Think you’re eating pretty healthy? Maybe you should check the label again. That snack you grabbed on the health food aisle may be loaded with added sugar. UUHC Nutritionist Thunder Jalili has five everyday “healthy” foods that may have more sugar than you realize.
Hear the whole interview at healthcare.utah.edu >>
The Danger of Hidden Sugars
Consuming too much sugar can be quite detrimental to your health. While they may taste good, refined sugars add no nutrients but a lot of calories to the feed we eat. They can lead to packing on extra pounds, impact your cardiovascular health, and increase your risk of diabetes.
According to the American Heart Association, men should have no more than 9 teaspoons or 36 grams of added sugar a day (6 teaspoons and 25 grams for women). That may sound like a lot of sugar in a day and seem pretty easy to avoid, but you may be surprised at how much added sugar is in the food you eat every day.
Nutritionist Thunder Jalili, PhD, explains that even in the food that is “healthy” there can be a shocking amount of added sugar you don’t realize you’re consuming.
Refined sugars hide in some of the most unlikely places. It’s easy to eat a lot of refined sugars, inadvertently. Not counting the carbohydrate in the food, this reflects the sugar that the maker ADDS to the food item for sweetness. For example:
- 2 slices of white bread – 3g or 1 teaspoon of sugar
- Fast food bean burrito – 3g or 1 teaspoon of sugar
- A small cup of flavored yogurt – 10g or 2.5 teaspoons of sugar
- One packet of flavored instant oatmeal – 18g or 4.5 teaspoons of sugar
- Name brand energy bar – 31g or 8 teaspoons of sugar
All of these items may seem like pretty normal items to consume every day. Some foods may even be bought on the health food aisle. It wouldn’t be strange for a person to eat all of these in a single day. But when you add up the hidden added sugars it comes to 66 grams or 16 teaspoons of sugar in a single day. Nearly double what the AHA recommends.
The Health Minute is produced by University of Utah Health.