Mr. Sparky

SARASOTA – A summer BBQ means burgers, cake, and pasta salad. Experts warn that even if you think you’re picking the healthy options, you may still be packing on the pounds thanks to the hidden sugar effect.

Hot dogs, pulled pork, and pound cake. All delicious, all pack on the pounds.

Food expert Kelly Choi says it’s the hidden sugars that get you. “Having high amounts of sugars in our bodies at any given time can contribute to inflammation,” she says, “It definitely can contribute to obesity, a bunch of hosts of other diseases like Type II Diabetes.”

And they hide in some of your favorite foods. “Breakfast, a typical item we go into a coffee shop and grab a bagel, we see whole wheat bagel, we’re thinking we’re doing something good for our bodies, but it turns out that eating that bagel has the same hidden sugar effect as consuming 7.5 teaspoons of sugar,” warns Choi.

Choi says all that sugar hides in your summer BBQ buffet, but keeping these tips in mind will keep the sugar and fat away.

“Having that hamburger in say a lettuce wrap, it’ll give you some crunch some texture, toppings you can really go really deliciously there with sautéed mushrooms some cheese and jalapenos for a kick,” says Choi. “This is also a great time to really load up on those carbohydrates that are rich in fiber, your vegetables, grilled vegetables”

Skip the BBQ sauce, the cake, and don’t drink your calories.

Choi says the key to keep in mind every day is to find a balance of protein and healthy fats. “Rather than reaching for pretzels for example that has that hidden sugar effect, grab an Atkins bar, grab some hard boiled eggs, grab some nuts,” she suggests.

Keep in mind that a cup of corn flakes has 7 teaspoons of sugar, and one potato and two slices of bread each have 6 teaspoons.

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Nicole Sommavilla
Multimedia journalist Nicole Sommavilla is a recent graduate from Ithaca College. Nicole was born and raised in Westchester, New York before she made the move to Florida. Being new to area, she loves meeting people and exploring the Suncoast. In her free time Nicole enjoys working out, being with her friends and family, and exploring the natural lands that surround her. Nicole has always loved writing and storytelling, which is how she discovered her passion for news. If you have a story idea or a news tip, feel free to email her at nicole.sommavilla@snntv.com. You can also follow her on Twitter (@nesommavilla) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/NicoleSommavillaNews) for updates!