CONSUMERWATCH: Hidden sugar
Published Monday, January 16, 2012 12:22PM CST
For those with a sweet tooth, soda, candy and cookies are the usual fixes for a sugar craving. Sugar is being consumed, though, in many other foods.
"Breakfast cereals and some yogurts are examples of where sugars could be hidden," said Dayna Weiten, a dietitian.
For example: a half of a cup of Mott's original apple sauce contains six teaspoons of sugar. Plus, a half-cup serving of Prego's traditional Italian sauce contains the equivalent of two-and-a-half teaspoons of sugar. Even a serving of Vlasic sweet pickles has almost two teaspoons.
Weiten said consuming too much sugar is a serious health risk. "It can leave to over weight," she said. "That, of course, can increase risk for things like Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, joint problems, even some cancers.
Weiten said to pay attention to labels and look closely at ingredients. Avoid products with ingredients like sucrose, glucose and high fructose corn syrup.
Dietitians said even if a product doesn't list a sugar source source as it's main ingredient, people should still keep in mind that there may be more than one type of sugar in food, which can add up.
Also look out for products with fruit juice concentrate, malt syrup and evaporated cane juice.
"Keeping in mind, four grams of sugar is equal to about one teaspoon of sugar," said Weiten.
She also said eliminating sugary beverages such as soda or juice drinks can go a long way to cut sugar intake. Some sodas can have as much as 16 teaspoons of sugar in a 600 millilitre bottle.
Experts advise to check package labels for sugar listings.