Many of us believe that we are not able to be duped by sugar, when in fact sugar is much more devious than we could ever imagine. It takes some research, but finding out just how it's able to hide and where sugar dwells is well worth the effort. Here are some of the more somewhat-obvious culprits of sugar.
Milk is great, I would even argue that it is necessary for a healthy diet. However, despite its wondrous taste and obvious health benefits, it can hide a good deal of sugar. Just think about this though, it has 12 grams of sugar per serving. Do not worry though, you can always get your calcium fix from broccoli or spinach.
Yogurt, just like milk, is an amazing food, but there is a catch. Go for plain yogurt and you have one of the best foods out there for your health, yet you sacrifice flavor. If you eat the flavored varieties you can expect about 20 grams of sugar. So choose plain yogurt, then add your own flavoring such as cinnamon, honey and fresh fruit.
PROTEIN, GRANOLA AND ENERGY BARS
Energy bars, protein bars and even "all-natural, whole protein" granola bars; they all share one thing in common and that is sugar. Sure they may be packed with protein, but do not fall victim to their benefits. Some of the healthiest and most-popular bars can have up to 25 grams of sugar per bar. If you want your protein fix on the go, the best thing to do is make your own.
Bread, for one thing it is a carbohydrate repository like no other product out there, aside from pasta. So it has that already going for it. I try to avoid it at every opportunity, unless there are gluten-free options. Packaged bread has around three or more grams of sugar per slice. Yeah, so after a little arithmetic, that is six grams of sugar per sandwich! There is a solution though, you could make your own or visit a local private-run bakery. Most unprocessed breads only require a marginal pinch of sugar to activate the yeast. The challenge: create a gluten-free and extremely low-sugar bread, then you will have found a recipe worthy of social media praise!
For obvious reasons I would never even contemplate consuming BBQ sauce, probably because the sodium content already scared me away. Here is the second blow though: BBQ sauce has, on average, nine grams of sugar per ounce! There are better options though, something like tzatziki or hot sauce.
There is no real good option when it comes to salad dressings, at least not those that you find at the grocery store. It can vary, but for the most part dressings can deliver up to 10 grams of sugar. So try making your own with olive oil, balsamic vinegar. Add in pepper or sea salt and a sprinkle of Italian seasoning to flavor.
SPAGHETTI SAUCE AND KETCHUP
What? They do not even taste sweet. Yeah, well, without the sugar it would not even taste like tomatoes sauce or ketchup. Spaghetti sauce, for every 1/2 cup there are seven grams of sugar. For Ketchup, there are six grams of sugar in every 1/2 cup. You may be thinking, but pasta sauce is made of tomatoes and other vegetables, that is good! Psyche! Manufacturers will actually add sweeteners to sauces to lessen the acidity of the tomatoes. Or you could make your own... with some fresh tomatoes, chopped onions, garlic, tomato paste and basil. No sugar, that is a win-win!
Get this 12 grams of sugar in one small packet! Praise the oat, but not the packaged oatmeal. Sure oatmeal may help to lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugars, aid in weight loss and keep you full. Do not jump the gun though, it is not the oatmeal, it is the added sugar that is inserted into the packaged variety. So go for plane, steel-cut oatmeal and add your own flavor such as cinnamon and fruits.
Expect about 13 grams of added sugar for every 1/4 cup. Sure, dried fruit is a tasty way to get in an extra serving of fruit. Remember that some dried fruit varieties contain nothing more than the fruit itself, but many others have added sugar. Especially the tart fruits, such as cranberries, cherries and blueberries. Do not give up though, many brands do not add additional sweeteners to their dried fruits. Yet, you should always be wary and look for them. Another option? Use a dehydrator to dry your own fruits without all the added sugars and oils.
MULTI-GRAIN CEREAL AND CRACKERS
Sure, they are amazing for you! Whole grain, multi-grain and loads of fiber! Plain shredded-wheat cereals have no added sugars, but that may be the limit. I have seen crackers with seven grams of sugar per serving and "whole-grain, healthy" cereals with 15 grams of sugar per serving. All of that sugar sort of negates the benefits. If you want to sweeten up your cereal, just add fresh fruit.