Hidden sugars is one of the reasons why the average adult in the U.S. is culprit of consuming around 22 teaspoons of added sugars every day. Many times, these sugars are hidden in foods meant to be “healthy.” Normally, one should only be consuming around six teaspoons of sugars a day if you’re female (that’s around 100 calories) and nine teaspoons a day (around 150 calories) if you’re male.
Why is sugar such a huge no-no? Well, apart from sugar being one of the leading causes associated with diabetes, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, and cognitive disorders (such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease), sugar is now even linked to cancer.
Now, apart from all those scary diseases, sugar is also a huge culprit when it comes to teenage and adult acne and any other skin conditions (because sugar is known to cause inflammation).
But not all sugars are created equal. The issue isn’t with sugars found in fresh fruits or vegetables, but rather it’s the added sugars found in the majority of the meals we consume that are the so-called bad sugars.
So how are we to avoid such hidden sugars? How do we know where they’re lurking? Below is a list of ten most common “healthy foods” that in reality have more sugar hiding in them than junk food.
TOP TEN HIDDEN SUGARS FOODS
- Cereals and flavored oatmeals
- Packaged breads (even those of the whole-grain variety)
- Granola bars
- “Lower calorie” drinks such as coffees, energy drinks, juices, and teas
- Protein bars and meal replacements (think Slim-Fast)
- Sweetened yogurts and other dairy products
- Frozen waffles or pancakes
- Bottled sauces, salad dressings, condiments, and marinades (think ketchup, relish, barbecue, or teriyaki)
- Dried fruit and other fruit snacks (such as Fruit Roll-Ups)
- Restaurant foods (sugar is found is almost anything cooked at a restaurant, it’s added in various sauces, desserts, and dressings)
So how are we to avoid hidden sugars? Basically, the issue is you must consume the majority of your foods in their natural state (such as fruits and vegetables). Once foods are processed or prepared in factories or restaurant chains, then that’s when unneeded sugars and sodium are added.
I’m not saying that you must avoid all of those foods on the list above ALL THE TIME, but try to consume them in moderation, that is the key to maintaining a happy and healthy lifestyle.