Hidden Sources of Sugar

by Sara Sullivan on April 25th, 2012

When we think of sugar, most of us are aware of the obvious sources.

(Eh hum, like this lovely image of chocolate cake.)

But, as the temperature rises and we begin to pull out our tank tops, shorts and yes, the bikini, we may need to be more mindful of other sources of sugar; less suspecting sources that add up and encourage weight gain over time.

Take a look below and I bet you'll be surprised where  sugars hide....

"Energy" Bars are marketed towards athlete's, people on the go, or people who are just to busy to eat (don't get me started on that!). But what they fail to mention is that the "energy" you experience is not likely to come from the nutrients in the bar but from the sugars rushing through your blood stream. 

Sit down for this.
The whole dark chocolate bar, yes the WHOLE bar has less sugar than the Clif Bar?!!! And it has over twice as much fiber! 

Chocolate Chip Clif Bar:
23 grams of sugar and 5 grams fiber

Whole Green & Black's Bar:
20 grams of sugar and 12 grams of fiber

Now, I am certainly not recommending that you indulge in a whole Green & Black's bar but it is really important to remember that marketing is powerful and that sometimes "health" foods are no better for us than candy bars.

We certainly can't talk about sugar without giving a shout out to the infamous Twinkie snack, which at 35 grams of sugar, and absolutely zero nutrients is a real joke of a "food".

But what about Fat Free Blueberry Yogurt from Whole Foods? This yogurt contains 27 grams of sugar!! Not much better than that Twinkie.

So please consider this, 1 tbsp. of sugar is equal to 14 grams. 
Having this yogurt for breakfast is the equivalent to 2 tbsp. of sugar. Yikes!

Besides too much sugar what else do they both share in common?
ZERO fiber. Think this yogurt will keep you satiated? Think again.

I hope you're still sitting down because this is going to blow your socks off.

Newman's Own Tomato & Basil Sauce:
45 grams of sugar
(sorry, I love you Paul Newman)

A large 3 Musketeers Bar:
40 grams of sugar

Now, I know that you would not consume a whole jar of pasta sauce and by all means, the pasta sauce is healthier than the 3 Musketeers, but it does shine light on those places where sugar can be hiding. 

Did you know that the average American consumes 152 pounds of sugar per year!
Most of that sugar is not directly from the sugar bowl but hidden in foods like the ones mentioned above.

My suggestion is to eat fresh fruits and vegetables. When we eat real food, we receive natural sugar which is accompanied by antioxidants, fiber and protein and it has a more gentle impact on the body.

All digestible simple sugars and starches eventually get converted to glucose in our body. Most types of cells use glucose as their main fuel source. After we eat sugars or starches, our blood glucose level rises. This signals our body to produce insulin, a hormone, so that cells can take the glucose out of the bloodstream and use it for energy. Excess glucose will be stored as glycogen in our liver and muscle. If there is still excess glucose after maxing out glycogen storage, it will be converted and stored as body fat. Eating too much sugar or starch of any type can cause you to gain weight.

In addition, eating too much sugar can put you at a major risk for High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Liver Disease, and Insulin Resistance.  

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