Mindful Eating at a Hotel Breakfast Buffet–Hold The Sugar Please!

I recently traveled out of town and found myself scanning a typical hotel breakfast buffet to find something I could eat. Imagine my horror! If you immediately know what I’m talking about then this blog will be old news for you. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then please continue to read, for your health’s sake.

As I scanned the rows of processed foods, I knew I had a challenge ahead. “Are the scrambled eggs made from eggs?” I asked the waiter?  Wiggling nervously he replied, “Well, they are made from powder.” By the way, I already knew the answer and just wanted to hear him tell me.  I learned a few years ago that big trays of scrambled eggs are generally made from powder.  There were no boiled eggs anywhere–they couldn’t fake those. That would have been a good choice.

Besides the powdered eggs, there were boxed cereals, packaged oatmeal, and pastries.  I was not interested in food so processed. So I decided on yogurt and fruit with a piece of toast and peanut butter.  That seemed safe. But, when I started eating the yogurt I noticed a distinct flavor that I don’t taste when I’m eating my yogurt at home.  When I read the label, I was stunned at the amount of added sugar.  The peanut butter tasted odd too, so I decided to check the label and it had added sugar.

Neither the yogurt nor the peanut butter tasted very good to me—the added sugar destroyed the taste of yogurt and peanuts.  These and all of the other thousands of food products that get laced with sugar, don’t need extra sugar to taste good, but food companies feel compelled to lace our food with the crystal crack. Even some health food store brand labels have (surprisingly) fallen into this practice.

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee just came out with their new guidelines and sugar is turning out to be the major target. Americans consume 22 to 30 teaspoons of added sugar daily, half of which come from soda, juices, and other sugary drinks; and the committee is recommending limiting your intake to less than 12 teaspoons of sugar. That still sounds like a lot! But, check your labels. Processed foods are full of added sugars. Check out the blog “Other Names for Sugar” to get a complete list.  Sometimes a product will have 4 or 5 different sugars from different sources.

If the Food and Drug Administration gets their way, you will see new labels on food which clearly label added sugar content. The food companies are, of course, ferociously fighting it. For a great documentary on sugar consumption, check out Fed Up and watch it with your children. The Committee is even recommending that sugary drinks be eliminated from schools, and this documentary explains why.

The more that you eat clean, non-processed food, the more you will begin to notice added sugars and chemicals. Along the way, check your labels. You’re sweet enough! You don’t need the extra sweetening.