Curb your sugar intake by getting wise to foods with hidden sugars. You may be surprised at some of the culprits on this list compiled by Dr Sarah Brewer.
Low Fat Yogurt
A low fat fruit yogurt may have added sugar to provide flavour as well as ‘mouth feel’. A 6oz (170g) yogurt can contain as much as 32g sugar. Check labels and select the yogurt with the lowest amount of sugar. A 150g pot of Greek style plain yogurt made from whole milk typically provides around 5g sugar, for example – add flavour with fresh berries, nuts or a tablespoon of unsweetened muesli. My favourite Fage Total yogurt (5% fat) has no added sugar and contains only naturally occurring milk sugar (lactose) provides just 3g sugar (plus 9g protein) per 100g and is delicious and creamy enough to eat on its own.
A single serving of savoury, tinned tomato soup can contain as much as 12g free sugar (3 teaspoonfuls). Compare labels on tins or packs, or better yet, make your own from fresh chopped tomatoes (coming into season now), onion, carrot, celery, vegetable stock and plenty of fresh herbs.
Water flavoured with fruit and added vitamins and minerals is bound to be healthy, right? Not necessarily. Some brands contain as much as 13g sugar per serving (237g). Make your own by adding slivers of cucumber, chopped fresh mint and/or slices of lime to a jug of water instead. You can also buy drink bottles with separate slots into which you can place your fresh fruit.
There has been a lot of publicity around the amount of sugar found in some breakfast cereals. Sugar-frosted cornflakes can contain 11.5g sugar per 30gram serving, for example, while granola with dried fruit, nuts or seeds, which sounds healthy, can have almost 11g sugar per 60g serving, too. It’s therefore not surprising that some seemingly healthy cereal bars can pack lots of sugar, too. A small, fruit-filed grain bar (37g) can contain 13g sugar while a larger (116g) bar can provide a whopping 39g sugar. Best advice if you want to cut back on sugar is to check labels, select those with the lowest sugar and energy values overall, cut back on serving sizes (or at least don’t super-size) and if you have a sweet tooth, retrain it so you need less sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Dr Sarah Brewer works on the medical advisory board for CuraLin, the all-natural supplement that helps people with diabetes balance their blood sugar levels, naturally. CuraLin (RRP £59, www.curalife.co) is a specially tailored natural formula that promotes healthy and balanced blood sugar levels and insulin production in those suffering from Type 2 Diabetes.