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Cutting back on sugar seems to be the most sought after advice given to any person on a diet. By banning candy, soda , and cake from your diet you may think you’re in the safe zone. But, on an average a person consumes as much as 20 teaspoons of sweetener per day, which is a huge amount of empty calories, and can lead to weight gain and put you at a risk for various diseases. So, the question is How do you make sure that you are not packing in any hidden sugar in your diet?

 Here’s a guide to foods which contain high levels of sugar but are still included in our daily diets. You may want to steer clear of these food items.

Yogurt is supposed to be in the good foods list , right? Well it is, but the additions made in form of fruits at the bottom usually contains high levels of sugar. It can be up to a whopping 19 grams per cup. Instead, opt for plain yogurt and add your own sliced fresh fruit, plus a drop or two of honey to add that sweet taste.

Have you been substituting granola bar for breakfast? Granola bars sound so much healthier than they actually are, some brands van contain up to 9 grams of sugar per bar, and you are likely to find white flour and corn syrup which way unhealthy. What you can do is look for bars that contain less than 35% calories from sugar, or else consider snacking on a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts instead.

Pasta sauce alone has 12 grams of sugar for every half cup, which is equivalent to 3 sugar packets. This is because some of our favorite pasta sauces are cutting corners by using dehydrated vegetables and low quality vegetable oils making it furthermore unhealthy.

People unknowingly fall into the trap of super tasty smoothies. You cheer yourself up and pat your back for choosing smoothie as a healthy option instead of a chocolate or Oreo shake. Smoothie chains all around prove smoothies high in sugar content. It won’t be a surprise if these smoothies didn’t have any fruits in them at all. Other than buying smoothie, try to make one at home with fresh fruit and no extra sugar. That will set you up on the right track.

The amount of sugar hiding behind these colorful, electrolyte packed drinks is just as bad. “Sports drinks fall under the drink sparingly and infrequently’’ category all thanks the 50 grams of sugar found in every 12 ounces of the drink.

The convenience provided by store-bought tomato sauces in a jar hides the fact that they can be a sneaky source of sugar. Sugar is added to cut the acidic taste of tomatoes and keep jarred sauces fresh for a longer time. You can find up to 12 grams of sugar in half a cup of sauce. What you can do is make fresh tomato sauce at you home as it will be fresh as well will be packed will antioxidants and no added sugar.

Yes, sugar can sneak up into your bread, with some varieties containing up to 2 grams per slice. But you can’t stop having sandwiches right? So the solution to thid is having breads with little or no added sugar, and whole wheat flour listed in the ingredients.

Every time you see the word “fat free” on the label, your best bet is to put it back on the rack. In an effort to make fat free foods taste better, the easy road is to add sugar and unhealthy chemicals. This trade off actually makes fat free foods much unhealthier than they already are. Avoid fat free foods at any cost and opt for low fat foods instead.

Salads are the most sought after meals in order to lose weight. But not many of you know that salad dressing is one of the biggest ways a super healthy salad can turn into a diet buster in a matter of seconds. Some varieties can contain up to 4 grams per teaspoon of dressing. What you can do is eat your salad with a light and easy dressing made from a dash of olive oil, some fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Fruits canned in heavy syrup coat healthy pieces of fruit with loads of added sugar.  One-half cup of fruits canned in their own juice provides 60 calories and 12 grams of sugar. However, when packed in heavy syrup, the same amount contains 100 calories and 19 grams of sugar. Those extra 40 calories and 7 grams of sugar are all from added sugars. Fruit cocktail may seem like a tasty alternative, but beware! Many varieties are packed in heavy or light syrup, plus those cherries often contain artificial colors. When shopping look for brands packed in juice and without an artificial red color.

Dried fruit is not as healthy as it sounds. Just as a handful of fried cranberries or blueberries for instance, can contain up to 29 grams of sugar. How to play it safe? Look for options that list only the fruit as the ingredient and no added sugars. Since that can be difficult to find, try to opt for a whole fruit whenever possible.

We all know that canned soups contain sodium. Well, did you know that it is full of sweet stuff too? Sugar is used as a preservative in many canned soups so as to increase their shelf life. In some varieties you can find up to 15 grams of sugar per 1.5 cups.

Energy drinks like Redbull, Full Throttle, Monster are just as loaded with sugars as common sports drinks. On an average, energy drinks contain up to 45 grams of sugar per 12 ounces.

Drinking water all the time can get very boring, so a person may get tempted to reach for a lip smacking glass of fruit juice to quench their thirst. This probably would seem like a good idea, but trust us, it isn’t. As it turns out some fruit juices contain more fructose than soda. Instead, opt for a glass of fresh pressed fruit juice. Without any preservatives, this will provide you with all the vitamins and nutrients from the fruit and won’t have much sugar.

Ketchup is laden with sugar. This seemingly innocent tomato-based sauce can contain as much as 6 grams of added sugar in a single ounce. It’s basically, sprinkling sugar on top of our French fries, hot dogs and what not.

Healthier Food Options

Chicken as well as turkey contains no carbohydrates or sugars. Poultry contains nutrients such as vitamin B3, iron, niacin, zinc. Remove the skin before cooking to reduce saturated fat content.

Fish is naturally carbohydrate free (yay!) and also provides vitamin B-12, omega-3 fatty acids and other vital nutrients. Consuming at least 2 servings of seafood per week can lower your risk for heart disease.

Egg whites are fat free as well as cholesterol free. Egg yolks contain fat and cholesterol, but provide nutrients such as vitamins A and D.

Have hard boiled eggs for breakfast or snacks. You can also add egg whites to salads to make them much healthier.

Written By: Kusha Saini

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