Sugar is sneaky and can be found in all sorts of unlikely places. Many people religiously avoid sugar, by skipping dessert, not drinking soda, and keeping no sweets in the house; however, they may be inadvertently consuming sugar in other less obvious places. Reading food labels is essential! Here are a few foods that are hidden sugar traps you may not be aware of:
- Condiments: Even if you’re ordering a nutritious salad with grilled chicken for lunch, beware of the salad dressing, honey mustard dip, BBQ sauces, ketchup or teriyaki marinade. They can be a land mine of sugar! ALWAYS ask for sauces on the side, and when possible just ask for EVOO and vinegar for your salad.
- Nut butters: Always check the label for sugar—even though peanut butter may TASTE salty, there’s often plenty of sugar too. Some brands have no added sugar, but brands like Skippy have 3g per tablespoon. Even more importantly though, you need to look for hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils (aka. trans fats)which are a big “no go”. Fats are fine, but these chemically modified oils are toxic to your system.
- Bread!: Yes, you read that right. And even worse than the sugar in wheat bread is the High Fructose Corn Syrup, which is another toxic chemical. HFCS helps extend the product’s shelf life at the grocery store, which is why you see breads that have an expiration a month from when you buy it. Trust me, that is NOT a good thing!
- Bottled iced teas: Sure you know by now to avoid Arizona iced tea and Snapple but even “healthy brands” you find at Whole Foods like Honest Iced Green Tea have 19g. of sugar. It’s always better to buy it unsweetened and add a splash of lemonade or a little raw sugar. And of course flavored waters like Hint or seltzers like La Croix are best of all.
Not buying Skittles and packaged Oreos are two guaranteed ways to avoid sugar, but you still need to read those food labels when you grocery shop — it is truly your best defense!