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How much sugar?

Hidden sugar lurking in unexpected places... eek!


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in health


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Sugar is a veritable magic ingredient. It is tasty, cheap and adds great flavour to foods. However, as with many things in life, moderation is key. Even too much water is bad for you! You don’t want to overdo the sugar, and if you have dental problems, are diabetic or want to generally stay healthy, you may wish to cut back on it. However, it is not as simple as laying low and forgoing the chocolate. Sugar is hidden in places you wouldn’t expect it to be.

Check out these 10 hidden sugar sources:

  • Tinned fruit. Many fruits are tinned in syrup, which is chock-full of sugar. See about buying fruit tinned in spring water or just drain the syrup and wash the fruit. Better yet, snack on fresh fruit.
  • Cereal. Pretty much all cereal (aside from porridge) contains sugar. Even so called high fibre brands tend to be full of sugar. Oats are a low glycemic, low gluten alternative.
  • Pasta sauces. Sugar is commonly added to tomato-based sauces.
  • Ketchup/Brown sauce/Fruity sauce. Sugar is a major ingredient of these, especially ketchup.
  • Fruit juice. Many manufacturers add extra sugar to juices. This is kind of unnecessary, as most fruits are naturally sweet.
  • Flavoured milk. Chocolate milk tends to be packed with sugar, as cocoa is naturally bitter. That being said, milk has natural sweetness also, so why not make your own drink at home and use less sugar?
  • Energy drinks. These tend to be full of sugar and caffeine. Don’t drink in the evenings unless you want a bout of insomnia!
  • Yogurt. This tasty calcium packed food can boast a large sugar content. The amount of sugar varies from brand to brand though, so check labels.
  • Hamburger buns. Another one from the strange but true category. Again, this varies from brand to brand, so check labels.
  • Fast food. Everyone probably knows by now that fast food is full of trans fats, but it also contains lots of hidden sugar.

All that said, sugar is not the devil. A dose of sugar won’t kill anyone and sometimes treats are good for the soul. Furthermore, there are some scientists that argue that the reason sugar appears to be so bad for us is that it is almost always paired with trans fats and additives, and is hidden in so many places.

So, as with everything in life moderation is the key. Tuck into that fancy ice-cream now and again, but have some spuds too!

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Published January 2nd, 2013
Last updated September 29th, 2015
Tags sugar food healthy eating
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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