Nowadays, everyone is trying to stay away from sugar or reduce their consumption of it by drinking more water, and eating less processed foods. However, there are still several healthy foods that contain a lot of sugar but mask themselves.
According to the CDC, Americans should keep their intake of added sugars to less than 10% of their total daily calories as part of a healthy diet. For example, in a 2,000 daily calorie diet, no more than 200 calories should come from added sugars. According to the CDC, the average American adult consumes nearly 70 grams of sugar daily, and the leading sources of sugar are sugar-sweetened beverages, desserts like cakes and cookies, candy, and dairy desserts like ice cream. Things like ice cream, candy, cookies are obvious sugar culprits but some others are not.
Some ways some foods try to hide sugar is sugar, fructose, cane sugar or juice, sucrose, honey, molasses, maple syrup, fruit juice, brown rice syrup, high fructose corn syrup, or agave. When you see these, you know there are added sugars in that product. It is important to note that fruits occur naturally and thus the sugar in them is called naturally occurring sugars and not added sugars. Hence they are not usually a concern.
It’s often okay to take a piece of a chocolate bar a day or sugar once in a while, however, most people tend to go overboard. A small amount of sugar here and there helps prevent cravings. I personally can’t abstain from sugar 100% due to cravings so I try to control my amount daily. The problem usually is when you consume too much-added sugars and this is linked to a decrease in intake of essential micronutrients and an increase in body weight hence why people gain weight when they consume too much sugar.
6 sneaky ways you are consuming too much sugar
Flavored Greek Yogurt: Try to go for the unflavored ones and mix in your own fruits like bananas and strawberries to sweeten them rather than buying the already flavored ones that pack a lot of corn syrup, honey, and cane sugar into them. Although all yogurts usually contain some amount of sugar due to lactose which is the major sugar in milk.
Oatmeal: Yikes those flavored instant oatmeals? the ones that are easy to grab and already portioned out? yes those ones, some contain at least 10g of sugar in them!! It’s best to try to the unflavored ones and sweeten with your own fresh fruits, cinnamon and so on so you can control what you are eating.
Cereal bars: Woahhhh cereal bars, protein bars, fruit and nut bars, a lot of these contain sugar. Sometimes we do need them, we need a quick go to snack here and there and to be honest, sometimes the great and sugar-free ones are quite expensive, I mean 3 boxes for a single bar??? yikes. A few recommendations include Larabar and rxbar these are sweetened with dates rather than honey, sugar, glucose syrup etc
Condiments: Some condiments such as bbq sauce, ketchup, honey mustard, pasta sauce, tomato sauce contain an insane amount of sugar it’s unbelievable. Often times, we just pour these onto our foods without paying attention to the serving size. It’s important to be mindful of the ingredients list and to pay attention to the serving sizes. When eating at restaurants, ask for the sauces on the side so you can add it in yourself.
Bread: Some bread mask themselves as whole grain 100% whole wheat bread, but they contain sugar, honey, cane syrup, brown sugar, and preservatives. Yes, you cannot always make your own bread or always choose the no sugar options, but it’s important to be aware and not be fooled
Dried or canned fruits: These are high in sugar compared to natural fresh fruits. For example, a 100-calorie serving of canned fruit in light syrup or fruit juice can pack close to 25 grams of sugar imagine! Some people add raisins or dried fruits to their salads. It’s important to pay attention to the portions because before you know it, you may turn something healthy into a completely unhealthy meal. Pay attention to the serving sizes of the fruits.
With a lot of things, don’t just look at the protein content. Pay attention to how much sugar you’re getting, as well.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Nutrition Data & Statistics: Consumption of Added Sugars Among U.S. Adults, 2005–2010https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db122.htm#x2013;2010
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Nutrition Data & Statistics: Know Your Limit for Added Sugars https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db122.htm#x2013;2010