Some foods which seem ‘healthy’ can actually contain a high sugar content, which may be hidden within these seemingly healthy choices. We are sure that some of these suggestions you already may know about and others may come as a surprise to you.
1. Muesli bars
Many store bought muesli bars contain sweeteners, like glucose syrup, sugar, honey, dextrose and fructose. And bars with chocolate chips or coatings, like yoghurt and chocolate, can increase your sugar intake by a further 5 grams or so compared to those without.
Healthy swap: Why not make your own homemade protein granola bars? Or plain granola or muesli with milk.
2. Pasta sauce
Have you ever looked at the food label when buying your favourite sauce? You may be surprised at the sugar content of these pre-made sauces! Some can have up to 12 grams per half a cup serving.
Healthy swap: Simply add your favourite herbs, spices and additions (like garlic and chilli) to tinned tomatoes.
3. Flavoured yoghurt
Some flavoured yoghurt varieties can have up to 33 grams of combined natural and added sugar, compared with natural yoghurt which has about 5 grams of naturally occurring sugar per serve whereas for the same size serve.
Healthy swap: Buy plain natural or Greek-style yoghurt and add in your fruit of choice.
4. Fruit leather
So the kids LOVE their fruit leather - The ones you taste and cringe from how sweet they are? Well making your own is actually quite simple and an excellent way to use up leftover fruit!
Healthy swap: Make your own - It’s great way to use up leftover fruit. Try this simple recipe: How to Make Fruit Leather (Simply Recipes).
5. Salad dressing
These can also be a culprit of hidden sugars. Especially the sweeter types like some flavoured vinaigrettes, French and Catalina, which can have as much as 7 grams of sugar in about 2 tablespoons of dressing.
Healthy swap: Add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice to a few dashes of olive oil.
How does the sound of a toasted bagel with salmon and cream cheese sound? Yes, delicious, we agree. But bagel bread is typically sweeter than your usual loaf and so contains a lot more added sugar - up to 8 teaspoons worth for some varieties!
Healthy swap: Choose a fresh slice of sourdough instead to go with your salmon and cream cheese.
7. Chocolate cake
And lastly, let end on a sweet note. Who can go past a piece of decadent chocolate cake? If you have ever made a cake, it will be obvious that there are no ‘hidden’ sugars - we all know it's in there! But can you make a ‘healthy’ chocolate cake that actually tastes good and like a treat? The answer is yes!
Healthy swap: Try the World’s Healthiest Chocolate Cake from my favourite health chef, Teresa Cutter.
Kasse McCummiskey, Nutrition Coach