A recent study found that most yogurts contain more sugar than you might imagine – and definitely more sugar than you need! Only 80 out of 900 yogurt brands in the study were classified as ‘low in sugar’ (meaning they contain less than five grams of sugar per 100 grams.)
What about organic yogurts, surely they are the better choice? As it turns out, the organic yogurt brands actually contained the most sugar. Organic yogurts averaged 13 grams of sugar – about three sugar cubes worth! Still think yogurt is a healthy snack for the kids? Children’s yogurts averaged nearly 11 grams of sugar!
Plain, full-fat Greek yogurt is actually the best choice, containing an average of five grams of sugar. Top with fresh berries, a sprinkle of low-carb Cinnamon Pecan Granola and you’re good to go.
Hidden sugar is a true epidemic in the U.S. Many diabetics can have the best intentions of eating right to lower blood sugar, but sugar is hiding everywhere! You may be filling your grocery cart with sugar, and likely don’t even realize it. For example, picking up a few condiments for your next tailgate party?
Ketchup is America’s most-beloved condiment. Too bad it contains an astounding one teaspoon of sugar per squirt! Same goes for Thousand Island, French, and Russian dressings which are actually ketchup-based, and can contain 9-10 grams of sugar per two-tablespoon serving! Look for lower-sugar varieties of your favorite sauces or just switch to mustard, which has no added sugar at all.
Sauces like barbecue and teriyaki add great flavor to meats, but sugar can account for an incredible 80 percent of the calories per serving. Just two tablespoons of barbecue sauce can contain up to 12 grams of sugar – that’s 3 teaspoons! Research recipes online for no sugar-added barbeque sauces and make your own.
Like yogurt, even foods traditionally considered ‘healthy’ (like oatmeal, granola, fruit, and tea) can hide sugar!
Oatmeal itself is a great source of fiber. Beware the packaged or flavored instant varieties. These could have 10-15 grams of sugar per packet! Prepare your own steel-cut oats for optimal nutritional value. If you must use instant, choose plain, unflavored oatmeal and drizzle with sugar-free syrup or add fresh berries.
While diabetics know to avoid the fruity or chocolaty cereal varieties, the “healthy” cereal options can also sneak in the sugar. Many popular corn, granola, and bran cereals contain between 10-20 grams of sugar per cup. Enjoy a larger portion, and you could be consuming 30-40 grams of sugar!
Canned fruit is often packed in syrup. Most often it is high-fructose corn syrup which is full of calories and sugar, and completely devoid of nutrition. One cup of canned fruit contains at least 30 grams of sugar, if not more. Believe it or not, that’s the same amount of sugar found in 7 Oreo cookies! If you’re going to buy canned fruit, look for those that are packed in water.
Be wary of fruit juices, mixes, and concentrates. Most store-bought fruit juices are actually just fruit-flavored beverages. They contain a very small amount of actual fruit juice, and are mostly made up of sugar and preservatives, with most having between 20-30 grams of sugar per cup.
Your best bet is to enjoy fresh fruit. Fruits do contain natural sugars, but also many nutrients the body needs for fuel. Fresh fruit has the added benefit of fiber, which helps slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and will keep blood sugar more stable.
You’ve given up sodas and switched to tea thinking it’s a healthier choice. What you may not know is that many popular ready-to-drink tea varieties are already sweetened and contain a shocking amount of sugar. (For example, the leading brand of lemon-flavored iced tea contains over 30 grams of sugar per bottle.) Don’t skip tea altogether, though. Tea has many health benefits, just brew your own at home!
The key to avoiding hidden sugars is to check nutritional labels carefully and make informed choices about the foods you bring home from the grocery store. Sugar really is hiding everywhere. It’s up to you to keep it out of your kitchen!