Many foods may come across to you as “healthy” until you read that nutrition information label. That’s when you realise some are actually foods high in sugar as well!
1. Low-fat yogurt
Studies show that plain yogurt with no sugar added can help with weight loss and trimming belly fat. However, be careful of what you put in your mouth as the typical low fat yogurt can do you more harm than good. A low-fat mixed berries yogurt contains: 120 calories, 1g total fat, 24g total carbs, 16g sugar (4 teaspoons).
This low-fat yogurt (with healthier choice symbol) has a whopping 16g sugar in it, which is equal to 3 Oreo Cookies or 1.5 Chupa Chups Lollipop! Are you really choosing the right snack to fight the flab? Low-fat products tend to result in high sugar foods as they need the sugar to compensate for the taste good factor. So make sure to read the sugar level as well, and not just the calorie count, when you read the nutrition information.
2. Granola Bar
Nothing beats the convenience of a granola or "fitness" bar for on-the-go snacking. The trouble is… many of these bars can contain as much sugar as your candy bars/snickers bars. These bars may be low in calories (190 calories per pack) yet a pack of such bars contains 12g of sugar (3 teaspoons).
The perception of their healthiness, however, often doesn't match up to reality. Consumers are misled into thinking that they are healthy because of messages on product labels. But they may likely be foods high in sugar!
3. Breakfast Cereals
Breakfast cereals are heavily marketed as being healthy. They commonly include claims such as “low-fat” and “whole grain” that may mislead you into thinking that they are healthy. In reality, however, they are typically foods high in sugar. An example of a typical breakfast cereal (per serving) contains 220 calories, 16g sugars (4 teaspoons), 3g dietary fibre, 4g protein, 44g total carbs.
4. Fruit Juices
Fruit juice has as much sugar as many classic sugar drinks. Despite the nice marketing image that they place on fruit juice such as “100% pure” and “pure squeezed”, there are tons of sugar in your juice.
Take a look at the breakdown for a portion (250 ml) of Coca Cola and Apple Juice Drink:
Coca Cola: 106 calories and 27 grams of sugar (7 teaspoons)
Apple juice: 93 calories and 23 grams of sugar (6 teaspoons)
Fruit juice releases the sugar in the fruit and removes the insoluble fibre. Fibre makes us feel full and reduces our consumption of the fruit and its sugar. Without the fibre, gulping down the entire bottle juice makes it no different from gulping down typical drinks high in sugar. Most of the sugar is fructose, which can only be processed by the liver where any excess is later converted to fat.
The Sugalight team recommends you to choose to eat the fresh fruit or vegetable over juice. There will be more nutrients, more fibre and fewer calories for your body.
How much sugar is ok?
The World Health Organization and Health Promotion Board suggest that you keep your sugar intake to no more than 10% of total calories. This excludes naturally-occurring sugars found in vegetables, fruits and milk. For most people, that’s about 40-55 grams of added sugar*, depending on your energy requirements. This varies according to factors including daily physical activity, age and gender.
We recommend you to keep it closer to 5% if you are overweight or have any other risk factors for heart disease or diabetes. Remember to say no to sugar and other foods high in sugar once you hit that limit!
*Added sugar refers to sugar that is added to food or drinks – during the manufacturing process; while food is being prepared; or at the table.