By Anthony Gucciardi - NaturalSociety
Is sugar the last ingredient that has not been slammed by health conscious activists? Numerous crusades have been waged against GMOs (genetically modified organisms), aspartame, high-fructose corn syrup and trans fat, but where does sugar reside in the equation? Excess sugar consumption, which has now become an ‘average’ amount of sugar consumption for many families, has been linked to everything from DNA damage to excessive cancer growth — so where is the anti-sugar movement?
Some scientists and health experts are certainly declaring a health crisis over a large-scale ‘sugar epidemic’, but are you truly aware of how much sugar you intake on a daily basis? Even if you are consuming many health foods that are really free of other toxic offenders, chances are they may be containing a whopping amount of sugar — or at least enough ‘small’ amounts to set you over the edge throughout your daily nutritional intake. It is recommended you eat less than 16 grams of sugar per day (from natural sources) — even less if you are suffering from a serious health condition. A Twinkie has 18 grams of sugar in the processed form, and exceeds the daily sugar maximum in one health-threatening serving.
But what about health foods? Many contain just about as much or more than 18 grams, and it’s important to know which. Here are 4 health foods with more sugar than a Twinkie:
You may be consuming yogurt in order to take in some beneficial probiotics, but the truth of the matter is that yogurt is oftentimes loaded with sugar — it can even be added in larger amounts by the manufacturer. The natural amount of sugar is about 12 grams of sugar per 6-ounce serving, which is below the daily allotment. One 6-ounce container of fruit-flavored yogurt, however, can contain 32 grams of sugar, which is way more than the daily recommended amount.
In order to avoid a high sugar content, look for high quality organic Greek yogurt (or avoid dairy altogether).
2. Tomato Sauce
Tomato sauce can be used for a number of different food items, but the amount in which it is used often exceeds the designated serving size. While the intended serving size is about half of a cup, many individuals use the entire cup for pasta or other meals. Many brands contain 11 or 12 grams per serving, which means a full cup can exceed 22 grams of sugar on average — more than a Twinkie.
3. Granola Bars
Granola bars can be loaded with sugar. Granted, it may sometimes be in the form of evaporated cane sugar. More often than not, however, it will be white sugar. I’ve personally witnessed many health-conscious individuals integrate at least one granola bar into their daily life without even thinking about how much sugar they’re taking in. In one instance, the sugar from the granola bars alone totaled around 50 grams! That’s way more than a Twinkie, and that’s from just one source.
Some products like Clif Bar contain around 22 grams per bar, which surpasses the daily intake level.
4. Pre-Made Smoothies
As with juice, you simply should not be buying pre-made smoothies from the grocery store or restaurants. Make your own instead; the nutrients will actually reach your body instead of degrading over time, which ultimately makes the juice nothing but a tasty load of sugar. Smoothies from places like Jamba Juice can exceed 77 grams of sugar, while Smoothie King has options that top 117 grams. These are certainly way beyond the healthy levels.