Hidden Sugar

Most of us know that we should reduce our sugar intake. So we cut out the soft drink and brave the taste of instant coffee for the sake of health. However all our good work may be being undone with sugar that is snuck into often apparently healthy foods.

We aren’t saying the occasional treat isn’t allowed. However if you have already consumed 20 tablespoons of hidden sugar, combining it with that small treat is going to be seriously sabotaging your diet or weight loss goals.

To make it clear we are talking about added sugars in the form of sucrose. Naturally occurring sugars in fruits, vegetables and milk, are ok since they come with essential nutrients. We know foods such as soft drinks are obviously high in sugar, however here are a few you may not have realised and a few alternatives that you could try.


Breakfast cereal:

Most people know that some are just plain terrible, however even the ones marketed to be healthy may not be as healthy as we are lead to believe. Nutri-Grain (36g/100), Special K (14.5g/100), Carmen’s Bircher muesli (15.9g/100)

Alternative: Plain rolled oats (less than 1g of sugar per 100g) are a great low cost breakfast alternatively eggs are a great way to get some extra protein in your diet.


‘Health’ bars:

You may think “health” and granola bars are a good choice for breakfast or snacking during the day, think again. Most of these bars are loaded with sugar. They may contain healthy fibre, nuts and raisins, but they also contain many different types of sugar. The low-fat health bars are the worst offenders, with some of them containing up to 3 teaspoons of sugar per 30 gram bar.

Alternative: Fruit, a handful of nuts and raisins.


Canned soup:

Most canned soups have added sugar to extend their shelf life - some brands can contain several teaspoons of sugar per serving.

Alternative: Read the labels of canned soups (aim for less than 10g of sugar per 100g) or better yet, cook your own vegetable soup at home.


Always Read the Labels

When looking for hidden sugars always read the label. Look for products with less that 10g per 100g of sugar. Unfortunately this doesn’t distinguish between natural and added sugars. On the label ingredients are listed from most to least. Sugars may be listed as white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, icing sugar, corn syrup, castor sugar, treacle, golden syrup, chocolate, honey, glucose, molasses, sucrose, fructose, lactose and maltose.

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