It’s generally known that too much sugar is not good for us.
In fact, excessive sugar consumption has been linked to an increased risk of many diseases such as obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer.
Dietary guidelines generally recommend 24 grams of sugar per day for women and 36 grams for men. If we look at a can of Coke, in a 375ml drink, there is a whopping 40g of sugar! That’s 10.6g of sugar per 100ml, meaning over 10% of the can is pure sugar and if you drink just one can, you have almost doubled your daily recommended limit!
While it’s easier to reduce the amount of visible sugar we add to our diet, such as sugar in our coffee or tea, soft drinks and chocolate, how about the sugar that we don’t see? There is so much hidden sugar in our food and some of this food we wouldn’t even consider to be sweet! The two most common forms of added sugars are table sugar (sucrose) and high-fructose corn syrup, a liquid sweetener made from maize.
Here are 15 foods that contain more sugar that we think.
1. Flavoured Yoghurt
There’s no question yoghurt is good for you, particularly as it contains beneficial bacteria for gut health, but it’s the flavoured varieties that have a lot of sugar in them. Some can have up to 15g of sugar per 100g.
How to Reduce The Amount of Sugar: Stick to plain yoghurt with some fresh berries for sweetness.
2. Ketchup/Tomato Sauce
A staple sauce in every household, ketchup or tomato sauce is loaded with sugar. One big brand of sauce has 23.6g of sugar per 100g so it’s best to keep portions small.
How to Reduce Your Sugar Intake: Try making your own sauces, or look at the labels to see which sauces have more tomatoes than sugar!
3. Barbecue Sauce
I love BBQ sauce, but I didn’t realise that it has so much sugar in it! On average, a BBQ sauce has 33g of sugar per 100g!
Alternatives: Again read the labels. All sauces aren’t alike!
4. Fruit Juice
Store-bought fruit juice is generally made from fruit concentrate, meaning that it takes a lot of fruit to produce one glass of juice. Apple juice contains 10g sugar per 100g, so 25g per cup and orange juice contains a little less at 8g per 100g/20g per cup. Watch out for fruit drinks and juices that have sugar added on top of the fruits’ natural sugars.
Alternatives: Drink half water, half fruit juice. Weak cordial is also better for you than pure fruit juice. Alternatively, drink water or milk!
5. Sports Drinks
Sports drinks should really only be drunk during physical activity where you are sweating and burning a lot of calories and needing to replenish lost energy and electrolytes. You do not need to guzzle sports drink on a leisurely walk. A 600ml bottle of sports drink can contain up to 50g of sugar (8.3g per 100ml), that’s 11 1/2 teaspoons of sugar!
Alternatives: Unless you need all this extra energy, it’s best to stick to water.