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10 Surprising Places Where Sugar Hides

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10 Surprising Places Where Sugar Hides

According to recent reports, the average American consumes 43,800 more calories from sugar every year today than was done in 1977. And most of this is not intentional. Manufacturers of popular foods have found clever ways to sneak sugar and other sweeteners into all sorts of foods, including those that are already naturally sweet.

Not only can excessive sugar cause obesity, it increases your risk of hypertension and metabolic syndrome. But avoiding the sweet stuff altogether is neither possible nor necessary. All you need to know is how to spot the hiding places and make the right choices. Here are some common culprits that tend to escape our attention:

1. Breakfast smoothies
2. Low-fat salad dressings (they have less fat, but high amounts of sugar)
3. Flavored yogurt
4. Store-bought marinara sauce and barbecue sauce
5. Baked beans
6. Baked potato chips and pretzels
7. Whole-grain cereal
8. Canned soup and frozen meals
9. Snack bars and, surprise, English muffins
10. Croutons

 

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Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman's book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).

48 comments

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6:00AM PST on Mar 5, 2013

Thank you Shubhra, for Sharing this!

11:54AM PST on Nov 15, 2012

That's why I read ALL labels.

12:53AM PDT on Oct 19, 2012

good to know

12:06AM PDT on Oct 19, 2012

thanks!

9:17AM PDT on Oct 18, 2012

Thanks.

6:46AM PDT on Oct 18, 2012

Thanks Shubhra for the info. Made from scratch beats store or restaurant bought anytime.

6:13AM PDT on Oct 18, 2012

Thank you. Always good to be reminded.

6:08AM PDT on Oct 18, 2012

"Don't panic!" Okay, appropriate Douglas Adams quote done; I checked the labels on my canned soups, and sugar is less than 1/2% of each serving. There's also a very tiny amount of sugar in big, one-pound containers of salt. There it helps keep the salt from clumping from moisture in the air. It' s not dietarily significant In the soup, it's probably for its chemical properties, maybe to make the soup less acidic.

Things such as the "low-fat" salad dressings are more of a concern, though fat has about twice as many Calories per gram/ounce. The big hiding places for sugars are drinks (6 Tablespoons of sugar per 12 ounce soda), restaurant foods, prepared foods, some of those smoothies, sweetened breakfast cereals, ice cream.

For the smoothies (or anything else, really) look at the nutrition label and the list of ingredients (which is always by order of how much of each, from most to least). If a smoothie is expensive ($3-$5 each) still look at the label; you'll probably see that it's all fruit, which means natural fruit sugars. You may still need to watch your sugar intake. Refined sugar is cheaper, and that's more likely what you get in a less expensive smoothie. Long run, it's less expensive to see what Consumer Reports recommends in a blender, and buy big bags of frozen fruit chunks. To keep from having the same taste over and over, try adding spices, like cinnamon or nutmeg.

V8 vegetable juice has always been tasty to me, and tomato juice is way lower i

5:57AM PDT on Oct 18, 2012

thank you

5:34AM PDT on Oct 18, 2012

Surely the ingredients have to be listed? Is it sugar, lurking in what we buy or high fructose corn syrup? Better sugar than aspartame in any of its guises.

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