Is Sugar Hiding your food?

As if we didn’t already know it, a lot of us are eating too much sugar. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Americans eat, on the average, about 20 teaspoons a day, with teens and men consuming the most. That adds up to a median daily calorie count of 335 for men, 230 for girls, 362 for boys and 282 for ladies.

With the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans, we are advised to cut added sugars to no more than 10 percent of our daily calories roughly 12 teaspoons a day.

Added sugars which are sugars added to foods or beverages during their processing or preparation are shown in some studies to be associated with diets that are low in fiber, calcium, vitamin A, iron and Zn, all essential to a healthy diet. Unfortunately, food labels don’t distinguish between “added sugars” and “naturally occurring sugars,” that square measure sugars found in milk (lactose) and fruit (fructose).

And to make things worse, added sugars are disguised with words like agave syrup, brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, and words ending in “ose” like dextrose, glucose, maltose and sucrose. Add more words like fruit juice concentrate, honey invert sugar, malt sugar, molasses and raw sugar and your head can swim with confusion.

Foods don’t necessarily have to be sweet to be filled with added sugars, which can make it even tougher to even detect—or presume—that they have any sugar at all. The key is to check the labels carefully.
Here are a few you might not suspect:

  • Salad dressings.Watch out for “reduced-fat” dressings, which frequently replace healthy vegetable oils with sugar. These can contain up to 3 grams of sugar in each tablespoon, which is about the same concentration, by weight, as is in a regular soft drink, according to a Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter. You’re comfortable creating your own dressing and adding flavor with spices and vinegar instead of sugar.
  • Tomato sauces. Beware of the “ready-to-serve” sorts, that square measure the foremost seemingly to be sugar-heavy. Some can contain between 10 to 15 grams in a cup. It’s easy to cook your own sauce. You can even use canned spaghetti sauce (find one that’s low in sugar) or paste as a base and add healthy ingredients like onions, garlic and peppers. But you are best off mistreatment contemporary tomatoes, once attainable. If the sauce tastes too acidic once it’s done, simply a pinch of sugar will facilitate.
  • Ketchup and barbecue sauces.A tablespoon of condiment will contain virtually four teaspoons of sugar, and barbecue sauces, even more. And because it’s unlikely you use only 1 tablespoon of barbecue sauce, it may pay to make your own.
  • Cereals. While it’s obvious that children’s sugar-coated cereals are, well, filled with sugars, there are others that are not so obvious (and sound healthy) like oat brans, oat and wheat squares and granolas, which may generally contain from ten to fifteen grams of sugar in one serving.
  • Frozen entrees. They may be convenient and quick, however perhaps you must reconsider: frozen entrees (like chicken pot pie), will contain four grams of sugar per serving. And worse, lasagna generally weighs in at vi grams, with honey-roasted turkey breast at nine grams of sugar.
  • Granola bars and trail mix bars.Sound healthy, right? Ideally, they ought to be, however they will contain up to twenty grams of sugar in every bar, particularly those coated in things like chocolate.
  • Baked beans. Beans are healthy by themselves. But create them baked beans, and you are obtaining a serving to of up to twenty grams of sugar in every cup, supported the sweeter canned varieties.