Consuming too much sugar is not good for your health. High sugar intake has been linked to an increased risk of many diseases, including obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer.
There are drinks and foods that you wouldn’t even consider to be sweet but contain huge amount of hidden sugars. Here are foods and drinks that contains high high sugar you didn’t know about.
1. Sports Drinks
Sports drinks can often be mistaken as a healthy choice for those who exercise. However, sports drinks are designed to hydrate and fuel trained athletes during prolonged, intense periods of exercise.
For this reason, they contain high amounts of added sugars that can be quickly absorbed and used for energy.
In fact, a standard 20-oz (570 ml) bottle of a sports drink will contain 32 grams of added sugar and 159 calories, which is equivalent to 8 teaspoons of sugar.
Sports drinks are therefore categorized as “sugary drinks.” Like soda and fruit juice, they have also been linked with obesity and metabolic disease. Unless you’re an elite athlete, then you should probably just stick to water while exercising.
2. Barbecue Sauce Bottle
BBQ sauce can make a tasty marinade or dip. In fact, up to 40% of the weight of BBQ sauce may be pure sugar. Always check the labels and choose the sauce with the least amount of added sugar to be sure you aren’t getting too much.
3. Canned Fruit
All fruit contains natural sugars. However, some canned fruit is peeled and preserved in sugary syrup. This processing strips the fruit of its fiber and adds a lot of unnecessary sugar to what should be a healthy snack.
The canning process can also destroy heat-sensitive vitamin C, although most other nutrients are well preserved. Fresh fruit is best. If you want to eat canned fruit, look for one that has been preserved in juice rather than syrup, which has a slightly lower sugar content.
4. Fruit Juice
Like whole fruit, fruit juice contains some vitamins and minerals.
However, despite seeming like a healthy choice, these vitamins and minerals come with a large dose of sugar and very little fiber.
It usually takes a lot of fruit to produce a single glass of fruit juice, so you get much more sugar in a glass of juice than you would get by eating whole fruit. This makes it easy to consume a large amount of sugar quickly.
Yogurt can be a highly nutritious food. However, not all yogurt is created equal. Low-fat yogurts have sugar added to them to enhance flavor.
For example, a single cup (245 grams) of low-fat yogurt can contain up to 47 grams of sugar, which is 12 teaspoons. This is more than the daily limit for men and women in just a single cup of so-called “healthy” yogurt.
Furthermore, low-fat yogurt doesn’t seem to have the same health benefits as full-fat yogurt.
6. Canned Baked Beans
Baked beans are another savory food that is often surprisingly high in sugar. A cup (254 grams) of regular baked beans contains about 5 teaspoons of sugar. If you like baked beans, you can choose low-sugar versions, which contain about half the amount of sugar found in regular baked beans.
7. Chocolate Milk
Chocolate milk is milk that has been flavored with cocoa and sweetened with sugar. Milk itself is very nutritious. It is a rich source of nutrients that are great for bone health, including calcium and protein.
However, despite having all the nutritious qualities of milk, an 8-oz (230 ml) glass of chocolate milk comes with an extra 2 teaspoons of added sugar, which most of us could do without.
Many people see granola as a low-fat healthy food, despite being high in both calories and sugar. The main ingredient in granola is oats. Plain rolled oats are a well-balanced cereal containing carbs, protein, fat and fiber.
However, the oats in granola have been combined with nuts and honey or other added sweeteners, which increases the amount of sugar and calories. Note that 100 grams of granola contains nearly 400 calories and over 6 teaspoons of sugar.
Vitaminwater is marketed as a healthy drink containing added vitamins and minerals. However, like many other so-called “health drinks,” Vitaminwater comes with a large amount of added sugar.
In fact, a bottle of regular Vitaminwater contains 120 calories and 32 grams of sugar. Despite all the health claims, it’s wise to avoid Vitaminwater as much as possible. Rather, you can opt for the sugar-free version, which is sweetened with artificial sweeteners instead.
That being said, plain water or sparkling water are much healthier choices if you’re thirsty.
Ketchup is one of the most popular condiments worldwide, but like BBQ sauce, it is often loaded with sugar. Remember to minimise the amount when using ketchup and also know that a single tablespoon of ketchup contains 1 teaspoon of sugar.
However, most of these foods and drinks contain ridiculously high amounts of calories and sugar, you should try avoid or minimize intake.