Surprising Sources of Hidden Sugar in Your Diet
Sugar is one of the lead villains in the waistline wars. But, the question is how to curb your intake. What you probably forgot was that apart from the sugar you add while cooking or at the table, there are many other food products choked with a considerable amount of sugar.
Not one but many studies have reported sugar consumption, especially added sugar, as the culprit for widespread prevalence of several chronic diseases including obesity, heart disease, diabetes and dental caries.
Added sugar is simply the “sugars and syrups that are added to foods during processing or preparation” excluding sugars naturally found in foods, like fruits or dairy products.
The apparent sources of sugar are biscuits, cookies, candies, fruits bars, pastries, cakes and desserts.
Here Are A Few Hidden Sources Of Sugar.
- Juices and carbonated beverages: these are loaded with added sugar, in the form of high fructose corn syrup.
- Flavored yoghurt: buy 2 (yoghurt and fruit) get 1 (sugar) free offer I guess!
- Sauces: commercially prepared tomato sauce, ketchup, BBQ sauce, pizza sauce or any other sauces or toppings are not only loaded with sodium but also have a considerable amount of sugar.
- Chocolate: milk and white chocolate varieties contain the most amounts. Nevertheless, check the label for sugar content even if it is dark chocolate.
- Canned fruits: most canned fruits are preserved in sugar syrup. Now we don’t need a magnifying glass for this one, do we?
- Frozen and instant meals – from cereal boxes, instant oatmeal and whole grain to frozen meals, they are all traps of sugar.
Here are some tips to find your way out of this maze
Make clever substitutions
- Juices: When you have an option go for home-made juices, where you can not only regulate the amount of sugar but also enjoy the benefit of fiber.
- Flavored yoghurt: Your best option is to choose plain yogurt and add your own sliced fruit. If needed add a drop of honey for an all-natural sweetener.
- Sauces: Make your own slathering sauce.
- Fruits: Buy fresh, seasonal fruits.
What if, you don’t have the time or convenience for preparing dishes at home?
You can still trim the sugar intake by simply comparing nutrition labels. Look for a low-carb or no-sugar-added or choose the brand with the lowest amount of added sugar.
Another aspect of nutrition labels is to identify what terms point towards sugar.
Beware the ingredients list may not always say ‘sugar’ per say. So keep an eye out for the following names:
- brown sugar
- powdered sugar
- corn syrup
- high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
- invert sugar/invert syrup
- malt extract/malt syrup
- rice syrup