Typically when you are trying to eat healthy you avoid added sugars. And even though each year more and more Americans resolve to lose weight, an astonishing 13% of Americans’ daily calories come from added sugars. Some of that 13% can be attributed to baked goods, candy, ice cream and soda. However, those trying to abstain from sweets still maybe be getting more added sugar than they think. Did you know that there are added sugars lurking in some of those “healthy” foods you’ve grown to love? Here are 7 surprising foods that have hidden sugars.
We see commercials and advertisements for all kinds of weight loss programs. Most of the time when we see commercials for meal replacements like Slim Fast we assume that they are healthy. Well, turns out that’s not true. I remember my mom drinking the popular diet Drink Slim fast growing up. Years later when I started looking for my own weight loss solution, I looked up the meal replacement program and was shocked to see that sugar is the third ingredient in the Chocolate Royale Protein shake. How is it that a drink that is supposed to help you lose weight has sugar in it? And not just a little. Slim Fast has 18 grams of sugar! Be sure that if you are looking for a meal replacement option you go with one that is high in protein and low in sugar.
Typically after a workout, we want to refuel and re-hydrate our bodies. We reach for a Gatorade thinking that our bodies will love the blast of electrolytes. Unfortunately, these popular sports drinks aren’t as healthy as their marketing would have you believe. Reading the label of Gatorade Cool Blue shows that sugar is the second ingredient. There are 34 grams of sugar in one 20 oz bottle of Gatorade.
Fruit juice is delicious. You love it, the kids love it, and it’s healthy, right? Well, even though 100% Juice doesn’t have added sugar, there’s still a lot of sugar packed into an 8 oz glass. An 8 oz glass of Welch’s 100% grape juice has 36 grams of sugar. While this sugar is from fruit, this would be the equivalent of eating about 2 1/2 cups of grapes. You don’t need to forgo juice completely, but we do recommend cutting the serving size in half and diluting it with water.
Spaghetti is one of my favorite meals. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I actually picked up a bottle of my favorite pasta sauce and realized that it contained sugar. For the longest time I thought spaghetti sauce was just tomatoes and seasoning. Boy, was I wrong. Prego traditional pasta sauce lists sugar as the third ingredient. Half a cup of Prego contains 10 grams of sugar. I can say for a certainty that I rarely use just a half cup. I was consuming close to 20 grams of sugar without even realizing it.
It doesn’t matter if you’re using a vinaigrette or traditional ranch dressing, you are eating added sugar. Hidden Valley Ranch lists sugar as the fourth ingredient, and Hidden Valley Italian Vinaigrette lists sugar as the third ingredient. It’s not a substantial amount in grams, but when you are trying to kick a sugar habit, even a few grams can lead you to craving more. Try finding recipes online for salad dressings, then make your own. If it calls for sugar, swap it out for stevia.
Greek Yogurt has gained popularity in the last 5 years for being a high protein yogurt option. Many people have switched over, excited about the healthier alternative. What some people don’t realize is that even Greek yogurt like Oikos Strawberry yogurt contains sugar. In fact, it’s listed as the fourth ingredient . One single serving container has 18 grams sugar. This particular sugar is easy to avoid because the plain variety has no added sugar, and you can add your own fruit and your natural, low calorie stevia of choice.
Granola bars are a filling snack. They usually contain protein, fruit and oats, but they also usually contain added sugar. For instance, Special K protein bars list sugar as the fourth ingredient and contain 7 grams of sugar. Nature Valley sweet & salty nut bars list corn syrup as the second ingredient and sugar as the third ingredient. In total, the nut bars have 12 grams of sugar for one bar. If you are a major fan of granola bars, it’s best to look for recipes that you can make on your own using honey or stevia.
Bottom line is this: read labels. Always compare products you believe to be healthy to other products that you believe to be unhealthy. Check to see if there is actually a difference. If sugar is listed in the ingredients, try your best to find a better option that doesn’t have it, even if it means making your own or giving it up. Which of your foods are hiding added sugar?
Check out this sugar free recipe book with over 100 recipes.