15 Jun Six “Health” Foods That Can Be Full of Hidden Sugars in Your Diet
While this blog is sponsored by Naked Nutrition, all information and opinions presented here are my own.
We know the basics to avoid sugars in highly processed foods. However, sugars can be found in some sneaky areas. Check these 6 ‘health’ foods viewing their ingredient list before consuming, keeping fake and unnecessary sugars out of your #lifestylenotadiet
First, it’s important to define what is a “sugar” because there are many impostures out there going on hidden names. Hidden sugars with hidden sugar names — sneaky, I know!
The following list of sugars are broken down into two categories: dry sugars, and syrups. Pulled from Healthline, perhaps some of these sound familiar under their pseudo-sugar name:
- Barley malt
- Beet sugar
- Brown sugar
- Buttered sugar
- Cane juice crystals
- Cane sugar
- Caster sugar
- Coconut sugar
- Corn sweetener
- Crystalline fructose
- Date sugar
- Dextran, malt powder
- Ethyl maltol
- Fruit juice concentrate
- Golden sugar
- Invert sugar
- Palm sugar
- Organic raw sugar
- Rapadura sugar
- Evaporated cane juice
- Confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
- Agave nectar
- Carob syrup
- Golden syrup
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Malt syrup
- Maple syrup
- Oat syrup
- Rice bran syrup
- Rice syrup
I cannot suggest enough the following statement: check your labels and read ingredients. If sugars presented fall under the above names, you’re now wiser than before to say “no, gracias” and pass.
Sugar names aside, onward to uncovering the foods. Here are six foods thought to be healthy, but actually can have a lot of fake or processed sugar in them. It’s suggested to avoid, or swap out, with cleaner, less processed alternatives (some noted).
6 HEALTH FOODS THAT CAN FULL OF HIDDEN SUGARS
1. FLAVORED OATMEAL
Before you grab your favorite blueberry-infused flaxseed blend, check your labels. You’ll notice that there’s more often times than not some added sugars in the packet or mix. When you start looking at the ingredients, one of those sugars probably falls in line with one as mentioned above.
A recommendation: get plain oats, gluten-free rolls, or even steel cut oats unflavored. Then add your own in after. My own personal favorite, plain oats, cinnamon, flaxseed, and a sprinkle of Naked Nutrition Collagen Powder. Top with fresh blueberries or dried Goji berries.
Image provided by Naked Nutrition.
2. PROTEIN POWDERS
Not all protein powders are created equal. Many come from heavy processing, taste bland, or are whey protein, and there can be an underlying not-so-great taste. Often times, manufactures will cover that up with poor taste with (you guessed it!):
Instead of settling for such, look for a brand that uses natural flavoring with less processing. Naked Nutrition just launched two new flavors to check out: Naked Shake Strawberry Banana Protein and PB Blueberry Vegan Protein.
You can use protein powders in your smoothies, of course. A few other recommendations to try is using it baked goods, such as pancakes, muffins, raw balls, or even just sprinkle on top of a sliced apple.
Images by Live Free Media LLC.
3. LOW-FAT OR FLAVORED YOGURTS
Low fat yogurts can be one of the sneakiest of the bunch. I used to eat these back in the day, thinking I was doing something good for my health. Low and behold, it had aspartame in it. Truly awful for your body and system.
Personally, I don’t eat dairy foods — including Greek and Icelandic yogurt, which can be the better of the yogurt choices. Even the dairy-free ones can come packed with sugar. even the “plain” versions can come with flavoring, including vanilla and those labeled plain.
Ensure that whatever yogurt you choose, it is unsweetened and says that on its labeling. Check that none of the above sugars are hiding in that ingredient list too. Then, add your own toppings that you know are in the healthier zone without fake or processed sugars.
4. COFFEES & CAFFEINATED BEVERAGES
Be wary of your triple, extra hot, vanilla flavored, cappuccino with a dash of caramel macchiato. That may not even be a drink, but the sugar compounds in that one are exponential!
Jokes aside, many caffeinated beverages, including caffeinated smoothies, can have far too many grams of sugar that can easily add up to more than our daily dose in far too many unnecessary calories.
My go-to caffeinated drink of choice? Black coffee, or a black Americano. If I’m having herbal teas, I don’t usually add anything to it, and instead, enjoy the flavor of them.
5. SPORTS DRINKS
Back in the day when I played sports in high school, it was customary to have the sports drink before during and after the game. Even worse if we went to Dairy Queen or had sodas after the softball game. As I got older, I got wiser, and reading the labels in most of those sports drinks, I recognized that there was a lot of fake coloring and unhealthy sugars.
While it is important to rebalance your electrolytes and hydration levels when sweating or working out, there are more natural ways to do so. I recently got into drinking Nakedade Electrolytes Powder from Naked Nutrition, which come in variety of flavors. Here’s me sipping on the fruit punch, which actually has a pleasant taste without being fake or too overwhelming. It’s a good blend! Just keep it away from your white clothing (speaking on my clumsy behalf)!
6. DRESSINGS & JARRED FOODS
You think you’re doing yourself some good by eating fruit. But if it comes in a jar or a can, or even a plastic cup, chances are it’s saturated in syrups. This helps to keep the shelf-life longer, and it also keeps it tasting good.
The thing is, fruits naturally taste sweet and don’t need the added sugars. So whenever possible steer clear of anything from the shelf or in a can, and go for fresh. The same goes for dressings, jarred sauces, even Ketchup. Many of these have added sugars to prolong their shelf-life.
When in doubt, aim for things without labels, and choose to make your own from home when it comes to sauces and dressings. Then you really know what goes into it.
Did I miss one on the list? Any foods that you avoid because they have some hidden sugars? Drop it in the comments below. Expressing a big thanks to Naked Nutrition for supporting this information and post to share with you!
Check out Naked Nutrition’s full line of products, along with recipes on their site.