Even if you’re not a dessert junkie, you might be shocked at some of the everyday foods that pile on the sugar. According to the American Heart Association, most women should be consuming no more than 100 calories from added sugars per day, or about 24 grams (six teaspoons of sugar). Added sugars come from sugars or syrups and are cooked into foods or sprinkled on at the table. While you should be concerned about all the sugar you’re eating, generally speaking, naturally occurring sugars are less detrimental to your health ¡ª especially when they come in the form of a piece of fruit. The following list offers a mix of the two, but learning about all high-sugar foods will help you make smarter decisions in the future.
Spaghetti sauce: One cup of jarred marinara sauce from the store contains 14.5 grams of sugar, much of it from added sugar. Instead of buying the store-bought stuff, up the nutritional value and lower the sugar content naturally with this light and tasty raw tomato basil sauce, perfect for a refreshing Spring supper.
Juice: Robert Lustig, a pediatrician at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, said “juice is just like soda . . . there is no difference.” It’s not surprising that fruit juice is filled with sugar, but even a glass of V8 vegetable juice has eight grams of sugar per serving, and some store-bought green juices contain a large amount of apple juice. Grab your blender or juicer, and go for a leafy-green smoothie instead of a sugar-laden beverage. There’s no need to drink all your sugar and calories for the day in one sitting.
Bread: Bread may seem like a strange place to find sugar, but two slices of whole-wheat bread have eight grams of sugar. Opt for stuffing all your sandwich fillings into a large whole-wheat pita that only has 0.5 grams of sugar.
Salsa: You might guess that jarred salsa is quite high in sodium, but even a mere four ounces of this low-cal dip has 3.7 grams of sugar. The jarred stuff is loaded with preservatives, so chop up fresh ingredients for this inventive mango red pepper salsa. Your taste buds and waistline will both thank you.
Milk: Fat-free milk can be a deceivingly healthy beverage choice. One cup of nonfat milk has 12 grams of sugar. Start developing a taste for plain soy or almond milk instead, since both alternatives offer nearly half the sugar content of cow’s milk.
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