Sneaky Sugars: 5 "healthy" foods to look out for

Approximately 80% of our food supply has some form of hidden or added sugar! With that statistic, it’s no surprise that even healthy foods (or what we think of as healthy foods) have hidden sugars.

The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 to 9 teaspoons for women and men, respectively, a day. The average adult is having 3 to 4 times more sugar on a daily basis! 

The World Health Association takes it a step further and recommends that no more than 5% of your calorie intake should be from added sugars. Therefore, a person consuming 1500 calories a day would be entitled to 4.7 teaspoons or sugar packets of added sugars per day whereas a person with a 2400 calorie diet could consume about 7.5 teaspoons of added sugars per day. Regardless, our intake is definitely more than the recommendations. 

Keep your eyes open for the following “healthy” foods:

1. Whole grain cereals or granolas. If you are not careful, ¾ cup can be up to 16 grams of sugar (about 4 teaspoons).

  • BN Tip: Don’t choose cereals that are described as crunchy, crispy or with clusters. I prefer muesli over granola, since it’s not coated with sugar. Try Bushwick Nutrition’s version of a healthy granola

2. Flavored yogurt. Yogurt naturally has sugar called lactose, but it’s the added sugars that come with the “fruit” or “vanilla” yogurts that are the killer.

  • BN Tip: Check the ingredient list for added sugars such as high fructose corn syrup. Even children’s yogurts like GoGurt have up to 3 different types of added sugars! Choose Greek yogurt since it has double the amount of protein and add whole fruit yourself.

3. Tomato sauce. In order to counter act the acidity of the tomato products, tomato sauce has become one of the condiments with the highest amount of sugar. One tablespoon has about 1 teaspoon of sugar.

  • BN Tip: Read the ingredients, monitor your portions, or even better, make your own

4. Peanut butter (or any nut or seed butter). Brands are still adding sugar and/or oil to make the nut butters smoother, but definitely not healthier.

  • BN Tip: Peanut butter should only have peanut and salt. Keep it simple. 

5. Breads. You’ll be surprised to know that even “whole wheat or high fiber” breads have added sugars, usually in the top five ingredients. A slice has around 1 teaspoon of sugar. Sugars are added to increase shelf life.

  • BN Tip: Check labels before buying, purchase local or consider baking your own. 

Start breaking the sugar habit. Stop eating “healthy foods” that have way too much hidden sugars.

Written by Alanna Cabrero, MS, RD, CDN. Originally posted on NYHRC Social Media. 

Edited by Debi Zvi, RD, CDN 

Kombucha: The Healthy Alternative to Soda


Looking to quench your thirst and kick your soda addiction? Finally, there is a delicious and healthy alternative—kombucha! What is that? Kombucha is a fermented tea that typically includes a mixture of yeast, good bacteria, a natural sweetener and black tea. It’s fizzy like soda but very low in sugar—2 grams per 8 ounce serving versus 27 grams for soda. 

Kombucha Nutrition

Kombucha is known as a functional food, or drink in this case, as it has additional health benefits. Functional foods don’t just provide us with energy in the form of fat, carbohydrates and protein, but they also contain properties that promote health. In this case, kombucha is an antioxidant-rich drink with organic acids, enzymes, probiotics and B vitamins. The organic acids remove toxins from the liver and digestive tract. The enzymes and probiotics aid in nutrient absorption, gut health, waste removal and support immune function, and the B vitamins enhance metabolism.

Raw kombucha is sold in its original flavor or with aromatics like ginger, fruit—ranging from pomegranate to passion fruit and the trending superfood, chia seeds. It has a unique sweet-sour taste that some liken to a great beer. Oh yeah! 

Tips for Kombucha Consumption

  • Make sure your kombucha is raw. Pasteurized kombucha is high in sugar and has very few of the health benefits compared to its raw counterpart because the good bacteria has been destroyed.
  • As it is often made from fermented black tea, most kombucha has a bit of caffeine and a trace amount of alcohol.
  • You can find Kombuchu at local stores or delivered to your front door from Fresh Direct
  • You might even consider making your own!

Have you tried kombucha? What’s your favorite flavor? Let me know @BushwickNutrition 

Written by Debi Zvi, RD, CDN and Alanna Cabrero, MS, RD, CDN

Edited by Tamara Cabrero & NYHRC Team

Originally posted on NYHRC Tumblr  

Fashion Forward Veggies


The last time I went to the supermarket I was astonished to find they were out of broccoli. Then my colleague shared that she had to go to three different supermarkets to find kale. It seems that vegetables have become more popular than ever. With the organic industry boom, community supported agriculture on the rise, and locally sourced foods and farmer’s markets popping up left and right, eating healthy couldn’t be more exciting and accessible. As a foodie who believes that all whole foods are super foods, I absolutely love that vegetables are finally enjoying the spotlight.

Variety is the key to a healthy diet, not only because different foods have unique nutritional properties, but also because it is the best way to avoid the health halo in which we risk turning something we love into something we can’t stand.  These fashionable and varying veggies make it much easier to say “Don’t forget to eat your veggies, they’re delicious!” without any irony. 

Behold Cruciferous Vegetables

Broccoli, cauliflower, kale, arugula, bok choy and cabbage are popular examples of cruciferous vegetables. These veggies are super rich in nutrients including several phytochemicals; vitamins C, E, and K; folate; and minerals. They are naturally low in calories, carbs and are low on the glycemic index. They are also a great source of fiber! Animal studies have shown that cruciferous vegetables have active compounds that are generally believed to inhibit the development of cancer (specifically bladder, breast, colon, liver, lung and stomach).  Incorporating at least six cups raw or three cups cooked cruciferous veggies into your daily diet is linked to lowered cancer risk, protects against mental decline, and improved heart, bone and eye health! 

With a cred list like that, you can’t go wrong loading up on cruciferous vegetables.  But how can you add these delicious foods to your recipe repertoire?  

Tip 1: Clean you veggies, especially leafy cruciferous greens like kale. Always practice proper food safety even with vegetables.

Tip 2: Steam, sauté or stir-fry to maintain some of the beneficial nutrients, specifically water-soluble vitamins such as folate (vitamin B). 

Tip 3: Use aromatic flavors such as garlic, onion and herbs to create tasty low-calorie side dishes.

Cooking Ideas 

Arugula: Use in salads, on pizza, with pasta, in a sandwich or Panini, with eggs and in quiches. Try the arugula pesto from Blog Lovin. 

Cauliflower: Add pureed cauliflower to basically anything and add nutritional value without changing the flavor. This is a great trick not only for you but also for kids!  Add to mac and cheese, pizza dough, cookie dough, mashed potatoes and bean dip. Join the caulimania and enjoy the roasted buffalo cauliflower bites from Clean and Delicious. 

Kale: Use in soups, pesto, salads, smoothies, veggie burgers, wontons, savory pastries, pastas and in burritos. Try this awesome kale and roasted squash quinoa salad from Eating Clean Recipes. Great for every meal! 

How are you going to incorporate cruciferous veggies in your diet? 

Originally posted on NYHRC Tumblr 

Co-Written by Debi Zvi, RD, CDN and Alanna Cabrero, MS, RD, CDN 

Edited by Tamara Cabrero & NYHRC Team 

Picture from BlogLovin, Eating Clean Recipes, and 123rf on Flickr.