These Supposedly Heathy Foods Are Actually Loaded With Sugar
Sugar is found in just about everything, but wouldn’t you like to know if it’s hiding in your “health” foods? Here are 15 foods that you may not know are filled with sugar.
1. “Fat Free” or “Low Fat” Labeling
Low fat and fat free products can actually contain up to 40% more sugar than their regular counterparts. Fat usually equates to flavor, so sugar is needed to replace flavor lost when fat is removed
2. Flavored Yogurt
Yogurts that are flavored contain large amounts of added sugars and artificial flavors. Instead, buy plain Greek yogurt and add your own fruit.
3. Yogurt-Covered Snacks
“Yogurt covering” is made from sugar, partially hydrogenated oil, milk powder, and yogurt powder. This snack is adding sugar, saturated fat, and trans fat to your raisins, pretzels, and almonds. Therefore, it should be treated more like an occasional sweet treat.
4. Frozen Yogurt
Although frozen yogurt has less fat than ice cream, sugar is used to replace the flavor lost by a reduction in fat. Once the frozen treat is loaded up with candy from the vast selection of toppings it is going to be soaring with added sugars and calories. Instead, try making fruit popsicles at home!
5. Store-Bought Smoothies
Depending on which establishment you go to, smoothies often rarely contain real fruit. It is important to check ingredients before purchasing a smoothie because it is most likely a high-calorie blend of sugars. A safer option is to make a smoothie at home with fruit, low-fat dairy, and even a little spinach!
6. Fruit Juice
By consuming fruit juice rather than whole fruit, you are sacrificing fiber along with important vitamins and minerals found in the more natural fruit form. There is also a very large amount of added sugar in most fruit juice beverages that will add up in calories without filling you up! Instead, try naturally flavored water or unsweetened ice tea.
7. Fruit Cocktail/Fruit Cups
Be careful in your selection if you decide to opt for fruit cups. Many companies drown the small pieces of fruit in heavy syrup laden with added sugar. Look for fruit that is packaged in fruit juice or, even better, water!
8. Dried Fruit
Dried fruit is filled with preservatives and added sugar making it similar in nutrient content to most candy. Although you are still getting vitamins, minerals, and fiber, it is easy to overeat this treat and consume more sugar than intended. Rather than snacking on dried fruit alone, try adding small amounts of it to your trail mix.
9. Flavored Instant Oatmeal
Single serving packets of flavored oatmeal are often packed with added sugar and unnecessary calories. If possible, buy a large tub of oats, and buy the instant kind to keep it simple and convenient. Add in your own fruit and toppings to keep it flavorful!
Granola is a tricky one and it all depends on the specific ingredients, so label reading is key. Most granola is very high in sugar and calories, and it is typical to overeat considering ¼ cup is a serving size. When shopping, choose a granola that has healthy nuts and less added sugar.
11. Gluten Free Products if You Aren’t Gluten Free
These products, while great for those who can’t consume wheat, contain a variety of other flours plus added sugar. Since there are usually more calories and sugar in these products than normal gluten-containing food, there is no nutritional benefit for the average person.
12. Energy Bars
Between the contents of the bar and the chocolate drizzled on top, most energy bars can actually end up being just as nutritionally detrimental as eating a candy bar. When choosing a bar, aim for one with less added sugar, as well as a short list of ingredients.
13. Reduced Fat and Powdered Peanut Butter
The monounsaturated fat found in peanut butter is a healthy source of fat. When it is removed in products such as reduced fat and powdered peanut butter, the creamy treat looses a healthy dose of fat, protein, and vitamins. Also, sugar and salt are added to replace the flavor lost in this process. So, stick to your regular peanut butter, but try to only have a spoonful or two!
14. Agave Nectar
This less-processed alternative to refined sugar or corn syrup has been marked as a healthy, natural product. The key point here is to remember that, although it is less processed than regular table sugar, it is still sugar and needs to be consumed in moderation.
15. Bottled Salad Dressings
This may come as a surprise to most people, but even healthy looking dressings can be laden with added sugars, coloring agents, flavor enhancers, thickeners, and additives. Try making your own vinaigrettes at home or using olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Start small by trying to incorporate one of these simple alternatives into your daily routine. Making small changes in your diet can eventually make huge changes in your life!