We all know that excessive sugar intake can lead to a large number of diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetics, heart issues, colon cancer and many more.
Also, it is no surprise that we try to avoid foods that are loaded with sugar such as ice cream, cookies, jellies, and cakes.
But, some foods that are labeled as nutritious, sugar-free, fat-free and as a healthy option actually contain a shocking amount of sugar.
Moreover, these foods also contain sugar in the form of dextrose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, fructose, glucose, maltose, sucrose, powdered sugar, brown sugar, and lactose.
Although, the U.S. Department of Agriculture through its dietary guidelines has recommended preparing foods with less added sugar and sweeteners. But, the reality is somewhat different, most Americans consume more than 22 tablespoons of sugar in a day.
The more processed foods, fat-free foods, sugar-free foods, and less sugar product has entered the supermarket, the hidden sugar becomes unrecognizable.
It is always a smart idea to look for food labels wherever necessary. In this way, we may avoid unnecessary sugar to get added to our diet.
And, always be wary of products that are consumed unknowingly but are the largest contributor of sugar in your daily diet.
Sugar Containing Foods
Here are a few foods, which we are going to discuss, you might have thought are sugar-free or contain less sugar but has a surprisingly large amount of sugar.
Packed and canned fruits:
Packed fruits such as fruit chillers, apple sauce, and canned fruit are labeled as “in light syrup” or “made with real fruit” contain on an average of more than 20 grams of sugar.
For example, if you look for DelMonte Fruit Chillers Frozen Fruit Sorbet in a market, you will find, it has 26 grams of sugar in one cup.
Bottled teas and juices:
Juices are usually thought of as healthy but packed juices and teas are not at all healthy. These juices and teas are labeled as “100% natural” or sometimes “contain natural sugar”.
But, in reality, 8 ounces ( 1 ounce = 28 grams) of grape juice contains 36 gram of sugar and 10-ounce of apple juice contain 32 grams of sugars.
If you look for a 20-ounce bottle of Arizona Iced Tea with lemon, then you will find, it has a staggering 59 grams of sugar.
If you rely on protein bars or granola bars as a healthy source of protein for quick energy, then you may be disappointed with it.
These so-called healthy snakes are often loaded with added sugar. Also, most of these snacks contain brown sugar, honey, agave and evaporated cane juice that adds an extra amount of sugar.
In grocery markets, you will find products like Clif Builder’s Protein Bar, PowerBar Performance Energy Bar that contains a staggering 20 grams and 29 grams of sugar.
These protein bars are sold as healthy options to diet-conscious consumers but they are usually packed with unhealthy ingredients.
Alternatively, you should always look for fresh fruits and a scoop of peanut butter as a snacks
Oatmeal and cold cereal:
Everyone thought of starting their healthy breakfast with cold cereal or oatmeal. But, these American breakfasts are high in sugar, well processed and very less in fiber.
And, to just follow the norms of American food standard, they fortified with vitamin B and D, iron and folic acid.
For example, if you look for sugar content in “Jordans Crunchy Oat Granola – Fruit and Nut” and “Kellogg’s Fruit and Fibre”, you will find it has 28.5 g and 24 g of sugar per 100 g.
Instead, you can stick with plain oatmeal and add some fresh fruit for flavor.
Yogurt is usually in the list of healthiest food because it provides you with probiotics, calcium, and protein. But, in the market, you will find varieties of yogurt such as flavored yogurt and fat-free yogurt.
Unfortunately, 6 ounces of fruit-flavored yogurt contains 7 teaspoons of sugar. And, flavored yogurt in comparison to plain yogurt contains 3 times more sugar.
It is always a good idea is to stick with homemade yogurt and add fresh fruits to give flavor to it; rather than consuming it from the packed one.
Salad dressing is notorious for its significant amount of added sugar. Famous store-bought salad dressing is mayonnaise, thousand islands, honey mustard, vinaigrette, ranch, and several other products.
These salad dressing contain an excessive amount of sugar in the form of high-fructose corn syrup. Sugar-free and fat-free salad dressing are the worst offenders in these categories.
The healthiest homemade salad dressing would be olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and herbs.
Sauces and ketchup
The most commonly consumed sauces are tomato sauce and barbecue sauce. These sauces contain sugar in the form of high-fructose corn syrup.
If you take the case of tomato ketchup and sauces, then one teaspoon of ketchup contains one teaspoon of sugar. According to USDA, one popular brand of tomato sauce has at least 12 grams of sugar in one cup of tomato sauce.
Bottled marinades and barbecue sauces are used to give flavor to meats, poultry, and fish. But, it is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to hidden sugar in the form of corn syrup.
The healthiest alternative to store-bought tomato sauces and barbecue sauces are homemade sauces prepared with natural ingredients instead.
These are the listed foods that we consume on a regular basis thinking it is healthy. It is better to avoid these foods along with baked beans, processed meats, pancake and waffle mix.
It is good to adopt a healthier option to counter these products. You must also start looking for labels, especially sugar content and its related ingredients.
It will take some time to adjust your palate but in the end, it will give you great health benefits.