By Ann Lindemann, Senior Health Writer
Most of us are aware of the dangers of excessive sugar such as weight gain and type 2 diabetes. We have cut down on obvious culprits like gooey desserts and sugar-laden sodas. However, you might be surprised to learn this ubiquitous ingredient (under sneaky pseudonyms) can be found in a host of ‘healthy’ foods.
- Oatmeal: Sure it’s naturally low in sugar and can be part of a healthy breakfast garnished with a handful of nuts and/or fruit. But stay away from the packaged, flavored variety that can be loaded with sugar – some as high as 15 grams per serving.
- Protein Bars: In general, protein is a smart snack option because it keeps you full longer than carbs. Stands to reason protein bars would fit the bill, right? Not always, as some contain as much as 15 grams of sugar. Instead, opt for a handful of unsalted almonds or peanuts.
- Salad Dressing: This is a tricky one. Often the low-fat varieties compensate for oil with added sugar. A tablespoon of low fat French dressing has 6 grams of sugar. Keep things simple and delicious and dress your salad with balsamic vinegar or lemon juice with olive oil and a dash of spices.
There’s also hidden sugar in other ‘healthy’ foods including milk, tomato sauce, ketchup, dried fruit and sports drinks. Become a wise label watcher and avoid sneaky foods that can pile on the sugar.