In this article, we will discuss the high sugar foods to avoid. High sugar consumption has been associated with diabetes and heart disease and also obesity. World Health Organisation claims that around 1.9 billion adults around the globe are obese. High-sugar foods are addictive. Moreover, there are many foods marketed as containing ‘zero sugar’ or ‘low-fat’ or ‘zero calories’, but they have more hidden sugars than normal foods.
The American Heart Association states that sugar intake should not be more than 100 to 150 calories per day. But most of us consume far higher amounts of sugar unknowingly. In this article, we have listed 15 high sugar foods that you need to avoid in order to improve your diet and health and lower the risk of obesity (1).
Here is a list of high sugar foods to avoid.
1. Low-Fat Yogurt
Yogurt is extremely beneficial for your gut health. It boosts the production of good gut bacteria and also helps improve the digestion process. Many opt for low-fat yogurt over the full-fat variant, thinking that it is healthier. But this is actually a very common misconception. In the process of making low-fat yogurt many of the essential nutrients are removed and in order to make it taste as good as full-fat yogurt sugar and flavor are added into it. So next time before buying low-fat yogurt check the label for its contents. Experts believe it is better to consume full-fat yogurt to get the benefits.
2. BBQ Sauce
BBQ sauce is commonly used for marinating meat and veggies and also as a popular dip. But however delicious the sauce is, it contains a large amount of added sugar, unfortunately. There is approximately 16g of added sugar in just 2 tablespoons of BBQ sauce. Therefore, it is necessary to check the labels of these sauces before buying them.
3. Vitamin Water and Sports Drinks
Vitamin water has become quite popular nowadays. It is basically water fortified with vitamins and minerals. The smart packaging tricks you into thinking that you are consuming a healthy drink. But in reality, you are taking in 32g of added sugar and 120 calories in one bottle of vitamin water.
Sports drinks were initially made for athletes, marathon runners, and bodybuilders who would burn out a lot and need readily available energy in the form of glucose. But recently sports drinks are also being marketed among adolescents to fuel up their bodies. However, these sports drinks are also loaded with sugar. Studies have shown that sports drinks increase BMI in both males and females.
The best way to hydrate yourself and replenish the vitamin and mineral stores in your body is to drink plain water or make detox water at home.
4. Packaged Fruit Juices And Soda
Whole fruits are rich in all the essential nutrients. In Comparison, packaged fruit juices are low on minerals and vitamins and completely depleted of fiber. In addition, they are loaded with added sugar and artificial flavors and colors which are very unhealthy.
Over 40% of products available in the stores contain around 19g of sugar and 150 calories, which invite many lifestyle diseases like diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disorders, etc.
5. Iced Tea
Iced tea is usually sweetened with sugar or some other flavored syrup which contains high calories and increases sugar load. This can lead to an insulin spike. Moreover, overconsumption can also lead to oxalate stone formation in the kidneys.
If you love tea, then drink only good quality tea with lemon, fruits, or herbs and replace sugar with honey.
6. Sugar-Free Products
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), using sugar free-products to limit your calories is not a healthy choice. The common misconception is that sugar-free products are safer than sugar, but they contain sugar alcohols, such as sorbitol and mannitol.
Though these sugar alcohols are not completely absorbed by the body, overindulging in them can lead to digestive problems, which over time slow down metabolism, lead to weight gain and increase the risk of several health issues.
7. Baked Goods
Store-bought cookies and biscuits are made of refined flour, dry fruits, food additives, preservatives, and usually loaded with sugar to improve their taste and texture. Though these ingredients make them delicious, they can do more harm than good.
Similarly, most other loved baked goods such as cakes, donuts, bagels, and churros are also made of refined flour and high-fat ingredients along with a lot of extra sugar. To limit your sugar intake, it is best to bake at home with healthier ingredients and use as little sugar as possible.
8. Granola Bars
Granola or cereal bars are made of oats. But they are not as healthy as plain rolled oats, because they are loaded with added free sugar. They also contain honey, dried fruits, and nuts, which add on to your calorie intake.
Look for easy granola bar recipes and make them yourself at home with limited sugar. You can also make a granola bowl with chopped fruits and top it with some nuts and seeds.
9. Dried And Canned Fruits
The delicious dried and canned fruits are preserved in sugar syrup through a process called osmotic dehydration. In this process, the fiber and vitamins get completely destroyed, and to add to that the calorie count also increases. Nothing can replace the goodness of eating fresh whole fruits. So stay away from dried or canned variants and minimize your sugar intake and reduce the calorie load.
10. Breakfast Cereals
Many people opt for breakfast cereals as they are crunchy, tasty, quick, easily available, and also portable. However, most store-bought breakfast cereals contain added flavors and too much sugar that you need to avoid.
Sweetened breakfast cereals are made with high-fructose corn syrup. According to a few rat studies, the corn syrup in these sweetened breakfast cereals was found to increase abdominal fat and adipose tissue. Next time you head to the store, buy plain corn flakes, Rice Krispies, or any cereal that has no added sugar. Read the label before making the purchase.
Popular condiments like ketchup and bottled spaghetti sauce that can be found in most homes around the world contain high sugar and salt content. The manufacturers balance these two major ingredients in such a calculated manner that customers keep wanting for more.
If you want to lose weight or want to improve your health, stop consuming ketchup immediately. One tablespoon of ketchup usually contains 3 grams of added sugar. Therefore, instead of buying condiments from the supermarket, find easy recipes for yogurt dips, mint dips, coriander dips, hummus, pasta sauces, etc. to make at home.
12. Salad Dressing
Packaged salad dressings are yet another convenient option people rely on due to their busy schedules. But they make you consume more sugar than you normally would. There are around 5 grams of added sugar in two tablespoons of salad dressing. Plus, these packaged salad dressings also contain other additives and taste enhancers that are added to make them delicious.
It isn’t time-consuming to make a homemade salad dressing by mixing olive oil, chili flakes, Dijon mustard, herbs, honey, salt, and lime juice. You can even use fresh fruit juice in your salad dressing. This way you spend less now and also cut back on future medical expenses.
13. Frozen Pizza
Frozen pizza like most frozen foods, includes an extremely high amount of sugar, preservatives along with added colors and flavors. They are also readymade with refined flour which is a refined carbohydrate. The pizza dough can directly contribute to obesity.
The pizza sauce that is on it in addition also contains a good amount of sugar. Therefore, for better low-sugar options choose a homemade flatbread pizza or a lettuce wrap.
Another popular breakfast option that is widely used worldwide is the straight-out-of-the-oven loaf of bread. But bread is just a concoction of refined flour, yeast, and sugar. So eating bread slices regularly can lead to blood glucose and insulin level spike. Moreover, plain bread also has a high glycemic load and glycemic index when compared to the multigrain variety.
15. Ready-To-Eat Soups
The convenience of ready-to-eat soups makes it favorable for many people with a busy schedule. You just have to add hot water and your dinner is ready! But these thick or cream-based soups contain corn flour that has high-calorie content.
The healthier choice you can make is to slow cook veggies and your choice of protein (chicken, mushroom, etc.) and prepare a quick soup right at home.
We suggest you go right away and remove all these sugar-rich foods and throw them out. You don’t have to be diabetic to take your sugar intake seriously. It is always better to limit sugar intake. For a healthy option, choose natural sugars from whole fruits that are low in glycemic load, high in fiber, and beneficial for weight loss. Sugars that you get from natural sources such as fruits, veggies are good for you. Artificial sugars harm your health. So every time you buy any product, check the labels