It’s not a secret that sugar is bad for your health. I’m not talking about natural sugars we eat with fruits and honey – that amount is miniscule compared to all the sugar we consume with seemingly sugarless products. You don’t have to munch on cookies and chocolate bars every day to eat sugar – there are products that contain lots of it that aren’t even sweet! Yep, even that tomato soup you buy from the supermarket contains your daily dose of sugar. If you want to seriously cut on sugar, you need to know a few tricks. Here are 10 foods that contain way more sugar than you think.
Companies like to conceal how much sugar they’re putting in their products, that’s why they come up with various names for it to deceive the buyer. You may be looking for plain old sugar, but instead you’ll be seeing sucrose, carob syrup, fructose, dextrose, and whatnot. You really need to up your chemical game to understand just how much sugar is in the product you’re buying. Soda is a pretty obvious choice, but hear this – a can of soda contains 29 grams of sugar, that’s more than your daily dose! Women are advised to consume 25 grams of sugar per day, while men can consume up to 36 grams.
Flavoured yoghurt may be advertised as healthy, but it’s rarely the case. Especially those low-fat ones – companies put more sugar to compensate for the lack of taste, making flavoured yoghurt as healthy as a scoop of ice-cream. One 8-ounce yoghurt can contain up to 33 grams of sugar, so you better read the labels carefully. Best option is to buy plain yoghurt and add your own fresh fruits and honey.
Agave syrup is usually advertised as a healthy sugar substitute, but it’s far from that. It’s 85% fructose, which hits your liver and can cause huge problems in the long run. It’s harder for your body to metabolise fructose than, say, sucrose, but ultimately none is better than the other. Still, it will be a bit easier for your body to metabolize cane sugar than agave.
Granola bars are no better than candies with their chocolate or yoghurt coating packed with sugar. They may also contain brown sugar, honey, corn syrup and other unhealthy sweeteners. Half a cup of granola may seem like an innocent snack, but it packs around 10 grams of sugar. If you don’t feel full enough and eat one more serving it’ll become a sugary disaster for your body.
Good old barbecue sauce is a real sugar bomb, even if you take a small amount. Just a few tablespoons of BBQ sauce contain more sugar than you bargained for. You can take two tablespoons of this sauce and consume two teaspoons of sugar along with it. Up to 33% of BBQ sauce is pure sugar! Be mindful with your portions and try making your own sauces when possible.
All premade sauces are packed with sugar, but pasta sauce just doesn’t seem like it should be on the list, right? After all, it’s not even that sweet! Well, it actually contains loads of sugar – some of it comes naturally from tomatoes, but the rest is added to enhance flavour and preserve the product. Half a cup of pasta sauce can pack around 12 grams of sugar, so you better make your own sugar-free sauce or look for low levels of sugar in the ingredients list.
Dried fruit seem like such a healthy snack, but the reality is a bit different. Many brands actually use sugar in their products, so you should look out for that when buying dried fruit. But the whole process of drying creates concentrated sugar in fruits, which makes one dried fruit pack much more sugar than two-three fresh ones put together. It’s easy to eat lots of sugar without even realizing it!
Sport is healthy, so sports drinks should be healthy as well, right? Nope, that’s definitely not the case with most sports drinks that were designed to give athletes a boost of energy. They are extremely high in sugars and can contain up to 40 grams per bottle. It’s much more than your daily dose! Stick to water while working out – it’s the only liquid you really need.
Okay, this may not come as a surprise to you, but do you really know just how much sugar is in your flavoured coffee? That huge hazelnut latte or a big cappuccino with vanilla syrup can contain up to 50 grams of sugar all in all, and sometimes more! That’s around 11 teaspoons of sugar. It really is better to stick to plain old coffee of small and medium-sized portions.
Who could have thought that canned soup can be high in sugar? But it can be a real sugar bomb if you don’t read the ingredients carefully. Look for other names of sugar like maltose, barley malt, sucrose, fructose syrup, and others. If you see many of them mentioned with small quantities – the product probably contains too much of sugar. Look for sugar that is low on the list of ingredients.