Sugar Sleuthing: Exposing the Hidden Sugars You Consume

Sugar is everywhere - the food industry uses it to make processed food "taste good" and to keep us addicted to certain foods....which equals more profits! 

We put it in our tea, coffee, desserts, lemonaide, and so forth because we are so used to tasting everything extra sweet. In fact, in Canadian food there is often even more sugar than food in the USA, because we like our food even "sweeter." Gross! :)

Here are just a few places where sugar can hide - quite a bit of it too! Even if there isn't "that much" added sugar in something, it does pose a question; why does pasta sauce or hot sauce, for example, need added sugar at all???

  1. Granola bars/"healthy"snack bars/protein bars like cliff bars - many of these are notorious for having loads of sugar, lots of simple carbs, and not a ton of nutrition to them...but luckily there are healthier alternatives - usually a bit costlier, but much heathier for you in general with better quality ingredients
  2. Meal Replacement Shakes (however many good quality protein shakes are usually sweetened with natural Stevia)
  3. Flavoured coffees and Latees - often have more sugar than a can of coke!
  4. Soda/Pop/Energy Drinks - did you know tonic water has as much sugar as a coke/pepsi? Go for Soda water instead and save yourself the added sugar
  5. Yogurt -  usually loaded with sugar, or sweetened with many chemical sweeteners. Go for unsweetened greek yogurt (for the extra protein) and sweeten with fruit
  6. Instant oatmeal - even the quaker WEIGHT CONTROL instant oatmeal has 5 grams per sachet - and one sachet won't fill you up
  7. Cereal - many cereals, even "healthy cereals" have tons of sugar in them; often at least 15g of sugar per half cup even in the more healthy ones
  8. Bread! - Many people know how I feel about wheat and processed grains, but even on top of this, a lot of bread can have 3-4g or more per slice on top of the starchy wheat itself
  9. Glazed meat - for example glazed salmon or glazed ham - even a very small portion can have 7g of sugar or more!
  10. Orange juice - usually has 25g of sugar per cup, with no fibre for balance - go for real fruit instead, especially super fruit like berries, as well as apples, pears and figs!
  11. Beans and many canned goods
  12. Milk - one cup of milk can have 12-13g of sugar
  13. Salad dressing - I have seen from 3g of sugar to 7g of sugar for only a couple tablespoons of dressing - try just putting olive oil and balsamic/apple cider vinegar on your salad
  14. Honey - 1 tsp of honey gives you 5.5g of sugar! (however, raw honey is great with some lemon and hot water if you are sick!)
  15. Sweetened almond milk or soy milk, rice milk, etc... - anywhere from 7 to 11g of sugar per cup of what should be a healthier option to milk
  16. Pasta/tomato sauce- usually around 5g or more per half cup - on top of the starchy pasta, a lot of sauce can really add up
  17. BBQ Sauce, hot sauce, ketchup (about 4 grams or more in ONE tablespoon) and many other glazes, sauces, and dressings

I encourage everyone to look on the package label of things you are eating - or if in a restaurant or take out place like Starbucks, McDonald's etc, ask to see the nutrition information for the product. You will be surprized to find how much sugar are in some hides in the strangest places! Why? Partly so manufacturers can use lower quality ingredients and still make products tasty. Partly because most of us are addicted to sugar, and this makes us keep buying the product over and over again. In fact, sugar can be more addictive than cocaine! But more on that later.....