10 Foods You Don’t Realize Are Loaded with Sugar
When we eat, we often tend to be conscious of the amount of sugar we’re taking in. We choose things with no added sugars and select desserts in smaller portions. However, there are many foods that you might be eating without realizing how much sugar they actually contain.
Foods That Are Packed with Sugar
- Fruit-Flavored Yogurt – Yogurt, in general, is quite healthy and provides a variety of beneficial things such as protein. However, once you start choosing fruit flavours, you’ll find that many of them include a lot of added sugars. This can sometimes be as much sugar that can be found in a doughnut! When looking to purchase yogurt, look for ones with less than six grams of added sugar such as unsweetened Greek yogurt and add your own fresh fruits.
- Condiments – Adding condiments like ketchup and barbecue sauce to your meals can add a lot of sugar. A tablespoon of ketchup contains four grams of sugar, and a tablespoon of barbecue sauce has six grams. Mustard and avocado are excellent, healthy alternatives when you’re looking for a condiment to choose from.
- Packaged Fruits – Fruits packed in syrup can have as much as 25 grams of sugar in a serving. While you can drain the syrup to help reduce some sugar, a lot of it has still been absorbed into the fruit. Fresh fruit is always your best bet to be sure there are no added sugars.
- Energy Drinks and Enhanced Water – Fancy waters with added flavors and vitamins may seem like a healthy choice, but they are loaded with sugar. Energy drinks have even more added sugar, coming in at upwards of 49 grams per can. Plain water is the best choice, but if you want more flavor, look for sparkling or fruit-infused options with no added sugars, or make your own by placing slices of fruits into a bottle and letting it steep.
- Granola – While you may think that granola is healthy, many varieties are sweetened with added sugars such as honey, corn syrup, or brown sugar. Half a cup of granola can contain as much as 14 grams of sugar, and if it’s coated in chocolate or yogurt, there is even more sugar. If the crunch is what you’re after, try mixing some crumbled whole-grain cereal with chopped nuts. Pistachios are an excellent choice as they add fiber, protein, and healthy fats keeping you feeling full for longer.
- Pasta Sauces – Many commercial tomato sauces are full of sugar to help cut the acidity. While the taste is excellent, a half-cup of pasta sauce can contain anywhere from 6 to 12 grams of sugar, equivalent to a chocolate chip cookie. When purchasing your tomato sauce, choose ones with few ingredients and no added sugars.
- Cranberry Sauce – We may think that cranberry sauce is one of the healthier choices during the holiday season. However, a quarter-cup serving can contain up to 21 grams of sugar. Instead of eliminating cranberry sauce, choose instead to make your own and use half of the sugar called for.
- Peanut Butter – Many peanut butters that you can buy, including the ones marked as all-natural, often have additives and added sugar. Ones that claim to be low in fat are the worst, as they add additional sugar to adjust the taste. To enjoy the health benefits of peanut butter, look for products that contain just peanuts and salt or consider Almond and other nut butters.
- Bread – We all know that jams and other spreads contain plenty of sugar, but did you know that your bread might as well? An average slice of processed bread can have up to three grams of sugar. Look instead for breads with one gram or less per slice, and choose healthier, whole-grain and sprouted breads.
- Instant Oatmeal – Oatmeal is a top breakfast choice. When making it at home, you’re in control of how much sugars you add, but many of the fruit-flavored varieties have almost 11 grams of sugar per pack. If you want to purchase flavored options, look for ones with reduced sugar of around five or six grams per package, or make plain oatmeal and top it with fresh fruits and cinnamon.
Learning where hidden sugars lie is an essential part of eating well and making better food choices. The holistic nutrition course offered by the Edison Institute of Nutrition will help you learn what to look out for and healthier replacements. Our classes are also online!