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Sneaky Sources of Added Sugar

By Sara Butler

Added sugar is something you don't need in your diet, but sometimes you get it whether you realize it or not. Sugar comes in many different forms and if you don't know what to look for, you may be getting a whole lot more of it than you realize. Even foods perceived as healthy have added sugars in them. Here's what you need to know to help you keep added sugars off your plate.

How Much Sugar?

Sugar occurs in many foods naturally such as dairy, vegetables, and fruit. If you're eating whole foods such as those, then there's nothing to really be concerned about -- it's the added sugars in processed foods that must be on your radar.

According to the American Heart Association, you shouldn't have more than 100 calories worth of sugar per day. Considering that one gram of sugar equals about four calories, that means you should only have about 6 teaspoons of sugar each day. To put it in perspective, one can of soda has about 10 teaspoons of sugar, so you get an entire day's worth of sugar in one can -- plus more!

Hidden Sources of Added Sugar

There are so many places that sugar is hiding in plain sight. If you eat any of these foods regularly, then you must be on the lookout for added sugar, so make sure to check the nutritional label on these foods:

  • Yogurt - Yes, yogurt is good for you, but it's also full of sugar. One container of fruit-flavored yogurt can have up to 22 grams of sugar in it, so you're better off opting for plain Greek yogurt and add in some berries on your own.
  • Spaghetti sauce - Sugar is added to spaghetti sauce to bring out its natural sweetness -- or so the manufacturers say. Canned spaghetti sauce has about seven grams of sugar per serving, which is only about a half cup. Be on the lookout for varieties without added sugar or, better yet, make your own!
  • White bread - White bread is created by stripping the minerals, vitamins, and fiber from wheat, and sugar is added to many mass-produced white breads in order to make it more palatable. Choose whole grain breads without added sugar. They'll fill you up better and won't add a bunch of sugar to your day.
  • Condiments - Ketchup, mustard, and peanut butter can have a lot more sugar than you realize. Ketchup, for example, has four grams of sugar in one tablespoon! Peanut butter can have three grams of sugar in one serving, so be careful to look at the nutritional information of all your condiments.

Always look at the nutritional labels before buying foods in the store so you know exactly what you're getting.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Round Rock, Tex.

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