If you’re trying to live a healthy lifestyle, you probably know to stay away from sugar. In fact, cutting refined sugar from your diet can result in faster weight loss, not to mention better skin and improved sleep quality. You get healthy sugars through the fruits you eat and aside from an occasional treat to splurge on once in a while, and you might think you’ve successfully navigated away from sugar.
Some things that we perceive as healthy are actually riddled with more hidden sugar than your favorite bowl of ice cream or bakery treats. Here is a list of the top offenders and what to do:
1. Flavored Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is often encouraged as a wise choice because it contains less sugar due to the straining process. There’s an exception to that though when it has flavoring added in. One cup of flavored Greek yogurt can pack 12+grams of sugar, so check your labels before tossing it in your shopping cart.
It sounds healthy, but even a small container of applesauce could have 22 grams of sugar. Make it yourself using ground cinnamon to add flavor if you need an extra touch of flavor in your applesauce.
Smoothies made outside the home can contain things like ice cream, sherbet, fruit juice, or flavored syrups to the tune of 60 grams of sugar per serving. If you must have a smoothie, know what’s going in it. Better yet, make it yourself, so you have complete control.
4. Nut Butters
Nut butters can give us a nice dose of protein and keep us on an even keel during a busy day. But if yours has cane sugar, honey, or corn syrup listed on the label, toss it. Choose the natural varieties that only contain nuts.
5. Instant Oatmeal
Oatmeal is an excellent choice for a healthy breakfast unless it’s in one of those flavored packets. Choose unsweetened oatmeal and top it with fresh fruit or cinnamon for a taste you’ll love without all that sugar.
6. Dried Fruit
Always check the labels on dried fruit packages. Some brands add sugar to it, loading it with more sugar than you'd expect to find in a packet of dried fruit.
Read the labels for all your sauces from ketchup to barbecue and teriyaki to sweet chili. All of them have hidden sugars, some more than others.
8. Non-Dairy Milk
Whether you’re vegan or you need or want to avoid regular milk, be careful which non-dairy choices you make. Almond, soy, cashew, and rice milks can have as much as 10 grams of sugar. Choose unsweetened options of these non-dairy milks instead.
Don’t forget when you switch to whole grain breads to always look for the sugar content. Narrow down your selection to a brand with 2 grams of sugar per slice or less.
10. Gummy Vitamins
Swallowing those jumbo vitamins is such a hassle. It’s great that someone came up with vitamins in gummy-form. However, you might be getting more sugar than you bargained for. Check out the label to be sure.
The bottom line is this: hidden sugars are in some of the least suspecting places. Read your labels and make wise choices to keep your sugar intake to the bare minimum.