Thinking that you are cutting out all added sugars? Are you trying to be true to your “no refined sugar challenge”? Did you give up sugar for lent? Well, you might be surprised that you are not doing as well as you thought your were. Keep reading for a list of food items that you may not have been aware have tons of added sugar!
When reading this list, please keep in mind that the American Heart Association recommends that women have no more than 100 calories of sugar per day. This translates into approximately 6 teaspoons. Men are to have no more than 150 calories or 9 teaspoons of sugar daily.
1. Pasta sauces – Most pasta sauces have about 6g-12g of sugar per half cup serving. This is the equivalent of consuming a chocolate chip cookie. To avoid the extra sugar in the pasta sauces, please read the labels for the sugar content of the sauce prior to purchasing or make your own sauce from fresh ingredients.
2. Granola bars – many people consume granola bars thinking that they are a healthy snack option. However, most bars contain between 8g-12g of sugar. In large part due to the added corn syrup, brown sugar, honey and chocolate coatings. A great alternative would be to just eat granola which will take the sugar down to approximately 5 grams.
3. Dried and Canned Fruit – Dried fruit contains a lot of sugar by volume. In fact a small .5oz box of raisins contains more than 25g of sugar. A better alternative would be to eat a cup of fresh grapes, which only contains about 15g of sugar. Canned fruit contains about 39g per 1 cup serving. You can minimize the sugar by draining the container it comes in which will get you to around 15g. Again, fresh fruit is always the better option!
4. Salad dressing – Watch out for the sweet salad dressings like French, Catalina and raspberry vinaigrette. These dressings carry between 5g and 7g per 2 teaspoons serving. Be Careful!!
5. Breakfast cereals – Here is another stash of sugar and I’m not just talking about the “kiddie cereal” either. There are very healthy sounding cereals like raisin bran and others that have 10g -20g of sugar per 1 cup serving!!! Please be sure to read the nutrition label.
6. Energy drinks – Tired throughout the day and want a boost of energy so you turn to an energy drink. I don’t know about you but I think 25g of sugar per 8oz serving is a lot to pay. Believe it or not, you should try drinking water when you feel tired. Your mind may tell you that you’re suffering from lack of energy but your body is craving more hydration. If that doesn’t work try taking in some healthy carbs for a pick me up!
7. Yogurt – Many yogurts carry between 17g and 33g of sugar per 8oz serving. This is the equivalent to 1 cup of chocolate ice cream. Look for low sugar varieties when purchasing yogurt or buy plain yogurt and add your own fresh fruit!
Moral of the story is that not everything that appears to be healthy is healthy. Read the nutrition labeling before purchasing and make substitutions when necessary. Added sugar means added calories. If you are trying to lose weight or if your goal is to decrease your blood sugar levels because of pre-diabetes or other health issues, hidden sugars could be preventing you from attaining your goals!
Until next time, be well!