Health & Wellness

Top 5 Hidden Sources of Sugar

by Stacie De Lucia, RD April 30, 2021
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We already know sugar can be sneaky, seeing as there are more than 60 names for it! When shopping at your local grocery store, be aware of foods marketed as “healthy” that are highly processed and packaged. Most of the time, added sugar is hiding in there to enhance taste, consistency, increase shelf life, and to get you to crave more! Check out these top 5 hidden sources of sugar that can be easily swapped for whole food goodness!

Sauces & Dressings

    • If you take a look at the condiments in your fridge, it may be difficult to find one without any added sugar. For example, ketchup, barbeque sauce, marinades, and salad dressings are a big culprit for sweetness we are usually unaware of. Sure, those 5 grams of sugar in 1 serving may not seem like a lot, but I doubt any of us are getting out the measuring spoons for our BBQ chicken, or side of sweet potato fries, to make sure we stay within the serving size. 
      • Sugar Detox-Friendly Swap: Homemade sauces, dressings, or try flavoring with lots of fresh herbs and spices. Try making ketchup from simple ingredients such as tomato paste, vinegars and spices; or try a simple vinaigrette with oil, vinegar, lemon, garlic, and herbs. Check out the recipe section of our website for more ideas!

Snack Bars

    • Bars are marketed well to be viewed as a “health food”, but if we look at the labels on most of these, we find that sugar is one of the main ingredients. What else do you think would be holding everything together?
      • Sugar Detox-Friendly Swap: Instead of grabbing a bar on the go, try a raw nuts and seed mix, with some freeze dried fruit! Post-detox, try to choose bars with less than 6 grams of sugar and more than 3 grams of fiber per serving.  The Kind brand nuts and spices variety of bars are low in sugar, and fit this rule!

Granola/Trail Mixes 

    • Granola and trail mixes are also commonly viewed as a power-fueled, nutrient-rich snack. While some granolas can be filled with nourishing whole foods like oats, nuts and seeds, most are loaded with added sugars to enhance flavor, and keep us coming back for more.  The other issue? Most of us never really stick to the serving size which is usually a ¼ cup, or one small handful. 
      • Sugar Detox-Friendly Swap: Make your own granola using the Grain Free Apple Spice Granola from the sugar detox. You can also try formulating your own concoction based on your favorite freeze dried or no sugar added fruits, nuts, seeds, and healthy mix-ins like coconut flakes, no sugar added chocolate chips, oats, puffed rice, and more! 

Yogurt 

    • Since optimal gut health has been put on a pedestal for healing whole body health, so has yogurt. A “healthier” strawberry yogurt usually has anywhere from 15-20 grams of sugar-and most, if not all of that, is added!
      • Sugar Detox-Friendly Swap: Go for a plain or unsweetened yogurt and add your favorite fresh fruit for natural sweetness. You can also use some of your homemade granola, and spices like cinnamon to make it even more tasty without the processed sugar!
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Bread

    • Although most bread is savory, believe it or not, most of it contains added sugars!  Of course, the cinnamon raisin bagel at the local bagel shop will taste sweet and sugary but even seemingly healthier options can be sugar laden.  The Glutino brand of gluten free english muffins contains 7 grams of added sugars per muffin.
      • Sugar Detox-Friendly Swap: When eating out, go bun-less and grab a lettuce wrap for your burger instead. If forgoing bread is impossible, work on limiting to 1 slice of bread at meals, and choosing those that are sprouted and/or fermented like a sourdough. These are easier on digestion, as they are pre-broken down by bacteria. We recommend ezekiel bread for those that can tolerate gluten or higher quality gluten free options such as Simple Kneads.
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