The American Heart Association recommends that we limit our intake of sugar. Men should consume no more than 9 teaspoons of added sugar per day. Women, on the other hand, should stick to less than 6 teaspoons. Currently, most Americans consume about 19 teaspoons! That is double the recommend amount (triple if you’re a woman). The reason why it’s so difficult to control this, is because of all the hidden sugars in foods.
Low fat yoghurt
Yoghurt is one of those health foods that regularly get the stamp of approval from health experts. Low-fat yoghurt however is not such a great choice – one cup can contain more than your whole daily limit. Always look for full fat, natural yoghurt, and refrain from sweetening it.
We often add sauces, like BBQ and ketchup, to our meals without giving them a second thought. One tablespoon of ketchup contains about a teaspoon of sugar, while BBQ sauce contains almost two teaspoons. Luckily, there are low sugar options available, so if you can’t live without sauces, remember to check the label!
Fruit juice (and other beverages)
Most people agree that fruits are good for you. Fruit juice, not so much. One glass of juice contains up to 26 grams (more than 6 teaspoons) of sugar. Why is fruit juice such an issue? Because it takes about three oranges to make one cup of juice. Think of it: could you comfortably eat 3 whole oranges? No, since you would be full by number 2 already. But you can easily down a glass in a few seconds. So, rather choose whole fruits and choose to drink water instead. Other sneaky beverages to watch out for are iced tea, flavored (or vitamin) water, and flavored milks.
Granola and granola bars
Granola is almost synonymous with health foods, and you will find them in any health store. This is where you should definitely read your labels. Besides being high in calories, they’re also high in sugar, having about two teaspoons of sugar in a single bar.
Nutritionists are constantly telling us to eat more legumes (like lentils and beans). But again, you should be scrutinizing the label to check its sugar content. One serving of baked beans can contain up to three teaspoons! So, make sure you buy a low sugar option.
The only way to know the amount of sugar you consume, is to check the labels of the products you buy. Just because something is marketed as healthy, doesn’t necessarily mean it is!