When it comes to losing weight, it can be infuriating when you’re fooled by a food that sounds diet friendly but is actually loaded with sugar, calories and fat! According to a recent Herald article entitled “Suicide by sugar? Sweet tooth is killing us, doctors say,” experts agree “Just one dietary change – eliminating added sugars – could reverse America’s deadliest and costliest ills, including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and many cancers.”
Considering sugar consumption has tripled over the past 50 years and scientists from the University of California-San Francisco blame sugar for the world’s obesity epidemic as well as 35 million deaths each years, you may want to hang these “Where sugar hides” revelations on your fridge and cupboard doors:
Energy Bars: Some bars marketed as high protein bars actually have very low amounts of protein and high amounts of carbohydrates in the form of sugar. For example, a Promax Cookies n’ Cream energy bar has as much as 30 grams of sugar. There are many energy bars with low sugar content – so just be sure to check the nutrition labels carefully or you may just as well have a candy bar!
Cereals & Granola: Beware of “healthy looking cereals” such as Kellogg’s Raisin Bran or Smart Start with 17g sugar; Quaker flavored oatmeal with 9g sugar; and Nature Valley Granola Bars with 12g sugar. Smarter choices include Quaker original flavored oatmeal with 0g sugar; Publix Bran Flakes with 5g sugar; and Multigrain Cheerios with 6g sugar.
Yogurt: Take the “Activia challenge” and see if you can choose the yogurt with the least grams of sugar. Activa Dessert Vanilla Bean in a four oz. size has a whopping 19g of sugar; Activia Light Fat Free Vanilla has 7g sugar…And the winner is: Dannon Light & Fit Vanilla with just 1g sugar per 6 oz. serving.
Jello: Just one small cup of strawberry Jello has 17g sugar and Jello instant vanilla pudding has 19g sugar. The good news is sugar-free strawberry jello and sugarfree/ fat free vanilla instant pudding are both available with 0g sugar.
Rice Cakes: Deceptively healthy Quaker Rice Snacks in the Caramel Corn flavor have 9g sugar per serving while the Sour Cream & Onion flavor has only 1g sugar.
Jam: Before you choose a jam that’s jam packed with sugar, check the label to see Smucker’s Strawberry Jam has 12g sugar while Smucker’s Sugar Free Strawberry Jam has 0g sugar (and it’s seedless!)
Fruit Smoothies: One 24-ounce smoothie provides about 450 calories – that’s the same amount of calories in 10-12 sugary doughnut holes! A solution is to make less caloric homemade versions using 1-2 servings fruit, 1/2 cup skim milk, and 1/2 nonfat flavored yogurt.
Coffee and Tea: Be careful which bottle of tea you pick up – even if you’re at Whole Foods Market. “Honest Tea” has a Perfect White Tea flavor with 9g of sugar while the Just Green Tea unsweetened variety has 0g sugar. And at Starbucks, all those grande “skinny” Vanilla Lattes with 28 g. sugar/30 g. carbs could be why you’re not losing those last 10 pounds.