Whenever the word “sugar” is mentioned, most of us immediately think of something that have a sweet taste. But unfortunately, the truth is that many foods that are not even sweet can be packed with fattening, unhealthy sugar. Some of the top foods that we often overlook are as follows:
1. Pasta Sauces
They may taste savoury instead of sweet, but many pasta sauces contain between 6 and 12 grams of sugar per half-cup serving. That’s about the same that you will find in a chocolate chip cookie!
Make sure to look on the ingredient label for the sugar content of your favorite marinara or Alfredo before planning your meal.
2. Snack Bars / Granola bars
Since they are usually associated with sport, we automatically assume they are healthy. This may often not be the case, so it is important to check bar labels for ingredients like corn syrup, brown sugar, honey, brown sugar syrup, dextrose, and fructose. Coatings like yogurt or chocolate, and also things like chocolate chips can ramp up the sugars fast – anywhere from 8 to 12 grams per serving. Instead of eating a 30g granola bar, switch to 30g of granola (about 1/3 cup) and the sugar lowers to about 5 grams.
Yogurt is packed with healthy calcium and protein, but even the low-fat, flavored yogurt can contain between 17 and 33 grams of sugar per 200g serving. When shopping, look for ones that are lower in sugar or better yet, buy it plain and add in the fruit of your choice.
4. Salad Dressing
Sweet dressings like raspberry vinaigrette, French, and Catalina, have the most sugar (about 5 to 7 grams of sugar in a 2-tablespoon serving). So watch how much you pour on. A lower-sugar option is a light homemade vinegar and oil dressing. It will have only about 1 gram of sugar in the same amount.
5. Breakfast Cereals
I am not talking about the fruity-flavored, sugar-coated kids’ cereal, I am talking about the healthy sounding ones! They may contain up to 10-20 grams or more per cup. No matter what the front of the box promises, read the ingredients label to be sure of what you are getting.
6. Energy Drinks
Apart from the tons of caffeine in these drinks, they are jam-packed with unhealthy sugar. They will usually only give you a quick energy boost, but then make you fall into a sugar crash. Some energy drinks have about 25 grams per 200ml serving.
The usual perception is that because it is salad it must be healthy. However, coleslaw can often contain sugar that adds up to about 15 grams per serving! If you’re craving coleslaw, you can always make a low-sugar version at home.
8. Dried Fruit
Since the water and juices are removed from dried fruit, they contain more sugar per volume when compared to fresh fruit. So it is not that they are necessarily higher in sugar than fresh fruit, but the fact that they are much smaller and less filling causes us to eat more of them than we would have if it was fresh fruit.
9. Tomato Sauce
Tomato sauce on your burger can give you a minor sugar boost. That is not as much as some other foods on this list, but if you are trying to cut back on sugar, switch to regular yellow mustard – it gives you less than 1 gram of sugar per tablespoon.