Foods that are Surprisingly High in Sugar

Foods that are Surprisingly High in Sugar

Foods that are Surprisingly High in Sugar

Sugar can be very dangerous for our health, especially when consumed in large amounts. On average, Americans consume around 475 calories of sugar each day, which amounts to 30 tablespoons, this is nearly 4 times more than the American Heart Association recommends. Sugar has been linked to a number of health concerns and an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and certain types of cancer.

That being said, many people are now trying to minimize their sugar intake, however, it’s easy to underestimate the amount of sugar you are actually consuming from day to day. One of the reasons behind that is the large variety of foods that contain hidden sugars. In fact, many products labeled “low-fat” or “light” actually have a higher sugar content than the regular version. Below are 10 foods that contain hidden sugars you might not know about.

18 Foods that are surprisingly high in sugar:

1. Low-Fat Yogurt

Yogurt can be a highly beneficial part of the diet, but not all yogurt is created equal. Like many other store-bought, low-fat products, low-fat yogurt also has added sugars to enhance the flavor. A single cup of “low-fat” yogurt can contain up to 47 grams of sugar, which equals out to 12 tablespoons. That is more than the daily limit for both men and women. Furthermore, low-fat yogurt is also lacking many of the health benefits found in full-fat, regular yogurt. Stick to full-fat, natural or Greek yogurt, without any ingredients or sugars.

2. BBQ Sauce

Just two tablespoons of BBQ sauce can contain up to 14 grams of sugar, that’s just a little over 3 tablespoons. In fact, 40% of its weight is often pure sugar. If you aren’t careful with your servings, you could be consuming tablespoons of sugar without ever knowing it. To ensure you’re not getting a bottle full of sugar, check the ingredient list and choose a sauce with the least amount of sugar and ingredients. And remember to always watch your portion sizes.

3. Ketchup

Ketchup is a popular condiment around the world, but like BBQ sauce, it is also packed with high levels if sugar. One single tablespoon of ketchup contains 1 teaspoon of sugar, so remember to be mindful with your servings or avoid these condiments altogether.

4. Fruit Juice

Despite being a seemingly healthy choice, fruit juice is actually loaded with sugar. In fact, there is often times just as much sugar in a bottle of fruit juice as a can of coke. You’re actually consuming more sugar in a single glass of fruit juice than fruit. Stick to whole fruit for your nutritional needs and consider making your own juice at home. However, if you prefer having fruit juice around the house, try organic, real fruit juice, without any added ingredients or sweeteners.

5. Spaghetti Sauce

It’s not uncommon to find added sugars in foods we don’t even consider to be sweet, like spaghetti sauce. All spaghetti sauce will contain some amount of natural sugar from the tomatoes. However, most store-bought sauces have added sugars as well. The best way to ensure you’re not getting added sweeteners in your pasta sauce is to make your own at home, or stick a natural brand, with organic ingredients and always check the ingredient list.

6. Flavored Coffees

Flavored coffee is a popular trend, but the amount of sugar in these drinks is something of concern. A large flavored coffee from your favorite coffee house could contain up to 25 teaspoons of sugar, per drink! That’s equivalent to 100 grams of added sugar per serving. This is also nearly 3 times the amount of sugar you would get from a 12-oz can of coca-cola. Keep in mind the dangerous health risks of consuming these sugary beverages next time you get added sweeteners in your coffee.

7. Iced Tea

Iced tea is usually filled with cups of sugar or syrup. While the sugar content can vary upon the type and flavor, most commercially made tea contains up to 33 grams of sugar per 12 oz. Stick to regular, unsweetened brewed tea, or make your own at home so that you can control the sugar content. You can also opt for natural sweeteners like honey to sweeten your iced tea.

8. Granola and Protein Bars

Granola is marketed as a healthy, low-fat food option, despite being high in sugar and calories! While oats are an excellent part of a well-balanced diet, processed and pre-made granola can usually contain high levels of sugar and other added ingredients. The same goes for protein bars and granola bars as well. If you like granola, consider making your own at home with organic oats and natural sweeteners.

9. Bottled Smoothies

Drinking a smoothie in the morning is one of the best ways to start your day, as long as you’re making it at home. Many commercially produced smoothies are sweetened with fruit juice, milk, ice cream and syrup, which greatly increases their sugar content. Some of these pre-made smoothie drinks can contain up to 24 teaspoons of sugar in a single serving. If you don’t have time to make a smoothie at home, be sure to read the ingredients lists and avoid any added sweeteners.

10. Vitaminwater

Vitaminwater is marketed as a healthy drink. But the reality is, that this beverage actually contains large amounts of sugar. One bottle of regular Vitaminwater contains 120 calories and 32 grams of added sugar. Despite the many health claims of it containing vitamins and minerals, it is best to stick to regular water, with your own healthy ingredients like berries and cucumber.

Additional foods and drinks that contain added sugars:

  • Pre-Made Soup
  • Cereal Bars
  • Canned Fruit
  • Canned Baked Beans
  • Breakfast Cereals
  • Sports drinks
  • Chocolate milk

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