Worldwide the mass consumption of refined sugar and various additives such as high-fructose corn syrup is creating an epidemic of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and thyroid disorders.
Becoming a “hidden sugar detective” is one of the best things you can do to support your overall health, and it all starts with looking at where sugar hides. While sugar hides in almost everything we eat today, some foods are worse than others. We are going to look at the top three foods notoriously known to have sugar added so you can be on the lookout, identify the added sugar on the food label, and then remove these foods from your diet.
Three foods with hidden sugar…
1. Granola Bars. Granola bars are one of those “health foods” that can contain as much sugar as a candy bar! Believe it or not, your favorite granola bar may provide many different types of sugar from natural sources, from cane sugar to high fructose corn syrup. If you enjoy granola bars as a go-to snack, make it a habit to check the back of the food label before you purchase a different brand of granola bar. Check for any source of added sugar, and stick to the ones only sweetened with fruit, raw honey, or pure maple syrup. However, it is best to choose one that doesn’t have very much added sugar at all or to make your own using nuts, and unsweetened dried fruits or dates.
2. Ketchup. Yes, ketchup happens to be a significant source of added sugar! And, the problem is so many of us use way more than the recommended serving size so we may be unintentionally adding a ton of added sugar to our plate. If you do enjoy ketchup, try to stick to one tablespoon per serving to reduce the amount of added sugar in your diet.
3. Cereal. Unfortunately, this favorite breakfast staple happens to be an abundant source of added sugar, and especially when it comes to children’s cereal. Not only does the cereal itself contain added sugar, but the milk you pour over your bowl of cereal each morning may also contain added sugar. Skip this popular breakfast choice altogether, and choose one like rolled oats or a hard-boiled egg with a piece of gluten-free toast and mashed avocado.
If you enjoy any of these foods regularly, do yourself a favor and check the ingredient list. Making a simple swap with something lower in sugar could be monumentally helpful to your overall health. Start by making one swap or exchange today by removing one of these three sugar-rich foods from your diet and replacing it with something nutrient dense.
To help you get started, here are some healthy low-sugar swap ideas…
- a handful of nuts plus a piece of fruit versus a Granola Bar,
- fresh tomatoes or no-sugar-added salsa versus ketchup, or
- oatmeal or quinoa versus cereal.