Watch Out for Sneaky Sources of Sugar

Excess sugar intake has been linked to a variety of health concerns.

And while you probably already know too much sugar is bad for your body, you may still be eating too much, without even realizing it.

Sneaky added sugars can be found in a variety of packaged and processed foods. And while no amount of added sugar is necessary for your diet, if you can’t cut it out completely the American Heart Association recommends no more than 9 teaspoons or 36 grams per day for men and no more than 6 teaspoons or 25 grams per day for women.

There is a difference between natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables and the various forms of added sugar like sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, and others. This gram per day recommendation focuses largely on added sugar.

Added sugar can sneak up on you. So if you are watching your intake, look out for these sneaky sources of added sugar.

Pasta Sauce

Many store-bought brands contain between 6 and 12 grams of added sugar per half-cup serving! If you end up eating more than half a cup, you could be close to your daily limit in just one sitting.

Granola Bars

These are more like candy bars masquerading as health food. Often sweetened with corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, or even sweeteners like honey or brown sugar which seem better, granola bars range between 8 and 12 grams on average per serving.

BBQ Sauce

One brand of BBQ sauce contains 16 grams of sugar in just two tablespoons! And in this case that comes from pure cane sugar. On average different brands can range anywhere from 6 grams and upwards for the same serving.

Dressing

Watch out for the sweet types like French or Raspberry vinaigrette. These can have between 5 and 7 grams per two-tablespoon serving.

Soups

One can of a popular tomato soup contains a whopping 20 grams of sugar. Check those labels carefully the next time you are shopping for soup.

Yogurt

Some flavored yogurts have 30 grams or more of added sugar. Some of that sugar count comes from the sugars found naturally in milk. But the rest is totally unnecessary. Always opt for unflavored varieties when you can.

Beverages

Sodas are obvious but the “healthy” drinks like fruit and vegetable juices or smoothies in bottles can pack a serious sugar punch. Some bottled fruit drinks have upwards of 50 grams of sugar per serving. Some energy drinks come in at 25 grams or more.

There are many other products to look carefully at the sugar count for. To put it simply, if it is in a package of any kind always check the sugar count. Sugar can hide in ingredient lists under a variety of different names. But the grams of sugar per serving don’t lie.

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