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How to Spot Sugar Rip-Offs to Eat Healthier

By Sandy Schroeder

You may skip cookies and pastries, but still add way too much sugar to your diet with sugars that hide in processed foods, according to Newsmax Health.

Average Americans eat 350 calories of added sugar per day, which is 22 teaspoons or 88 grams, according to Tara Gidus Collingwood, co-author of Flat Belly Cookbook for Dummies.

The American Heart Association’s recommendation for added sugar is no more than six teaspoons, 24 grams, per day for women, and nine teaspoons, 36 grams for men

Natural sugar in milk also provides calcium, potassium, protein, riboflavin and Vitamin B12. Whole fruit’s natural sugars supply Vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, folate, additional nutrients, fiber and carbohydrates.

Sugar Rip-Off

Added sugars in processed foods, such as flavored yogurt, have no redeeming vitamins or nutrients. They just add calories and trigger sugar highs. They hide under names like these:

  • Agave nectar
  • Brown sugar
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Cane sugar
  • Cane juice
  • Corn syrup
  • Dextrose
  • Honey

Switching to whole foods and natural sugars cuts calories and helps avoid sugar addiction.

Look for added sugar in foods like these.

Yogurt – Your favorite flavored yogurt delivers protein and calcium, but it may also contain 17 to 33 grams of sugar in an 8-ounce cup. Enjoy plain low-fat Greek yogurt with fresh raspberries, strawberries or blueberries.

Bottled salad dressings – You may get as much as 7 grams of sugar in the two tablespoons of dressing that you put on your salad. Create dressings from olive oil, fresh or dried herbs, vinegar and lemon juice.

Jarred pasta sauces – Your favorites have 6 to 12 grams of sugar in half-cup servings. Use chopped tomatoes, herbs and olive oil to make your own.

Deli coleslaw – Cabbage can be healthy, but fast food coleslaws may come with as much as 15 grams of sugar. Make your own.

Ketchup on your burger – Each tablespoon of commercial ketchup adds 4 grams of sugar.  

Energy drinks – Sports and energy drinks may deliver 25 grams of sugar in an 8-ounce drink. Stay hydrated with water or low-calorie, low-sugar drinks.

Smoothies or juices – Check the labels for sugar content. A cup of orange juice comes with 22 grams of sugar.

Instant oatmeal – Old fashioned regular oatmeal is a winner for healthy fiber and heart health, but instant fruit-flavored versions come with 10 to 15 grams of sugar per serving.

Bottled teas – Flavored teas add about 32 grams of sugar per bottle. Choose unsweetened versions or brew your own.

Stick with fresh whole fruits and vegetables, natural juices and pure teas and waters.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Tampa, Fla.

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