Many of my clients have been talking to me about their New Year’s Resolutions lately. One of the most common resolutions I hear about is the desire to reduce added sugar in their diet. Changing your relationship with sugar can have profound effects on your health. Added sugar has been linked to heart disease, inflammation, tooth decay, cancer and type 2 diabetes. Most of us know to avoid the sugar bowl but many are clueless about where else sugar might hide. Here are some of the most common places you might find added sugar.
- Beverages: Sodas, energy drinks, fruit juice and fruity cocktails combine to contribute almost half the sugar in the American diet.
- Sauces: Sauces such as Sriracha, ketchup, barbeque sauce and jarred pasta sauce can all have added forms of sugar. Read the labels to look for hidden sugar.
- Low fat foods: Foods that are reduced fat are often laden with sugar. When manufacturers reduce the fat in food, they will often add sugar to make up for the lost flavor. Eat full fat foods instead.
- Bars: “Healthy” snack bars are often filled with sugar. Look for words such as brown rice syrup, cane juice, dates, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, crystal dextrose, evaporated cane juice, fructose sweetener, fruit juice concentrates, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, liquid fructose, malt syrup, maple syrup and molasses.
- Breakfast foods: Cereals, instant oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, granola and muffins are all major sources of sugar. Focus on a breakfast of hunger busting protein like eggs, plain Greek yogurt or a mixed grain cereal.
There are so many places sugar can hide but these are some of the most common culprits.