Here’s a riddle for you: What’s high in sugar but doesn’t taste that sweet? If your answer is “a whole lot of foods,” you hit the nail on the head, because there are a ton of foods that are absolutely loaded with a lot more sugar than you realize.
Food companies good reason to pump a bunch of sugar into their products. It’s long been said that “fat is flavor,” but sugar is certainly flavor as well. So when an item is promoted as being low in fat or fat-free, we bet that the sugar content is inversely proportional to fat. But you’d be amazed at how many everyday food items simply don’t taste “right” without heaps of sugar. [relaize]
Before we get into the unexpectedly sugary foods, we should discuss how much sugar we’re actually supposed to be eating. For someone consuming about 2,000 calories per day, the USDA suggests that the amount of sugar consumed shouldn’t exceed 32 grams, or about eight teaspoons. But in reality it’s all about balance. The sugars found in natural foods like fruit and milk, for example, are less detrimental to your health than the “added sugar” in things like soft drinks and candy, which are essentially nutrient-free empty calories.
For reference, a can of Coke contains 39 grams of sugar, and a Hershey’s bar contains 41 grams. Even though a food item might not be as cloyingly sweet as those, it can still pack quite the unexpected sugary punch. So the next time you’re checking a food label for fat and calories, also be sure to check the sugar content too; it’s also smart to opt for “no sugar added” products, but be wary of sweets that are completely sugar-free, because that means that they’re full of chemical sweeteners (and probably won’t taste very good anyway). Enjoy everything in moderation, and look out for hidden sugar.
When you eat a grape, you most likely notice how sweet it is. Now imagine condensing all of that sugar into a bite much smaller than a grape, and you’ll realize that raisins are in fact very sugary; ¼ cup of them contains 29 grams of sugar!
All flavored yogurts (unless they’re sugar-free) are higher in sugar than plain ones, but the amount of sugar in them may surprise you. Chobani is super-popular as a healthy choice for snacking or dessert, but a 5.3-ounce container of their black cherry yogurt contains a whopping 17 grams of sugar. And one six-ounce container of Yoplait’s blackberry yogurt contains 26 grams of sugar, or about six and a half teaspoons.