sugar than a small can of Coke and about the same amount as a bowl or ice cream.
The fix: buy plain, organic yogurt (the kind with just two ingredients), add a dash or stevia extract or one teaspoon of maple syrup (only 5 grams of sugar) plus a few berries. Enjoy!
Fruit Juice. Would you eat 4 oranges in one sitting? Even if you did, the fibre from the pulp would slow the absorption of the sugar from the fresh-pressed OJ. But when you drink strained OJ from a bottle, it’s like eating 4 oranges minus the pulp. Your body will respond just as it had if you’d eaten granulated sugar.
The fix: Eat an orange—just one, whole orange, with some nuts, cheese or eggs to slow the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream.
Granola. Not only is it oiled with inappropriately chosen liquid oils and baked at pizza oven temperatures, it usually contains excessive sugar in order to mask the flavour of burnt/spoiled oils. This is no health food.
The fix: make your own muesli! This contains all the redeeming features of granola—the oat flakes, seeds and dried fruits—but you don’t add oil or bake it, so it’s raw. Use sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds for some crunch. Just add your favourite calcium-containing beverage and enjoy, raw.
The lower your concentrated sugar intake, the better your immunity system will work, and the more balanced your mood, weight and energy will be. Need help reducing your total sugar intake? A Registered Nutritional Therapist like myself can assist you in reaching your health goals.