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Hidden Sugars in ‘Healthy’ Foods: A Closer Look at Common Culprits

In an effort to eat healthily, many people opt for salads, fruits, or protein bars. However, these seemingly low-calorie options often contain added sugars, which can be detrimental to our health.

Low-Fat Yogurt: Marketed as a healthy choice, low-fat yogurt often compensates for the lack of fat by adding sugar to maintain flavor and texture. A single serving of flavored low-fat yogurt can contain up to 20 grams of sugar, equivalent to five teaspoons.

BBQ Sauce: A grilling staple, BBQ sauce is typically loaded with sugar or high fructose corn syrup to enhance flavor. This hidden sugar can quickly add up, especially if you are generous with your sauce, leading to a higher calorie intake.

Ketchup: One tablespoon of ketchup contains approximately four grams of sugar. Since most people use more than a tablespoon, the sugar content can be misleadingly high.

Fruit Juice: Often considered a natural option, fruit juice can be as high in sugar as sugary sodas. For example, a glass of apple juice can contain up to 24 grams of sugar. Unlike whole fruits, fruit juice lacks fiber, leading to rapid sugar absorption and potential blood sugar spikes.

Sports Drinks: Marketed to replenish electrolytes, sports drinks can contain about 34 grams of sugar per 20-ounce bottle. This high sugar content can counteract the health benefits of these beverages.

Chocolate Milk: While a good source of calcium and protein, chocolate milk often contains added sugars. A single cup can have up to 24 grams of sugar, increasing the risk of obesity.

Granola and Protein Bars: These snacks, often perceived as healthy, can contain as much as 12 grams of sugar per serving. Some protein bars can have up to 20 grams of sugar, which negates the health benefits of the protein content and may cause energy crashes.

Flavored Coffees: Popular flavored coffees, including lattes and Frappuccino's, can contain upwards of 50 grams of sugar per serving—more than the daily recommended intake for most adults. Regular consumption can significantly impact caloric intake, leading to weight gain and insulin resistance.

Reading nutrition labels carefully and being mindful of portion sizes is crucial. Opting for whole, unprocessed foods is generally better than relying on packaged options.



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