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Ways To Spot Hidden Sugars in Our Foods

Most of us automatically try to slow down the flow of sugary foods as the holidays roll ahead.

But sometimes we miss hidden sugars that turn up unexpectedly in foods such as pasta sauces or salad dressings.

Learning to do a quick read of product ingredient labels can help us shut down these extra, unhealthy sugar sources.

Newsmax’s recent coverage of the sugar issue tell us new research is backing up previous findings that overloads of sugar are saturating our diets and putting our families at risk for obesity, Type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease and stroke.

Sugar Warnings

Rachel K. Johnson, dietary specialist of the American Heart Association Nutrition Committee, says most Americans consume twice as much sugar as they should, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For example, one can of soda has 10 to 13 teaspoons of sugar. When we consider how many cans of soda are downed per day by many teens and younger children, the challenging scope of the sugar problem becomes obvious.

As we check ingredient labels it is also important to watch for alternate sugar names such as sucrose, fructose, dextrose and maltose.

Look for These Hidden Sugar Loaded Foods

Fat free salad dressings are often loaded with sugar and salt to replace fat content. Check the labels. Some of these dressings come with as much as a teaspoon of sugar for every tablespoon of dressing. Look for dressings made with olive oil or canola oil and use them lightly.

Tomato based pasta sauces could be healthy vegetable sources. But check the label. Some of these sauces contain as much sugar as a candy bar delivering almost eight teaspoons per cup of sauce. Watch for large amounts of corn syrup and cane sugar in these sauces.

Smoothies are often seen as quick sources of lean protein, dairy and fruit. But many of the commercially prepared ones come with as much as nine teaspoons of sugar in a single bottle, putting them right up with the sugar loaded sodas and teas.

Barbecue sauces that contain high fructose corn syrup or molasses can be delivering up to three teaspoons of sugar in two tablespoons of sauce.

Multi-grain crackers and cereals should be a safe choice with lots of whole grains and fiber. But some of these crackers deliver a teaspoon of sugar in a single serving. Look for crackers that only contain wheat, oil and salt.

This is just a sampling of the products out there with hidden sugars. Large doses of extra sugar also turn up in yogurts, catsup, soups, sauces and frozen dinners.

As you shop and scrutinize product labels, you will find about 70 percent of the processed foods on supermarket shelves  contain forms of added sugars.

Screening out the hidden sugars as we shop can go a long way to keep our families’ meals healthier.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Iwan Gabovitch

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