Sugar is one of the most common ingredients in today’s foods, especially in processed foods. Too much is very bad for your health: it can cause diabetes and obesity, among other diseases. Although many people are trying to cut back on their sugar intake, many still consume sugar without knowing. Here is a list of 15 surprising foods high in sugar. Some of these foods are even marketed as “healthy”!
1. Low-fat yogurt
You would think that low-fat yogurt is good for health, but here’s the thing: it often has added sugar to enhance flavor!
Full-fat yogurt, with no added sugar, would actually be better for your health.
2. Fruit juice
Sure, fruits contain vitamins and minerals, which are awesome for your health. However, just one glass of fruit juice usually requires many fruits. It thus comes with much more sugar than if you were to only eat one fruit.
Instead of drinking fruit juice, eat the fruit itself.
3. Sports drinks
So, you got on the exercise train to better health. To hydrate and fuel yourself during long and intense gym sessions, you consume sports drinks. Guess what? They contain a lot of sugar – so that they can provide quick energy, exactly.
Unless you are under extreme training for performance at competitions, water is the best beverage.
Granola is marketed as a health food – and it is. Grains and nuts mixed together make for a great power food. However, granola is often mixed with sugar or honey to enhance the flavour.
Go for sugar-free granola or make your own granola by choosing which grains and nuts you want to mix together. You can always eat granola with some fruit for some sweet taste!
5. Protein bars
Protein bars are another successfully-marketed health food. Protein satiates you and can help you to eat less, thus making people think that protein bars are healthy snacks. Nevertheless, with the amount of sugar present in many protein bars, they could easily be compared to simply candy bars – except for the protein content!
Choose sugar-free protein bars, or make your own at home: there are many great sugar-free protein bar recipes available online! Plus, you can always eat better meals that would prevent you from snacking in between.
6. Cereal bars
Just like protein bars, cereal bars look like a great healthy snack. However, they are even worse than protein bars: they have a lot of added sugar and little protein.
Again, opt for sugar-free ones, make your own at home, or eat better meals to avoid snacking!
7. Canned fruit
You would think that canned fruit is healthy because it’s fruit, right? Wrong! Canned fruit is often peeled and preserved in syrup. So, in addition to being very low in fiber, canned fruit also has a lot of sugar.
Eat fresh fruits instead of canned fruit.
8. Canned baked beans
Baked beans are a delicious food, but the canned version, although tasty, is very high in sugar.
Go for low-sugar canned versions or, even better, bake your own beans at home.
9. Pre-made soup
Soup is a great way to easily increase your vegetable intake. Yet, commercial soups often contain several added ingredients, including sugar.
Make your own soup at home. You get to decide which vegetables, herbs and spices that you want to put in it!
10. Breakfast cereal
Many cereals, especially those marketed at children, claim to be full of nutritional goodness. However, what they don’t tell you is that they’re full of sugar!
Go for sugar-free granola or wake up a little earlier to cook a quick breakfast. If you need a sweet taste, fruits are a great breakfast addition.
11. Bottled smoothies
Smoothies are a major health trend, but the commercial ones are often sweetened with fruit juice, ice cream, sugar or even syrup.
Choose sugar-free smoothies or make your own at home and make your smoothie even more nutritious.
12. Iced tea
Commercial iced teas are not really teas. They are processed with several ingredients. On top of that, they contain way more sugar than you would normally put in your own tea.
Brew your own regular or herbal tea at home and pour ice over! You can always flavor it with some lemon and honey for added health benefits.
13. Flavored coffee
Flavored coffee is a popular trend. Vanilla, hazelnut, chocolate… People are spoilt for choice as to their flavor. However, flavored coffee contains crazy amounts of sugar as well!
It’s best to stick to coffee not flavored with syrups.
14. Chocolate milk
Milk and cocoa in themselves are two nutritious foods. However, while commercial chocolate milk is milk flavoured with cocoa, it is also often loaded with sugar.
If you want to drink healthy chocolate milk, it’s simple: mix pure cocoa powder with milk to make your own chocolate milk! You can better control the amount of sugar you put and how strong or light you want the cocoa to be.
Ketchup is one of the most popular condiments throughout the world. Although it’s often made with tomatoes, it is also packed with a lot of sugar and salt.
Limit your consumption of ketchup. If you really can’t do without, making your own ketchup at home is a much healthier option.
What to do?
It’s usually processed foods that are high in sugar. Always check the label on the packaging to know the ingredients and see how much sugar they contain. It is important to know what you put into your body. The best option, of course, is to avoid processed foods altogether: go for real, whole, fresh foods instead, and make your own food at home.