Food & Diet
7 High-Sugar Foods We Eat Every Day
It is no secret that we all (or most of us) love a little sweet taste now and then. However, we fail to notice that most of what makes our daily nutrition contains at least a little sugar. So the question is – how bad is sugar for our health? Well, pretty bad if consumed in large amounts. And considering that most drinks that we take every day are packed with sugar, we can say that most of us lead a pretty unhealthy life. Since all the sugar our body really needs is contained in whole grains, vegetables and fruits, eating refined sugars actually is neither needed nor healthy. Eating too much of these sugars can lead to diabetes and many other health conditions. According to the AHA (American Heart Association), no more than 100 calories should be consumed from added sugar when it comes to women, while the limit for men is 150 calories. Here are 7 sugar-packed foods that we eat every day.
It needs to be given its own category because we ourselves add it to various drinks and foods. For example, many people drink their coffee and tea with a tea spoon (or more) of sugar. We put it into sauces, pastries, pancakes; many people even put it into homemade fruit juices. Instead of all that sugar, try drinking regular unsweetened coffee, it will take some getting used to but after a while you’ll learn how to appreciate the taste of coffee unspoiled by sugar. When it comes to tea, honey has always been the best replacement. And as for other foods, simply stop putting sugar into them.
A regular breakfast choice of many families, children and adults. There are many kinds, and all of them are delicious and seemingly nutritious. But one portion of these little devils contains more than 50 percent of sugar, which is an abnormal amount, especially if you like a big breakfast. Instead of these refined cereals with refined sugars and who knows how many artificial ingredients, choose natural oatmeal or other whole grains – they don’t have added sugars, and they are equally tasty, if not more.
3. Dried fruit.
Fruits are healthy, that’s true. But dried fruit usually contains up to 81% of sugar, which means that when eating it you are almost eating sugar alone, with a little fruit on the side. These fruits are usually sweetened while being dried and you can rarely find those that don’t contain added sugar.
4. Cookies, cakes and pies.
Whether homemade or bought in a bakery, these treats can contain up to 71% of sugar, which means you can eat very little of them if you don’t want to take in more than the daily limit for sugar. Unfortunately, when it comes to these sweets, we rarely find the stop button and we eat until our stomachs hurt. The sweets that fall into this category are soft raisin cookies, fortune cookies, coffee cake, oatmeal cookies, sugar cookies, doughnuts, muffins, mince pies, pecan pie, and many other yummy delicacies that must be eaten in moderation.
5. Sauces and instant gravies.
These include instant beef gravy, peanut sauce, tomato chili sauce, pasta sauces, barbecue sauces, etc. They are the common addition to most of our lunches and dinners and they can contain up to 38% of refined sugar, so try to go easy on them.
6. Ice creams and frozen yogurts.
With ‘only’ 25% of refined sugar, we might think these foods are safe to eat and won’t make you put on weight. But there is one fact that you are forgetting – of course that you will eat more ice cream or frozen yogurt than you would, for instance ketchup. So, the percentage of sugar is not at all insignificant.
7. Soft drinks.
These contain up to a whopping 95% of refined sugar. That is like drinking sugar with a fruity aroma. This fact should shake you at least a little and make you think twice the next time you feel like drinking these drinks. Lemonade powder, orange juice (not the freshly squeezed one), chocolate milk drinks, sodas and energy drinks, fruit drinks – these are all drinks that we normally have at least once a week. If we consider the amount of sugar contained in them, we should seriously think about not drinking them again, or at least limiting them to one cup a week, or less.
Refined sugar is very dangerous if consumed without moderation, and even if consumed in small amounts but every day. Its consumption can lead to diabetes, obesity, heart problems and possibly even some cancers. So, to give yourself and your children a better life, switch to a healthier lifestyle and clean eating. Use honey instead of sugar, eat fresh fruit instead of candy, drink freshly squeezed fruit juices instead of the ones you can find on the store shelves. Allow yourself a cookie once in a while, but remember – always eat and drink in moderation.