Don't let 'fat-free' and 'diet' labels mislead you

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SummaryFor complete well-being, one should integrate physical, mental and spiritual health.

cardamom, tea, coffee and sugar-free sweets and gums.

Cut sugar consumption

Cut sugar consumption slowly, preferably over a few weeks. Someone who goes from eating a lot of sugar to no sugar at all can feel irritable and low.

Learn to read labels. Do you know that most no-fat and low-fat items are loaded with sugar? Labels are confusing to read at first, learning to look at the nutritional value can help.

Learn to decode ‘sugar’. This is where things get tricky. The following terms are all words to describe various forms of sugar: honey, jaggery, molasses, barley malt, brown sugar, cane sugar, corn sweetener, corn or agave syrup, sucrose, lactose, fructose, glucose, dextrose, maltose, galactose, grape sugar, mannitol, sorghum syrup and maple syrup. While some options (molasses, jaggery and honey) might be slightly healthier, they still count as sugars.

Watch what you drink, not just what you eat. Drinks are often loaded with sugar. Be mindful of the amount of sugar in your tea, coffee, shakes, juices, “diet” drinks, sweetened wines, liquor and mixed alcoholic drinks.

Ishi Khosla is a former senior nutritionist at Escorts. She heads the Centre of Dietary Counselling and also runs a health food store. She feels that for complete well-being, one should integrate physical, mental and spiritual health. According to her: “To be healthy should be the ultimate goal for all.”

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