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5 Sources Of Hidden Sugar In Your Diet

Medical Daily logo Medical Daily 5/08/2018 Sadhana Bharanidharan
White Bread © White Bread White Bread

Sugar is added to many food items from cereals to yogurt. Here are five unexpected sources of the ingredient you may be consuming every day.

Sugar does not only come in the tempting forms of candy and soda. Sometimes, the sweetening ingredient can hide in foods that don't even taste all that sweet.

Here are five hidden sources of sugar that are likely to be part of your daily diet.

1. White bread

Most people would probably not associate bread with a sweet taste. But So a white bread sandwich could contain nearly 3 grams of sugar from the bread alone.

While some of the sugar is naturally formed during the baking process, the ingredient is also added. Read the nutrition label as the amount of added sugar varies depending on the brand you purchase.

2. Tomato soup

Nutrition experts recommend opting for canned soups where the sugar is under five grams per 100 grams. Tomato flavoured soup can be particularly tricky as just one can of Campbell’s Tomato Soup is estimated to contain 10 to 12 grams of sugar per serving. 

"Be sure to check the label of the tomato soup you want, as this flavour is generally higher in sugar than other flavours," Parker said. "Due to the acidity of the tomatoes, adding some sugar cuts through the acidity, making it more palatable," said Sanchia Parker, a dietitian from Australia.

3. Frozen pizza 

Not even pizza is immune to being a hidden source of sugar. From the frozen variety, one slice of cheese pizza contains around 5 grams of sugar while a slice of pizza including pepperoni or sausage contains around 6 grams.

The sauce is typically the major source of added sugars followed by the crust of the pizza. This is why it is recommended you opt for thinner crusts and toppings that are low in sugar. Some examples include low-fat cheese, lean meats, and fresh vegetables.

4. Peanut butter

While peanut butter can offer several nutritional benefits, certain brands are guilty of over-processing with some containing nearly 4 grams of sugar per tablespoon. Of course, the ones flavoured with the likes of honey and chocolate are particularly high in added sugar. 

It is recommended to opt for the ones that have no added sugar and no additives.

"When choosing a peanut butter, it should only say ‘dry roasted peanuts’ on its ingredient list—and sometimes sea salt—that’s it," said Patricia Bannan, a nutritionist based in Los Angeles.

5. Vitamin water

Despite the beverage being marketed as a healthy drink, vitamin water contains high levels of fructose and other added sugars. Many food items can hide their sugar content in plain sight by dividing it under different names.

"Companies often use two or three different sugars so that they appear lower in the food ingredient list instead of using all as one that would make 'sugar' appear higher," said registered dietitian Julie Upton.

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