Avoiding Hidden Sugars in Seemingly Innocent Foods
Avoiding hidden sugars in everyday foods can be a challenge. For example, 1 tablespoon of ketchup has an equal amount of sugar, that's 1 tablespoon of sugar per tablespoon of ketchup! And considering most people use at least 4 tablespoon of ketchup (or more) that can add up fast! In fact, it's more sugar than a doughnut.
The American heart association recommends no more than 25 grams of sugar a day for a healthy lifestyle. Chronic health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, and even heart disease have all been linked to sugar consumption. Avoiding sugary foods like pastries may be good but there are other everyday foods that are seemingly innocent but contain more sugar that one glazed donut.
Quaker’s instant Oatmeal Apples & Cinnamon
Don’t be deceived by the label “heart healthy” because not only is this cereal loaded with artificial flavors, a single packet contains 12 grams of sugar.
Though high in vitamins and minerals, Raisin Bran contains almost two times the amount of sugar per serving than a single doughnut.
- Dannon Fruit on the bottom Cherry
Dannon fruit contains about 22 grams of sugar plus other additional flavors and preservatives which makes a doughnut seem like a healthier choice! (But it’s not)
- Blue Diamond Vanilla Almond Breeze Almond Milk
With about 13 gram of cane sugar and 80 calories per serving, blue Diamond vanilla has more sugar than a single donut!
- Kind bar almonds and apricot yogurt: 16 grams of sugar
- Active Vanilla Greek non-fat Yogurt: 20 grams of sugar
- Thomas Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bagel: 11 grams of sugar
- Healthy Choice Sweet & Sour chicken: 22 grams of sugar
- Mott’s original applesauce: An astounding 22 grams of sugar!
Healthy alternatives to sugary snack
- Blue diamond almond coffee caramel macchiato almonds
With just 3 grams of sugar and loads of fat-fighting nutrition, this snack also help the body burn more carbs and protein because of its rich amino acid and L-argine content.
- Health warrior chia bars
Containing loads of omega-3s, healthy fiber and about 4 grams of sugar, this bar is truly a healthy alternative to sugary snacks.
- Kind cashew & ginger spice bar
Enriched with protein and fiber, this snack offers rich sweet and spicy blends of flavors with about 4 grams of sugar which is both healthy and acceptable.
- Kettle Popcorn
2 cups of this delicious snack contains just a little above 3 grams of sugar and can therefore serve your munching needs.
- Somersault snack co. crunchy nuggets Dutch cocoa: 4 grams of sugar
- Shale snacks almonds with cranberries, honey + sea salt: 8 grams of sugar
- Pirate’s booty Fruity booty: 6 grams of sugar
How to identify hidden sugar in foods
Though most products don’t differentiate between natural sugar and added sugar, according to the American Heart Association, once there is no added milk, honey or fruit, you can safely assume that the sweetness of the product is from added sugar.
Also, the following are just alternate names for added sugar: corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fruit juice concentrates, lactose, maltose, malt syrup, molasses, cane juice, cane syrup and sucrose.
The body only needs about 25 grams of sugar to function optimally, anything more than this can be potentially harmful. While small amounts of added sugar are probably not harmful, too much sugar often leads to obesity, etc. By reading labels and choosing carefully, you can reduce the amount of added sugar in your diet.