Things That Are Secretly Loading You Up with Sugar from Things That Are Secretly Loading You Up with Sugar

Things That Are Secretly Loading You Up with Sugar

Spend just five minutes online browsing health articles and you will be convinced that this is a health-conscious world and that its No. 1 enemy is sugar. Learn how to easily calculate how much sugar you’re really consuming. Labels can be confusing. There are four calories in one gram, so if a product has 15 grams of sugar per serving, that’s 60 calories just from the sugar alone, not counting the other ingredients.

Cereal

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This is not the best breakfast option. Cereals with marshmallows and chocolate puffs are obviously high in sugar, but just how much sugar may surprise you. The Environmental Working Group examined the sugar content of 84 cereals and found 54 of them contained more than 24 to 26 percent sugar by weight. Kellogg's Honey Smacks, at 55.6 percent sugar, was the worst. Cereal is also surprisingly high in salt.

Coleslaw salad

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The problem here is that you simply don’t know how much sugar is added and how much of it is natural, Susan Engle, MOE, RDN, LD, CLT, says. “Sugar is a preservative that manufacturers use to make food taste better.” People tend to love a sweet—sour taste, which is another reason why processed sugar is added, she adds. Just one cup of coleslaw salad contains 23 grams of sugar, according to USDA.

Bread

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Bread is a sneaky source of sugar. Just one slice of white, commercially prepared bread, has about 2 grams of sugar, according to USDA. Some sugar is formed naturally in the baking process but it is often added too. Most commercial types of bread contain sugar or high fructose corn syrup, just like other processed foods, according to Authority Nutrition.

Diet bars

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Most commercial bars have a lot of sugar. It comes in the form of honey, agave, and evaporated cane juice. Look at the label; everything that ends in “-ose” means sugar. You are always much better off choosing products with real food.

Jarred pasta sauce

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It’s not enough to cook a pasta meal with whole grain linguine to make it healthy. Pay close attention to the tomato sauce you’re using. Those sold in stores are notorious for being high in sodium (even though many come with “no added salt”) as well, but the sugar content should also be noted. One cup contains about 10 grams of sugar or more – that’s more than 2 teaspoons of the sweet stuff.

Frozen waffles

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This quick and easy hot breakfast option may seem like a good idea, but pay close attention to the nutrition label. Though some frozen waffles are decent options, others like Eggo's Cinnamon Toast waffles can pack in 17 grams of sugar. 

Ketchup

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Ketchup, as well as barbecue sauce, should be avoided by diabetics. They have a ton of sugar. One tablespoon alone has 17 grams of sugar, according to USDA. How much ketchup do you really eat though? A lot more. Make your own sauce with tomato puree, mustard, lemon juice, hot sauce (if using), ginger, and water. This is a healthy recipe, according to Diabetic Lifestyle.

Vitamin water

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The popular Vitamin Water packs about 120 calories and 32 grams of sugar, just about half as much as a regular Coke. This is basically sugar water with barely any vitamins at all. Pick seltzers or flavor your water naturally by putting pieces of real fruit in it.

Canned baked beans

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There are 140 calories in 1 serving, 1/2 cup (4.6 oz) of Bush's Best Original Baked Beans, canned, according to Calorie King. You'd need to walk 37 minutes to burn 140 calories. Is it worth it? Try making beans at home – they are loaded with dietary fiber, after all (almost 200 grams in one cup) – and use a healthy recipe.

Sports drinks

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Just because it says “sports” doesn’t mean what you’re consuming is good for you. A single drink can have as many as 5 teaspoons of sugar and a total of 90 calories, according to a study. Experts advise that you drink those, if you must, “sparingly and infrequently.” Play it safe, and opt out for water, sparkling water, coffee, or tea.

Flavored coffee

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In addition to the caffeine you consume, fancy coffee beverages have loads of sugar coming from the added milk or creamer, and too many calories. Drink coffee in moderation and put coconut milk, coconut oil or other high healthy fat to neutralize the acidic effect of coffee. The worst bottled coffee, according to a report, is the Starbucks Vanilla Frappuccino. It’s equivalent to the sugar in 32 Nilla Wafers.

Smoothies

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Unless you make it yourself, avoid commercial smoothies. Some have more than 15 tbsp of sugar in them. Even though some smoothies, like the ones at Jamba Juice, have lots of protein and real fruit, they’re also loaded with sugar – anywhere from 50 to 70 grams of sugar in their small 16 ounce cups. You should always add vegetables, especially leafy greens, to your smoothie.

Granola bars

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And you thought they were healthy…If you need a quick energy boost, consider this: A study compared the effects of popular energy bars that have different amounts of carbs – Insulin response may actually be elevated compared with white bread. It can be easy to go overboard on a seemingly small portion. Most bars have about 10 grams of sugar; the popular Nutri Grain Crunch bars have 15.

Salad dressing

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There are added sugars in most dressings in order to preserve shelf life. They make salads taste so much better but they also turn them from a healthy meal to the worst diet offender. Pay special attention to the dressings labeled “light”—when they reduce the fat, they often replace it with sugar. Some popular dressings, like French and Thousand Island, contain 2.4 grams per tablespoon. Stick with vinegar and oil instead.

Almond milk

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Almond milk is mostly sugar,” Engle says. “There may be two almonds in a cup.” Companies add table sugar, which is the bad kind eventually causing health problems, to make the milk taste good, she adds. By the unsweetened flavor and avoid all added sugar.

Instant oatmeal

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Oatmeal is typically seen as one of the healthiest breakfast choices you can make—but it all depends on the type of oatmeal you’re eating. While some is heart healthy and has been shown to help with weight loss, other kinds are loaded with artificial flavoring and added sugar, mostly because of the flavors. (Quaker Instant Oatmeal Maple and Brown Sugar has 12 grams of sugar). Unflavored oatmeal is the best.

Latte

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A small size caffe latte at Starbucks contains 190 calories, 17 grams of sugar and 150 mg of caffeine. A small white chocolate mocha Frappuccino has 38 grams of sugar, and only a tiny portion of it comes from milk. Also, be honest, do you really get a small-size of anything at a coffee shop? You’re better off sticking to regular coffee with (steamed) milk.

Bottled iced tea

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In general, many teas are filled with sugar, Cristina Panagopoulos, AFPA Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, says. “It's better to have sugar earlier in the day if you are going to have it. Your body will break it down and use it for energy for your day rather than storing it at night (turns into fat),” Panagopoulos adds.