Hidden Sources of Sugar - dummies

By Dan DeFigio

Many foods that are generally considered healthy are actually quite high in sugar content. That doesn’t mean that they don’t have nutritional value, but it does mean that you have to be aware of how much sugar they contain. Orange juice isn’t bad for you, for example, but it does have a lot of sugar and a lot of calories in one small glass. So drink it sparingly.

Here are some common foods, drinks, and condiments whose sugar content may surprise you:

  • Bottled teas: Tea is good for you, right? Yes, but unless you make it yourself, it may be packed with sugar and other unhealthy ingredients. A 20-ounce bottle of SoBe Green Tea has . . . wait for it . . . 51 grams of sugar!

  • Children’s drinks: One Hi-C Flashin’ Fruit Punch juice box contains only 10 percent real juice, with 30 grams of sugar and lots of chemicals.

  • Coffee drinks: A Starbucks grande Caffè Vanilla Frappuccino (16 ounces) weighs in at a whopping 58 grams of sugar!

  • Dried fruit: A small handful (1/3 cup) of dried cranberries has 26 grams of sugar. Seven pieces of Wild Garden dried apricots contain 21 grams of sugar.

  • Energy bars and snack bars: Several of the best-selling energy bars are nothing more than glorified candy bars. Just because it has a picture of granola or an athlete on the wrapper doesn’t mean it’s a high-quality snack.

  • Energy drinks: Most energy drinks consist of caffeine, sugar, and a high dose of B vitamins to give you a buzz for an hour or two. They not only spike your insulin levels but also assure the post-sugar crash afterward.

  • Fruit juice: An 8-ounce glass of 100 percent orange juice has 25 grams of sugar. Many other so-called fruit juices are only 10 percent juice, with the rest being high-fructose corn syrup or another sweetener (along with artificial color, artificial flavor, and preservatives).

  • Glazes and sauces: Kashi Sweet & Sour Chicken entree has 25 grams of sugar. Subway’s 6-inch teriyaki chicken sandwich has 17 grams of sugar. When eating out, don’t be afraid to request items without sauces.

  • Granola: Just 2/3 of a cup (a tiny serving!) of organic Cascadian Farm Cinnamon Raisin Granola packs 42 grams of total carbs and 16 grams of sugar.

  • Salad dressing: Fat-free salad dressings are frequently made mostly of sugar and artificial ingredients. Use organic olive oil and vinegar instead.