Did you know a lot of the so-called healthy foods and drinks you buy are not so healthy at all. In this post I’ll be sharing some presumably healthy foods that contain hidden sugars that you are probably blissfully unaware of. When we start following a healthier lifestyle, we choose all sorts of low fat foods, granola bars, and smoothies, however, some of them can do more harm than good. That is why it is essential to choose carefully and read food labels when you’re doing food shopping and make informed choices that can be beneficial and not the other way around.
Some of these foods are loaded with sugar which is quite alarming since they’re supposed to be healthy foods that are good for you. Take a granola bar for instance. Some contain in excess of 26g/100g sugar whereas Canderel’s granola bar only contains 1g/100g sugar. Here are some common foods that are guilty as charged when it comes to hidden sugars.
Foods that contain hidden sugars
- Cereal bars.
- Low fat yogurt.
- Breakfast bars.
- Baked beans.
- Instant oats.
- Breakfast cereal.
- Peanut butter.
- Sauces, marinades, condiments (including tomato sauce), ready-made pasta sauces, and salad dressings.
- Protein bars.
Beverages that contain hidden sugars
- Instant cappuccino pouches.
- Iced tea.
- Bottled smoothies.
- Drinking yogurts.
- Flavored sparkling water.
- Tonic water.
- Sports drinks.
- Fruit juice.
Children’s foods that contain hidden sugars
- Breakfast biscuits.
- Fruit juice.
- Dried fruits, particularly those that are sugar coated.
- Sweetened yogurt.
- Organic, gluten free, all natural products (check the labels before buying them).
- Malt-based drinks.
- Breakfast cereals (look for varieties that have 5g/100g sugar).
Don’t believe everything you read
The packaging on food or drink containers can often be misleading. Remember, the manufacturers need to sell the product. Instead read through the ingredients list on the container prior to buying it. The ingredients must be listed according to weight and usually when sugar appears on the top, you know the product is loaded with sugar. Keep in mind that sugar can also be listed as maltodextrin, cane sugar, maltose, dextrose, honey, glucose, high fructose syrup, corn syrup, and sucrose. For a product to have a low sugar content it must contain either 5g/100g of sugar or 2.5g/100ml.
Why is sugar so bad for us?
Sugar has become synonymous with unhealthy eating and for good reason. The real problem lies in added sugar because there’s no need to add extra sugar to your eating plan at all. The less sugar intake in your diet, the healthier it is for you. However, most of us take in more than our daily quota. Men are supposed to have nine teaspoons of sugar a day while women only six, according to the recommendations of the American Heart Association. Based on the South African department of health’s suggested calorie intake, women has a 202 calorie daily limit and men 250. Diabetics or individuals at higher risk must have half this amount.
There are brands that are healthier
There are brands that go the extra mile as far as health is concerned. Canderel, for instance, is an excellent example with their broad range of granola, sweeteners, and chocolates that contain less sugar and are a good fit for people who are looking after their health.
I hope you have found this article helpful. I know I was surprised to learn about some of the foods that contain hidden sugars. For instance, low fat yogurt might not contain a lot of fat but it contains more sugar to enhance the taste. And that is what you should be wary of. Good luck with your healthy eating and beware of those sugar-laden foods.