Where to Find Hidden Sugars

People with diabetes or prediabetes are usually told to watch the amount of sugar they consume. We usually expect to find a high amount of sugar in treats and desserts. 

We all know the usual suspect, things like soda, cookies, and candy- all are known for containing a lot of sugar. These foods and drinks are usually on the list of what to limit or avoid when managing or trying to prevent diabetes.

When monitoring sugar intake, it’s important to know other foods you may not know contain added sugar. It can get tricky when condiments, spreads, and sauces have more sugar than you’d expect. 

The best way to know if a food contains added sugar is to check the label. In most cases, the nutrition label should clearly read “Added sugar” and amongst the ingredients list, you’ll see sugar, beet sugar, honey, agave, maple or barley malt syrup, or cane juice.

Sugar can also go by other names; most commonly: fructose, galactose, glucose, lactose, maltose, and sucrose. 

When purchasing packaged foods, carefully check the label so you know how many grams of sugar, and what kind of sugar, it contains.

The following foods are usually considered relatively healthy but can actually pack a punch of added sugar. Be sure to check the labels and be mindful of serving sizes when sugar is added. 

Marinara sauce– Many store-bought brands contain added sugar. Look for no sugar added or try making your own! 
Flavoured yogurt– Yogurt with fruit on the bottom or that comes already flavored can contain added sugar and a lot of it. Opt for plain or Greek yogurt and add flavor with fresh fruit. 
Ketchup & barbecue sauce– The ketchup on your burger can contain up to a teaspoon of sugar! Look for no-sugar options with limited ingredient lists, and when dining out ask for sauces on the side to control your serving sizes.
Granola & trail mix– Honey, maple syrup, chocolate, dried fruit- if you’re not careful your healthy snack mix might contain as much sugar as a can of soda! Compare options when purchasing or try a whole grain, low sugar cereal instead.  
Packaged fruit– Tinned or jarred fruit can sometimes be packaged in corn syrup. Fresh fruit is best, but if you’re in a pinch find fruit prepared in its own juices. 
Peanut butter– Some commercial peanut butter can contain corn syrup or added sugar. The best options contain only peanuts.
Bread– Packaged loaves of bread usually have syrups and sugars added. Choose options with less than one gram of sugar per slice.
Packaged oatmeal– It’s best to prepare your own oatmeal at home and use fresh fruit, nuts, and seeds to flavor. Pre-packaged options can be loaded with sugar.
Flavoured coffee– Your morning Joe can contain a day’s worth of sugar. Ask the barista to use a sugar-free syrup option or skip the sugar altogether. Powdered cinnamon is a great sugar-free addition to coffee! 

Working with a nutritionist or diabetes educator can benefit those looking to better manage or prevent diabetes. (242) 702-9310