Extra sugar is always added to our food by the manufacturers to improve the taste as most people prefer sweetened foods to otherwise. Most of the foods we eat undergo different factory processes before releasing to the market. For instance, manufacturers extract fat from a processed meat and add sugar to improve its blander taste. These manufacturing processes are the main problems of the food we are eating.
Many of our foods (such as low-fat snacks, granola bars, yogurt, and fruit flavored water) we think is healthy today contain as much sugar we could think of.
Sometimes, sugar is added just like the salt believing it helps extend some foods’ shelf life, especially some food like breakfast cereals, vegetables, bread, and tinned fruit. This has created an avenue to eat more sugar beyond what our body can manage on account of not knowing when all these sugars are being consumed.
How can you account for this unexpected? A slice of bread contains about a cube, a baby Nestle yogurt believed to be ‘natural’ contain two and a half cubes per container, and a pizza contains four and a half cubes. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned the public against excess sugar consumption, limit sugar intake to about 25 grams (six teaspoons or cubes) per day.
But apart from adding sugar to our food, do you know the amount of it that is hiding in most of the common groceries that we take daily? It is of worth note here, that too much of sugar consumption increases the risk of many problems and has been linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and poor dental health.
Information is power, and if you are not informed, you will be deformed. This article is intended to educate you on how much sugar is stacked in your daily foods being “natural” or “processed”, so you can know how to cut your excess to escape every health risk sugar can cause to your body.
Before we continue, let’s quickly have an idea of what the word “sugar” means.
What does Sugar Mean?
Sugar can be described as a simple carbohydrate called sucrose with the chemical composition of 12 atoms of carbon, 22 atoms of hydrogen, and 11 atoms of oxygen (C12H22O11). Two simpler sugar (fructose and glucose) stucked together to bring sucrose. Sugar is found naturally in many plants such as sugar beet and sugarcane which are the most occurrences. There are other sources of sugar namely:
- Healthy foods – such as fruits
- Added – made in factories
- Highly processed
- Natural sugar – such as honey, agave syrups, organic evaporated cane juice, etc.
The refined sucrose which is popularly known as “table sugar” plays the leading role in processed food additive which is commonly consumed all over the world.
A survey has it that an average American consumes over 88 grams equivalent to about 22 teaspoons of added sugar daily.
Sugar Stacked in your Typical Foods and Drinks
In my effort to help you reduce your added sugar consumption as much as possible, here are some unsuspected common sugar-accumulated foods for a better understanding of the danger you subject yourself to, every day:
Coleslaw: Your thought has always been that coleslaw is safe and healthy because of its diced vegetable composition. However, the reverse is the case, as coleslaw served at the joints or restaurants is highly packed with both fat and sugar. About 16 grams which is equivalent to 4 teaspoons of sugar is in one serving.
Flavored Oatmeal: This is one of the favorite healthy tastes to start the day. However, most of the flavored oatmeal bought from the stores have been sweetened with added sugar. About 13 grams which is equivalent to 31/2 teaspoons of sugar is in serving.
Canned Tomato Sauce: That sauce you add to your spaghetti and rice can be stacked with sugar. About 10 grams which is equivalent to 21/2 teaspoons of sugar is in one serving.
Canned Baked Beans: Beans is naturally a very good source of protein with a good proportion of fiber and other body building nutrients. However, baked beans should be as much as possible avoided. About 12 grams which is equivalent to 3 teaspoons of sugar is in serving.
Orange Juice: Orange juice lacks required nutrients compared to actual orange which contains more fiber as needed. Taking a real orange is better than its prepared juice. A single cup which is equivalent to 8-ounce of juice contains 20 grams which is equivalent to 5 teaspoons.
Ketchup: This is one of the trickiest but unsuspected sources of added sugar that many people delight, taking more than one serving because of its sweetness. About 4grams which is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of sugar is in serving.
Hazelnut Spread: Hazelnut spread consumption poses a danger with its high content of added sugar in just one serving. The nut in its name does not suspect it to be a source of added sugar. About 21 grams which is equivalent to 5 teaspoons of sugar is in serving.
Flavored Latted: This is another dangerous drink stacked with added sugar. Thought of taking plain coffee in the place of flavored coffee should be coming to your mind now, as that flavored coffee could turn to be your primary source of added sugar consumption. Don’t allow yourself to crash one day with that sugar content-caffeine. About 26 grams which is equivalent to 61/2 teaspoons of sugar is in serving.
BBQ Sauce: BBQ sauce consists of sugar to make it sweet. If you must take it, ensure you take more water to neutralize the added sugar in it. About 6 grams which is equivalent to 11/2 teaspoons of sugar is in serving.
Fruit Punch: There are many types of fruit punch out there which pose a danger to your health as they contain zero content of fruit. Sugar is added to bring out the fruit taste. This is used to deceive many. If you want the taste, prepare some real fruit juice yourself, and you will be assured you are taking the real fruit juice. About 25 grams which is equivalent to 6 teaspoons of sugar is in serving.
Apple Sauce: From its name “Apple,” you would think it is an excellent nutritious food. However, the ingredient fact implies different thing entirely. About 22 grams which is equivalent to 51/2 teaspoons of sugar is in serving.
Energy Drinks: These drinks don’t only contain caffeine but as well packed with a lot of added sugar. Another issue about this energy drinks is that a single serving can contain as many serving as possible. Don’t crash yourself with these sneaky drinks. About 27 grams which is equivalent to 7 teaspoons of sugar is in serving.
Bagel: The sugar content in a bagel is not as high as that, but for sweeter such as blueberry or cinnamon-sugar, it is extremely high. So, don’t ignore it as if it is not high. About 6 grams which is equivalent to 11/2 teaspoons of sugar is in serving.
Other Common Typical Foods
Below are some other common foods with their different varieties as classified as follow:
Chocolate bar: Considering its high added sugar content, this sweetened pill shouldn’t always be taken. See the list as follow:
- 43g of Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar – About 24 grams which is equivalent to 6 teaspoons of sugar
- 7g of Twix bar – About 24 grams which is equivalent to 6 teaspoons of sugar
- 9g of Milk Chocolate M & M Packet – About 30 grams which is equivalent to 71/2 teaspoons of sugar
- 44g of Milk Chocolate bar – About 23 grams which is equivalent to 53/4 teaspoons of sugar
- 58g of Milky Way bar – About 35 grams which is equivalent to 83/4 teaspoons of sugar
- 20g of Musketeers bar – About 13 grams which is equivalent to 31/3 teaspoons of sugar
- 60g of Butterfinger bar – About 28 grams which is equivalent to 7 teaspoons of sugar
- 8g of Dove Chocolate bar – About 22 grams which is equivalent to 51/2 teaspoons of sugar
Soft drinks: You shouldn’t be deceived again. All the soft drinks in vogue today contain high sugar content as follows, analysis based on 1-can each:
- Sprite – About 33 grams which is equivalent to 81/4 teaspoons of sugar
- Mountain Dew – About 46 grams which is equivalent to 111/2 teaspoons of sugar
- Coca-Cola – About 33 grams which is equivalent to 81/4 teaspoons of sugar
- Pepsi Cola – About 35 grams which is equivalent to 83/4 teaspoons of sugar
- Red Bull – About 27.6 grams which is equivalent to 69/10 teaspoons of sugar
- Old Jamaica Ginger Beer – About 52 grams which is equivalent to 13 teaspoons of sugar
Fruits: The type of sugar contained in fruits is referred to as fructose. It is naturally contained not added like other listed earlier. Don’t forget sugar in the fruits is called fructose. Let’s look at some fruits (per 100 grams) to see the evidence of present of sugar (fructose) in them:
- Mangos – About 12.8 grams which is equivalent to 31/5 teaspoons of sugar
- Bananas – About 12 grams which is equivalent to 3 teaspoons of sugar
- Apples – About 10.4 grams which is equivalent to 23/5 teaspoons of sugar
- Pineapples – About 10 grams which is equivalent to 21/2 teaspoons of sugar
- Grapes – About 16 grams which is equivalent to 4 teaspoons of sugar
- Lemons – About 2.4 grams which is equivalent to 3/4 teaspoons of sugar
- Kiwi fruit – About 9.2 grams which is equivalent to 23/10 teaspoons of sugar
- Apricots – About 9.2 grams which is equivalent to 23/10 teaspoons of sugar
- Strawberries – About 5.2 grams which is equivalent to 13/10 teaspoons of sugar
- Raspberries – About 4 grams which is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of sugar
- Blueberries – About 6.8 grams which is equivalent to 17/10 teaspoons of sugar
- Cranberries – About 4 grams which is equivalent to sugar 1 teaspoon of sugar
- Tomatoes – About 2.8 grams which is equivalent to sugar 7/10 teaspoons of sugar.
Wow! It is unbelievable to discover such a hidden truth about the amount of sugar stacked in your common foods. Now, you have known better. It is high time you planned for how you can control and discipline yourself to avoid and reduce the way you are consuming sugar in your daily living. It is achievable if you are determined to do so. Coming soon, we will be discussing the foods and drinks you can use to replace those sugar stacked foods and drinks in your bid to reduce your sugar consumption. Stay tuned!