Watch Out for the Sugar Content in These Foods
By Paul Rothbart
Excessive amounts of sugar in the diet are very bad for health. This is a commonly known fact. Sugar provides empty calories, containing little if any nutritional value. Foods with a high glycemic index also increase the risk of diabetes. So, we avoid them. Some of them are obvious. Candy, soda, cakes, and other sweet baked goods. Donuts for breakfast are a terrible idea. But there are other foods that seem safe in terms of sugar content, but actually contain quite a bit of it. It's important to be aware of these seemingly healthy foods as they can add considerable amounts of sugar to the diet without you being aware of it. Here are some of the foods you should look out for.
Premade pasta sauces are convenient and taste good with a savory flavor. No sugar danger there, right? The truth is that many jarred sauces are loaded with sugar. Some contain as much as 12 grams of sugar in a half-cup serving, equal to the sugar content of a chocolate chip cookie. When buying pasta sauce, read the labels carefully. Choose brands that are low in sugar. Better yet, make your own sauce. It's not that difficult and then you have complete control over what goes in it.
Granola is healthy. Many supermarkets have granola bars in the health section. But like pasta sauce, some brands contain more sugar than you need. Granola bars often contain sweeteners to enhance flavor. In addition to sugar, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and dextrose are often added. Some brands add chocolate, chocolate chips, or yogurt, all of which increase sugar content. This is another food where it pays to read labels carefully. Another option is to avoid the bars altogether and just eat granola.
One of the healthiest of foods, yogurt is loaded with calcium and protein. Surely, yogurt can't be bad for you? Some flavored yogurts, even the low-fat varieties, do contain high amounts of sugar. An 8-ounce serving may contain as much as 33 grams of sugar. That is the same as two scoops of ice cream. There are brands of yogurt that are low in sugar content. Once again, read labels carefully to find them.
We tend to not think of salad dressing as sweet, but some of them do contain quite a bit of sugar. Dressing such as French or raspberry vinaigrette may contain 7 grams of sugar in just 2 tablespoons. Read the labels and measure the portions. You can also make your own. An old-school oil and vinegar dressing is very low in sugar.
Limiting the amount of sugar in the diet is essential to good health. There are many foods that are obvious candidates to avoid. But some are sneaky and contain more sugar than you may know. Read the labels and keep an eye out for sugar content.
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