Everyone knows that cakes and soda are full of sugar, but there are also a host of foods that look innocent, which in fact contain massive amounts of 'stealth sugar', which can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Below is a selection of foods that are often shockingly sugary – and some alternatives you can use to sweeten your meals.
While pasta sauce bought from the supermarket might taste savory, on average, a half-cup serving of it will contain anywhere between 6 and 12 grams. To avoid this you should take the time to make your own sauce, using freshly chopped tomatoes, olive oil and herbs.
It's very clear that eating salad is a healthy thing to do. However, when you cover your salad in shop bought salad dressing, you are also covering it in sugar. Two tablespoons of salad dressing can contain up to 7 grams of sugar. To avoid this, you can make your own salad dressing using vinegar, lemon juice, herbs and olive oil.
When buying bottled iced tea, you should carefully check the label. The sugar levels can vary widely depending on the brand. Some are virtually sugar free, while others can contain up to 32 grams of sugar in every bottle – which is like eating 8 teaspoons of sugar every time you drink one!
Before you cover your fries in ketchup, you should consider that every squirt adds around 4 grams, or one teaspoon, of sugar to your meal. You could consider using yellow mustard instead, which contains only one gram of sugar per squirt on average.
Many people think that the thing that gives them a buzz when they have an energy drink is the caffeine. However, that rush also comes from the massive hit of sugar each drink gives you. On average, an 8 ounce serving of energy drink will contain around 25 grams of sugar, which is more than your daily recommended intake. You can avoid this by drinking unsweetened tea or coffee instead.
Coleslaw can seem like a very healthy dish to have on the side of a meal, but most fast-food coleslaw will contain up to 15 grams of sugar. Avoid the coleslaw when eating out, and make your own low sugar homemade coleslaw using vinegar, mayonnaise, garlic powder, white cabbage and carrot.
While yogurt is full of calcium and protein, it can also contain a lot of sugar. An average serving of sweetened and flavored yogurts can contain between 17 and 33 grams of sugar. To avoid this, buy plain Greek yogurt and add chopped fruit.
Oatmeal can make a great breakfast that is full of fiber, but a serving of instant oatmeal from a packet usually contains between 10 and 15 grams of sugar. Instead, you can buy your own oats to prepare at home using milk or water, adding fruit to flavor it.
Keeping the amount of sugar you consume down is a major part of the battle for healthy teeth and gums.