What is high in sugar but doesn’t taste that sweet? If your answer is “a whole lot of foods,” you hit the nail on the head, because there are a ton of foods that are absolutely loaded with a lot more sugar than you realize.
Food companies good reason to pump a bunch of sugar into their products. It’s long been said that “fat is flavor,” but sugar is certainly flavor as well. So when an item is promoted as being low in fat or fat-free, we bet that the sugar content is inversely proportional to fat. But you’d be amazed at how many everyday food items simply don’t taste “right” without heaps of sugar. [relaize]
Before we get into the unexpectedly sugary foods, we should discuss how much sugar we’re actually supposed to be eating. For someone consuming about 2,000 calories per day. The sugars found in natural foods like fruit and milk, for example, are less detrimental to your health than the “added sugar” in things like soft drinks and candy, which are essentially nutrient-free empty calories.
For reference, a can of Coke contains 39 grams of sugar, and a Hershey’s bar contains 41 grams. Even though a food item might not be as cloyingly sweet as those, it can still pack quite the unexpected sugary punch. So the next time you’re checking a food label for fat and calories, also be sure to check the sugar content too; it’s also smart to opt for “no sugar added” products, but be wary of sweets that are completely sugar-free, because that means that they’re full of chemical sweeteners (and probably won’t taste very good anyway). Enjoy everything in moderation, and look out for hidden sugar.
Health-conscious individuals and children everywhere include these so-called healthy snacks in their everyday diet. Protein bars and granola bars are often loaded with added sugar. Honey, agave, brown sugar and evaporated cane juice are all just another way of listing sugar. Sprinkling granola over that plain yogurt can actually add back in the sugar you avoided by swapping out flavors for the original. One half cup can cost you more than 12 grams. Plain, unflavored granola bars are better, but not great, still clocking in at six grams. If you’re really craving crunch, replace the granola with a protein-rich nut, like a handful of almonds. People wrongly assume that these ingredients are different because they
sound healthier. A healthier snack is a piece of fruit and a scoop of
When you eat a grape, you most likely notice how sweet
it is. Now imagine condensing all of that sugar into a bite much smaller
than a grape, and you’ll realize that raisins are in fact very sugary; ¼
cup of them contains 29 grams of sugar.
comes to sugar, yogurt can pack a powerful punch. Some kinds even have
more sugar than a Twinkie, and low fat and flavored brands, in
particular, might contain as much as 29 grams of sugar per serving. That
doesn’t necessarily mean we have to kick yogurt out of our diets
though. When shopping for it, avoid flavored or low-fat varieties, as
those tend to have more sugar than plain yogurt.
Think twice before hydrating with a sports drink after a grueling workout. Just one drink can pack five teaspoons of sugar, according to Harvard University. Orange juice is even worse, containing 10 teaspoons, the same as a can of soda. Skip the sugar altogether by quenching your thirst with water next time you hit the gym. If you’re not willing to give up juice, Bauer suggests adding in the same flavor of seltzer to drive down natural sugar by 50 percent and give it some fizz.
Salad itself may be good for you, as long as it’s stuffed with a variety of veggies, but it’s what you drizzle on top that adds a surplus of sugar. And the seemingly healthy “low-fat” option is often the worst choice, as the fat that gets cut out is often replaced with sugar. So, a two-tablespoon serving of Italian dressing has 2 grams and thousand island and fat-free French have a whopping 6 grams of sugar.
While it’s not necessarily a health food, adding a dash of ketchup to your meal isn’t as harmless as you may think. Just one tablespoon of the condiment contains a teaspoon of sugar. That’s one sixth of your allotted daily amount.Tomato Content
As the name suggests, one of the primary components of tomato ketchup is tomatoes. Tomatoes are important for both good health and optimal growth for a number of reasons. First, tomatoes contain several important vitamins and minerals that are essential for your body to function properly. Secondly, tomatoes contain high amounts of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber has been linked not only to the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease, stroke and some types of cancer, but has also been found to be actually quite beneficial for you if you are interested in weight loss.Sodium Content
While tomato ketchup does contain high amounts of tomatoes, it also contains quite a bit of salt. Most people avoid salt in an effort to prevent water retention. And, while sodium is the main culprit in water retention, it is also to blame for a number of other serious health concerns. Namely, sodium has been found to contribute to high blood pressure, as well as damage to arterial walls. Both of these factors can result in severe cardiovascular disease, stroke, heart attacks, and in extreme cases, can even lead to possible death. In general, you should avoid salt whenever possible in order to achieve optimal health.High Fructose Corn Syrup ContentTomato ketchup has also been found to contain high amounts of high fructose corn syrup. While you may have heard of this ingredient, chances are that you are not actually aware of what it is, or how it can affect your health. High fructose corn syrup is a product that comes from corn, and is typically used as a sugar substitute.
This product can be dangerous for a number of reasons. First, it is vey high in calories, and therefore can contribute to weight gain and possible obesity. One of the other ways in that high fructose corn syrup is dangerous is that it can wreck havoc with your blood sugar levels. Since the sugar in the product is digested rapidly, it produces a huge blood sugar spike, and subsequently a relatively rapid drop. This can cause feelings of dizziness, nausea and fatigue, not to mention the damage that it can do to people who are suffering from diabetes.
The benefits of tomato ketchup do not outweigh the risks. The high sodium and corn syrup content are enough to severely damage your health. For best results, look for salt-free ketchup…or even better, avoid it all-together.
Becoming aware of the foods that you consume that may have hidden sugars is the first step in making healthier choices. Fortunately, once you are aware, there are many healthier options for each food product. Take the time and start reading labels, specifically the amount of sugar and the ingredient list. It may take some time, but adjusting your palate to enjoy foods that are less sweet will result in many health benefits.