5 Surprising Places Sugar Hides

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Don’t be fooled! There is sugar in everything we eat!

By Courtney Bentley

No doubt about it, sugar is evil, we all know we have to cut back, but did you know sugar is not just found in candies and ice cream but lurks in foods you may be eating daily. Avoiding sugar is not only good for your health, but can help your family to stay fit and trim as well as avoid obesity, diabetes, and hyperactivity.

Sugar is added to foods to increase our “likeness” of food. Ever wonder why some people have to add ketchup to everything, it may not be because the tomato sauce gives bland food a packed punch but because of the sugar load in one serving of ketchup. On average children’s daily diets are 16% full of sugar, not always candy and cupcakes but as an additive in fruit juices, sauces and even the healthier cereals.

Food marketers have learned to disguise the word sugar by giving a word we have been told to avoid other names like those listed below:

White sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, high fructose corn syrup, malt syrup, maple syrup, pancake syrup, fructose sweetener, liquid fructose, honey, molasses, anhydrous dextrose, crystal dextrose and dextrin.

Before you panic, I have five foods that most likely contain one of these words or tons of sugar that you may have not thought of. The most important takeaway from this article is that you are aware of how much sugar you and your family ingests throughout the day.

The five foods I’m going to tell you about in this article can make our lives easier but remember creating dishes that use ingredients from fresh produce and not pre-packaged foods are always a better choice when it comes to creating healthy meals for your family.

  1. BBQ Sauce and Marinades: Surprisingly enough, the reason BBQ sauces, whether sweet or original, taste so yummy is because they are loaded full of sugar. Just two tablespoons of traditional marinades and sauces is estimated to have around 13 grams of sugar, which is the same as seven straws of Pixy Sticks and we both know that two tablespoons of marinade is never enough! Avoiding the ease of pre packaged marinades by creating your own may seem easy for some with time but for those who need a quick fixin’ at night be sure to take some time to read labels at the market and look at the listed ingredients as well as the nutritional label.
  2. Fruit Yogurt: Yogurt is a healthy snack filled with proteins, calcium and live bacteria but the fruity additives give this healthy snack a whole new meaning. Avoid these by adding your own fresh fruit to unsweetened organic yogurt. Be sure to read the labels of different brands and find one that has less than five grams of sugar!
  3. Pasta Sauce: Like the marinades, pasta sauce makes whipping up a meal quick and easy, but take the time to read labels at the market. You may be surprised to discover that most pasta sauces have at least seven to ten grams of added sugar in four ounces. Although tastier, this added sugar makes our taste buds crave more sugar and mixed with pasta, which also raises insulin levels, can lead to a disastrous sugar crash. You can always create your own pasta sauce. It’s simple, just Google for recipes and triple the recipe to save in the freezer for future meals.
  4. Granola Bars and Cluster Cereals: Known as a healthy snack, granola bars and cluster cereals may be higher in sugar than your favorite candy bar. To make these snacks tasty, many companies have found that adding artificial sugars or other forms of sugar increase the satiety of there products. Instead of granola bars and cluster cereals try oatmeal with fruit or creating your own granola bars using coconut flour or oatmeal.
  5. Bread: You have heard before to avoid white bread and instead you can buy whole wheat bread from the packaged food section at your local store. Most of these whole wheat bread selections are not as “whole” as we have been lead to believe. Again, reading the ingredients is key, can you pronounce the words in the list? Did the company add sugar and high fructose corn syrup to enhance the bland flavors? Many companies add sugar in order to create a desirable product but make you think you are making the healthier choice by purchasing the whole wheat selection.

After reading this article, I hope that you will start to spend time reading labels at the store, separating sugary foods from the healthier choices and creating your own sauces a bit more in the kitchen. Pinterest is a great resource for family friendly and healthy recipes that can easily be recreated in your kitchen for healthy choices!

sugar cubes photo by kurtlus garbutt BY CC 2.0

2 Responses to 5 Surprising Places Sugar Hides

  1. […] our article from Courtney Violet Bentley on the 5 Surprising Places Sugar Hide for more […]

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