If you’re trying to watch your sugar intake like I am, there are some super sneaky sources of sugar we need to look out for! Sugar is one of those things that are in so many foods that we wouldn’t suspect, it’s no wonder that some people feel as if they’re addicted to it! According to studies, it’s estimated that most Americans consume 100% of their daily allowance of sugar at breakfast! Check out these sneaky sources of sugar that we might overlook and be better informed of what you’re eating!
1. Salad Dressing
Did you know that salad dressing is one of the most common sneaky sources of sugar? Who knew that something as seemingly harmless as salad dressing could contain sugar?! We usually think that when we go the salad route for a meal we’re eating light, healthy and very low calorie. Make sure you read labels when you buy your salad dressing and if you’re in doubt when you’re eating out, there’s always vinegar and oil!
Another odd source of sugar is bread. I always thought the slightly sweet taste of bread was natural and while it might be in some, many companies still add a couple of grams of sugar per slice. Whether you eat white, wheat or multi-grain bread, make sure you check the list of ingredients so you’re not unknowingly consuming more sugar than you want!
3. Fruit Spreads
Fruit spreads or jams are a great way to jazz up some toast, rice cakes or oatmeal but they’re another sneaky sugar source! Fruits are naturally sweet so it doesn’t make much sense to me why companies would add more sugar. Look for no sugar added or low sugar varieties when you want to use a fruit spread and save your calories and daily sugar intake for something more sinful and decadent!
I think we’re all pretty much aware that if we eat a bowl of Froot Loops or Honey Smacks cereal, we’re getting a large dose of sugar. However, even some “safer” looking cereals, like those with granola or oats, can contain a not-so-healthy heap of sugar when we think we’re eating light and healthy! Like with the other foods on this list, make sure you’re reading labels and not just looking at calories and fat.
Yogurt is one of my favorite snacks so I was quite disturbed to find out it was another sugar source! If you like to eat flavored yogurts or those with fruit on the bottom, we’re often getting more sugar than we bargained for. Yogurt contains lactose, which is a sugar present in milk, but there’s also the added sugar, which is what we don’t want or need! Try eating plain yogurt and adding your own fruit toppings!
Did you ever think that sauce would be a source of sugar? Spaghetti sauce, marinades and teriyaki sauces all have more than their fair share of sugar. Men’s Health even said that many sauces used in sweet and sour chicken or beef teriyaki are close to maple syrup! Try making your own sauces and marinades instead of buying it from the store, there are tons of recipes online!
Oatmeal is touted as being one of the heart healthiest foods around, but unfortunately it’s another source of sugar we need to look out for. If you buy plain, steel-cut oatmeal, you’re in the clear. But if you generally buy flavored instant oatmeal, you’re very likely getting much more sugar and much less fiber and nutrients than the old-fashioned slow cooking type.
8. Frozen Meals
Most frozen meals are picked on for being a source of sodium but they're also a sugar source. Frozen meals are quick and easy and they’re great to take to work or school so I get the allure. If you just don’t have to time to make your lunch, buy them. Just be sure you do your research before you buy so you get the healthiest frozen meal you can get.
It might seem like food brands are trying to pull a fast one when it comes to sugar, but there are still lots of good companies that make good food without all the added sugar and junk. We just have to be careful when we shop for groceries and read all the labels! Do you always read the label when you shop for food?