The Mother of Adventure

Sugar-free Day #4: Surprising culprits to watch for

on January 25, 2013
Many popular BBQ sauces contain a high amount of sugar.

Many popular BBQ sauces contain a high amount of sugar.

Yesterday’s dried cranberry debacle got me thinking about how there are so many surprising sources of sugar in our food.

When I think of cutting back on my daily sugar intake, the obvious sweet-laden foods come to mind first – cookies, cakes, donuts, ice cream and candy, to name a few. Then, of course, there are the sugary drinks – soft drinks, sports drinks, coffee or tea with added sugar, and even fruit juices.

But my generous sprinkling of dried cranberries – in my otherwise healthy breakfast bowl – reminded me that there are a host of other seemingly ‘innocent’ foods to be aware of when looking to reduce your daily sugar intake.

So today, I decided to do a little bit of digging. Below is my own (almost certainly incomplete) list of food and beverage culprits that pack a surprisingly sugary punch:

  • Tomato-based pasta sauce: Sugar is often added to tomato-based sauces to offset the acidity of the tomatoes and add flavour. One of my faves – President’s Choice Sweet Basil – contains 7 grams of sugar in just half a cup of sauce. Double that (yours truly will surely go back for a second helping) and you’re suddenly up to 14 grams of added sugar – or 3.5 teaspoons. Keep in mind that is already over half of the recommended daily sugar intake for a woman.
  • Tomato soup: The Campbell’s tomato soup in my cupboard has 13 grams of sugar in just 125 mL – which is less than half a can! That works out to be 3.25 teaspoons of sugar; so it’s pretty much on par with the pasta sauce.
  • Ketchup: The President’s Choice ‘Blue Menu’ ketchup in our fridge has a whopping 5 grams of sugar in just one tablespoon – the equivalent of 1.25 teaspoons of sugar!
  • Barbeque sauce: It’s not exactly barbeque season in Ottawa right now, so I didn’t have any bottles in my fridge. Instead, I did some online research – as I know that BBQ sauce is one of the culprits to look out for in terms of high sugar content. I randomly pulled a brand from memory – Bull’s-Eye – and found a really useful site called NutritionRank. It was pretty stunning to learn that ‘Bull’s-Eye Original BBQ Sauce’ contains 12 grams of sugar in what is classified as a ‘serving’ – 36 grams! So clearly sugar makes up over 30 per cent of this particular sauce.
  • Yogurt & yogurt drinks: Our kids are a bit fickle when it comes to snacks, but from time to time we buy Danino’s drinkable yogurt in an effort to boost their calcium levels. It turns out a mini bottle (93 mL) contains a disappointing 11 grams of sugar (2.75 teaspoons). The miniature Danino yogurts fared a bit better – with 5 grams (1.25 teaspoons) of sugar to each 50-gram mini yogurt tub.
While yogurt has the reputation of being a healthy food choice, you have to be careful of the sugar content.

While yogurt has the reputation of being a healthy food choice, you have to be careful of the sugar content.

According to NutritionRank, Dannon All Natural Low Fat Vanilla Yogurt contains a staggering 33 grams of sugar in a 227-gram serving. That’s 8.25 grams of sugar – more than a woman is supposed to consume in a day, and close to the daily recommendation for a man!

With so much added sugar, it seems ironic that ‘all natural’ is part of the product name.

2 responses to “Sugar-free Day #4: Surprising culprits to watch for

  1. Heather says:

    It’s amazing, isn’t it, how sugar is hidden in everything? I used to love drinking juice – but have really tried to cut back. Here, we make, what we have termed “special juice.” Crack open a can of club soda and pour over ice, until your glass is a bit more than 3/4 full. Top with a smallish amount of natural juice – for a splash of flavor. It is extremely refreshing, and is a wonderful, healthy alternative to pop!

    • Nice!! That’s a great alternative to pop, though I understand you have to be careful of the sodium levels in club soda (some higher than others). Pop is definitely one of the worst sugar offenders out there.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: