Food Lies: 10 "Healthy" Foods with Hidden Sugar
Sugar can cause nasty ailments like weight gain and type 2 diabetes, so we do our best to avoid overdosing on it. But sometimes this ubiquitous ingredient can be sneaky, operating under pseudonyms like "high fructose corn syrup" or appearing in foods we would never suspect. Forget the obvious bad guys like cake and soda--you already know about those. It's the seemingly-healthy staples to watch out for, like milk and tomato sauce.
The Worst Offenders:
Oatmeal, which is naturally low in sugar, makes a very healthy breakfast if you dress it up with nuts and fruit. But the pre-packaged, flavored variety is often packed with loads of added sugar.
1 packet = up to 15 grams
Protein is a smart snack option because it keeps you full longer than carbohydrates. But protein bars can be problematic because they're sometimes filled with sugar to make them taste better. Unsalted almonds or peanuts are a healthier choice.
One bar = 15 grams
This is a tricky one. Salad dressing, especially the low-fat variety, can contain a lot of sugar. Opt for vinegar or lemon juice with olive oil instead.
1 tablespoon of low fat French dressing = 6 grams
Granola gets a bad rap for being fattier than many people realize. But it often comes coated with tons of sugar, too.
1 cup = 24 grams
You probably know whole milk contains saturated fat, but all milk contains sugar. Pair it with sugary cereal or oatmeal and you could be in for one heck of a morning sugar crash. (And don't even ask us about sugary milk drinks.)
1 cup of skim milk = 12 grams of sugar
Adding a pinch of sugar to marinara sauce is a common trick cooks use to cut the acid from the tomatoes. But packaged varieties take this practice too far, stuffing jars with tons of corn syrup because it thickens the sauce--and is therefore cheaper to make.
1/2 cup = 10 grams
In its natural state, tea contains no sugar. The trouble begins with the sweetened varieties that come in those familiar glass or plastic bottles--some have almost as many grams of sugar as a Coke.
1 20-ounce bottle = 56 grams
Fruit naturally has a lot of sugar, but some food companies insist on dusting it with even more.
1/4 cup = 18 grams
There's a reason ketchup goes so well with salty french fries--the sweetness from the sugar it contains balances the flavor. (The same is true for barbecue sauce.)
1 ounce = 6 grams
Maybe you've heard that sports drinks contain sugar. But think of it like this: one drink has 310 calories. A 150 pound person would have to run for 3 miles to burn that off. Kind of reduces the benefit of working out, huh?
12 ounces = 42 grams