One of the biggest problems with our modern diet is that we consume far too much sugar. Experts recommend that we should not eat more than 10 teaspoons of sugar per day, but with sugar often being hidden, even in foods that are labeled or generally considered healthy this can be quite a difficult mission. If you really want to cut down on sugar, you need to be alert where it might be hiding. You know it’s in coke and lemonade, in biscuits, puddings and ice-creams and everything that’s sweet. But often sugar is lurking where you would least expect it.
#1: Muesli mix and cereals
Many packaged breakfast cereals and ready prepared muesli mixes contain plenty of sugar. Rather buy oats, nuts and fruit and make your own muesli. It will be much healthier.
#2: Dried fruit
The sugar content of dried fruit is higher than of the same amount of fresh fruit because the calorie density is greater. Fresh fruit still contain a lot of water which makes them bigger. Dried fruit are a great energy source and provide important nutrients, but you should not eat large amounts of them because of the higher sugar concentration.
#3: Canned foods
You would still suspect sugar in canned fruits. But did you ever think it could be hiding in canned soups, meats, fish or beans? Well, it does.
#4: Baking mixtures
Not only waffle and pancake mixes but also bread and soup mixes contain sugar.
#5: Sauces, mustard and seasoning
Many sauces contain a lot of sugar: tomato, soy or meat sauce. Mustard can also have significant sugar content although not being sweet at all, and food seasonings tend to contain sugar as well.
Make sure you only buy yoghurt that is labeled “unsweetened”. Especially fruity yoghurt is often sweetened.
#7: Bread and spreads
Besides jam and nutella, peanut butter and margarine are hiding places for sugar. The bread and rolls also may contain some.
#8: Luxuries, party and fast foods
It’s amazing: Even potato chips, pretzels and crackers contain sugar, and so do pickles, French fries and hamburgers.
Especially sweet liquors have high sugar content, but red wine also contains sugar.
The best advice one can give to successfully avoid sugar is to start reading labels. If sugar in any form (be it sucrose, fructose or dextrose) or sugar substitutes (like honey or maple syrup) appear quite at the beginning of the ingredients list, the product is containing a high amount of sugar. According to the FSA, more than 15g sugars per 100g are high, less than 5g sugars per 100g low sugar content.