By Megan Laser

 

Sugar is defined as a sweet, crystalline substance obtained from various plants, especially sugar cane and sugar beet, consisting of sucrose and used as a sweetener. The American Heart Assoc. recommends limiting the amount of sugars you consume to no more than 9 teaspoons or 36 grams per day for men and 6 teaspoons and 25 grams per day for women.

There are many foods and drinks commonly associated as having sugar, and we do as much as we can to avoid these foods. Some examples include cookies, candies, ice cream and soda pops.

But, there are still sugars out there that sneak their way into our diets if we don’t check the label carefully.

 

Pasta Sauce

Pasta sauce isn’t commonly associated as something with sugar, because it has a savory and saltier taste to it. Yet, the amount of sugar inside of pasta sauce could surprise you.

Depending on the size of the jar, putting pasta sauce in your noodles can have anywhere between 6 to 12 grams of sugar, which is equal to that of a single chocolate chip cookie.

So, next time you’re trying to cut down on sugars, check the label before you add it to your diet. There’s no true alternative to pasta sauce or replacement, so you either consume a little or none at all.

 

Granola Bars

We usually eat granola bars thinking that they benefit us as healthier alternative to a chocolate candy bar. However, there are so many sweeteners added into a single granola bar. They add things like corn syrup, brown sugar, honey, brown sugar syrup, fructose and other sugary components.

There are also different kinds of granola bars as opposed to the plain ones, like the ones coated in yogurt or dipped in chocolate.

One granola bar can have anywhere between 8 to 12 grams of sugar, depending on the flavor and type you buy.

If you’re trying to watch the sugar, it’s recommended that you eat a bowl of granola and add your own sugars at will. Doing so could easily decrease your sugar intake from 8 down to 5 grams.

 

Salad Dressing

Salads are the main source of meal that people go to when they think about starting a healthier lifestyle. Salads are full of all kinds of vegetables and fruits, but when topped off with the dressing can add up in sugars.

And yet, some dressings like Raspberry Vinaigrette, French, and Catalina can have anywhere between 5 to 7 grams in just two tablespoons.

An alternative that you can have instead of regular dressing is mixing your salad with just vinegar and oil. This can have just one gram of sugar for every two tablespoons of the dressing.

 

Breakfast Cereals

We all know that children’s cereals are full of all kinds of sugar. For example, Lucky Charms has cheerios coated in sugar as well as marshmallows inside the cereal, stacking up the amount of sugar higher. But, some cereals viewed as healthier can also have tons of sugar.

Cereals such as oats, corn, and bran cereals can sneak in sugar to coat the cereal with some sort of flavor. It can have anywhere between 10 to 20 grams of sugar for every one cup of cereal.

If you want to reduce the amount of sugar, check the label before you eat the cereal, and adjust to however much you’d like.

 

Packaged Fruits

Have you ever wondered what the juice inside of a fruit cup was? Companies add syrup to sweeten the fruit, keeping the fruit fresh and juicy. The amount of syrup can add up to 39 grams of sugar, and even if you drain the syrup from the cup can still add up to 15.5 grams.

If you don’t want sugar, fresh fruit is the perfect healthy alternative.

 

In conclusion, you can’t avoid sugar completely because it’s in everything we eat. But, you can watch the amount of sugar you eat in one sitting.

 

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