Did you know the average adult consumes 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day? And really we should be limiting that to about 10 teaspoons. A major culprit is the sugar packed soda that is easy to find. But here are a few other ways sugar is sneaking into your diet that you might not have even known about!
1. dried fruit: Dried fruit can be a healthy snack, but many brands pack extra sugar. If you look a the nutrition facts of many dried fruit bags, sugar is listed before the actual fruit. Some fruits has 20 grams of sugar per serving! Eat the real fruit or look for unsweetened varieties instead.
2. yogurt: This isn’t all yogurt, but mostly just the flavored kind you should watch out for.Some contain up to 7 teaspoons of sugar—that’s about three times the amount found in plain yogurt. So get the plain stuff and top it with some fresh or frozen fruit.
3. cereal: We’ve talked about the dangers of this before. A serving of Post or Kellogg’s raisin bran cereal contains nearly 5 teaspoons of sugar. Other healthy-sounding offenders include Kashi’s GOLEAN Crunch! and Kellogg’s Cracklin’ Oat Bran, which each have close to 4 teaspoons of sugar—that’s more than a Boston cream doughnut. So if you need to have that sweet cereal, eat less than a serving and combine it with a lower sugar option.
4. packaged oatmeal: This breakfast staple can also fill your bowl with sugar. Many flavored packets contain about 14 g—comparable to three Oreos. Try making your own from real oats and then adding honey or a small amount of brown sugar. A much better option!
5. Sports Drinks: A bottle of Vitamin Water packs nearly an entire day’s worth of sugar (33 grams) per bottle, while a 12-ounce serving of Gatorade contains about 21 grams of the sweet stuff. These are great to use when training for intense races or sports, but not on a regular basis.
6. Ketchup: A tablespoon of ketchup contains about a teaspoon of sugar, which means about one-third of each serving is straight-up sugar. Go easy on the condiment the next time you garnish your burger or dog.
7. Energy Bars: Nutrition bars are designed to give your workout a jolt, but if you’re not careful, they can also deliver a major unwanted sugar buzz. For example, a Clif bar serves up about 20 g of sugar, while Luna, NutGo, and Zone bars all have about 14 grams each.
8. Smoothies: Smoothies made entirely from fruits and veggies are a tasty treat that fill you up with vital nutrients and antioxidants. When sherbet and other sugary ingredients are added to the mix, however, you may as well be sipping a milkshake. Jamba Juice sneaks added sugars into its classic smoothies by blending sherbet with other natural ingredients. As a result, some of their cool treats contain more than 60 g of sugar (nearly two days worth) per 16 ounces. Smoothie King also adds sweeteners, resulting in 20-ounce frozen giants that contain a whopping 100 g of sugar—or more.
9. Jelly & Jam: Before you slather fruit spread on your sandwich, keep in mind that, while jams and jellies are made with fruit, the second ingredient is sugar. Two tablespoons will fill you up with about 13 grams.
10. Peanut Butter: Not all peanut butter, but most stuff at the stores does. Take a look at the ingredient list and you will find sugar (among other things) other than peanuts! Try to find a natural variety, and if you need to add a bit of honey to sweeten it up.
*The take-away? Be aware! Read those labels and look for ways to reduce that added sugar that can sneak in to our diets so easily.
Have a safe and fun weekend!