A lot of us are becoming increasingly aware now of the dangers of sugars, and are doing all we can to avoid the sweet white stuff. There are all sorts of reasons for needing to get away from sugar, and I’ve already talked about sugar and how addictive it can be in confessions of a sugar addict. In the case of uncontrollable sugar habits, eating sugar triggers the urge to simply eat more, and can put too many of us into a cycle of impulsive sugar consumption that can be pure misery to try and break.
Our best attempts to keep away from the chocolate, cakes, biscuits and other sugary products are something to be applauded…however!… We may be still be consuming more sugar than we realise in everyday products. There are some really surprising places that sugar is found lurking in your cupboards at home! Here are some of the worst offenders to look out for, in no particular order:
- Peanut butter – it’s savoury and nutty and packed with healthy fats and proteins…to add sugar actually stalls your body’s fat burning process, but it’s there! Sunpat are one of the highest offenders with 1.2g of sugar per teaspoon of butter! If you love your peanut butter, Whole Earth don’t add any at all, and they are one of the few, I’m afraid.
- Breakfast cereal – of course we expect the sweet kids’ cereals such as Frosties or Coco Pops to be groaning with sugar, but even Quaker’s Oat granola has 23g per serving! That’s nearly 5 teaspoons of sugar, without you even realising it.
- Breakfast bars – are just as guilty….and more and more of us are grabbing them on the way out the door as the ‘healthy’ way to start your day. Belvita, for instance has a whopping 36g per biscuit for their Strawberry Live Yoghurt Duo range!
- Canned Soups – are also a place for hidden sugar to lurk undetected…our humble staple for ever, Heinz tomato soup has…wait for it….14g per can! That’s ADDED sugar, (as it is for all of these listed products!) That’s 3 teaspoons in your bowl of soup.
- Fruit juices – Are advertised as healthy drinks to enjoy at your leisure, but they should carry a sugar warning themselves! Tesco’s Everyday orange juice for example has 25g of sugar per typical serving…5 teaspoons of sugar in a so-called healthy drink! (It will be fructose, but we know it behaves in exactly the same way as granulated sugar in your body).
- Healthy waters – following on from fruit juices, I find it even more unbelievable that sugar is added to so-called ‘super-waters’….Glaceau Vitamin water has….you’ll never guess….15g of sugar in a bottle!!
- Low fat yoghurts – are really beginning to be exposed as big culprits for the sneaky-adding-of sugar, and then touting-as-healthy-food…. for instance Yeo Valley 0% yoghurt has 20.9g added to every single portion!
- Pot noodle – I just had to throw this one in! Ok, so we all are pretty well aware that Pot Noodle isn’t exactly a super-food, but it’s SAVOURY, right? Well, no, apparently….it contains 7.6g of added sugar on top of all the rubbish that’s already in it. I wanted to add this because there are a lot of savoury quick-to-make ready-foods that are similarly loaded with sugars.
- Cooking sauces – They really are a big culprit for loading the un-necessary sugar into the contents…Ragu, for instance has 13g per portion…Sharwood’s sweet and sour sauce mix…ok, you’d expect SOME, but 31g! Of which 22g are added…and that’s only per portion remember, not the whole jar!
- Children’s ‘healthy’ fruit snacks – we are lead to believe by the packaging and advertising that these fruity snacks are a healthy alternative to sweets for our kids…but beware! There are huge amounts of sugars in some of these snacks! In fact more than three quarters of the products examined by health charity Action on Sugar exceeded the 47g per 100g of sugar found in Haribo Starmix. Tesco’s yoghurt coated strawberry fruit bites contain 17.5g of sugar in each little bag! That’s nearly 4 teaspoons! The recommended amount of sugar for a child between the ages of 4 and 6 is 19g….they just ate that in 1 little ‘healthy’ snack!
As far as recommended amounts go…women shouldn’t consume more than 25g a day. When you take a look at the typical kitchen cupboard food list above, you could easily consume over….wait for it….175g of sugar in a day, just from these innocent-looking foods! These products aren’t particularly seen as un-healthy…and THIS is the problem! We are not made aware of just how lethal manufactured products can be for us.
The advice from me? Well, I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you….READ YOUR LABELS! Get good at it, and get used to it…and make as much from scratch as you possibly can and don’t believe the ‘healthy’ hype…I’m afraid it’s just not true!