You probably hear all the time how you need to cut out foods high in sugar out of your diet or cut sugar from your diet completely. You might try your best to have less soda, say no to that office birthday cake or even not dip into your kid’s candy stash. But you might not realize that sugar is in so much more than the obvious places. Of course, the closer you can stay to eating fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins, the better. But for those other times when you aren't eating that way, here are the list of culprits you need to keep an eye out to cut back on sugar:
1. Fruit yogurt
Who doesn’t love a good sweetened yogurt with mixed fruit? You’re getting wonderful calcium and protein. But what you might not realize is that most containers have 17-30 grams of sugar. A healthier option is plain yogurt, organic is best, then sweeten it with a liquid stevia and top it off with organic fruit.
2. Granola bars
When looking for a quick healthy snack, you might think granola bars. But with so many covered in chocolate or sprinkled with chocolate chips, they can have up to 12 grams of sugar. Even the healthier options can still have high amounts of sugar. If you’re really in the mood for a granola bar, try a homemade recipe where you can at least control the ingredients you put into it.
3. Salad dressings
You’re probably eating salads to get healthier. But if you’re not careful, the salad dressing could add up to 9-10 grams of sugar per 2-tablespoons. The worst culprits are the sweet dressings and the French, Catalina and Thousand Island dressings. Instead, make a delicious homemade dressing using olive oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic and spices.
4. Canned fruit
They’re usually packed in syrups and can have up to 40 grams of sugar. If you’re looking for a healthier option, then look for ones packed in water or natural juices. Even better? Eat a real piece of fruit. Real fruit has sugar, but because of the natural fiber it keeps you feeling fuller longer and has more nutrients and antioxidants1.
You may decide to eat canned soup to be healthier. But what you may not realize is soup can have five teaspoons of sugar! The healthiest way is to make homemade. Prepare a simple soup in a slow cooker so it’s ready when you get home, then enjoy a delicious and healthy soup you made yourself that can last a few nights, maybe even all week.
6. Energy drinks
Energy drinks are very popular and everywhere. But you really don’t need them as much as advertisers would like you to think. When you drink them you’re really getting your energy because they’re packed with so much sugar. Some can have up to 25 grams of sugar per 8-ounce serving. Instead try a glass of water. Being dehydrated can make you feel tired. If you’re looking for a way to drink more water, 310 Lemonade is a satisfying and refreshing way to love drinking water even more.
Nothing is like a fresh squeezed glass of juice. But what you may not realize is most of them are actually from concentrate. To make a concentrate good, guess what they add? You guessed it – sugar. Juice can have up to 30 grams of sugar per cup. Your best bet? Learn to juice yourself at home so you know there’s no added sugar.
8. Meal replacement drinks
You might have chosen one to help you lose weight and get healthier. But some are laden with a lot of sweeteners so the sugar grams are high. So be careful which brand you choose. Stay away from real sugar and fructose in the ingredients. You also want to avoid artificial sweeteners because they’ve been linked to weight gain. 310 Shake uses natural sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit which are the best options, with sugar less than 1 gram.
1. Ellen Breslau: 9 Hidden Sources of Hidden Sugar (April 22, 2015) http://www.huffingtonpost.com