Are Hidden Sugars Sabotaging Your Diet?

PITTSBURGH (CBS) — With the average American consuming about 155 pounds of sugar each year, it’s clear that sugar is a big part of most of our diets.

But it’s not just your sweet tooth that can get you in trouble. “Hidden sugars” could be sabotaging your diet.

“There’s sugar in a lot of foods you’d never suspect,” says nutritionist Dawn Jackson Blatner.

She says everything from pasta sauce to granola bars can have loads of added sugar.

Too much sugar can negatively affect your cholesterol and triglyceride levels, putting you at greater risk for heart disease. So, how can you reduce the cravings?

“Keeping sugar in its natural form, from things like yogurts or fruits, is always the best bet to control that sweet tooth but do it in a naturally nutritious way,” Blatner says.

And be sure to read labels. One brand of plain yogurt, for example, has 13 grams of sugar, naturally. But grab the vanilla yogurt and it’s 44 grams.

The sugar synonyms on the ingredient list, like high fructose corn syrup, tell you it’s from added sugar.

Other hidden sugars can be found in molasses, honey and concentrated fruit juices, Blatner says.

Sue Schamber says her sweet tooth was more of an addiction. So she cut added sugar out of her diet altogether with surprising results.

“Once you get through the first couple of weeks of just making a conscious effort not to have it, I seriously have no craving,” Schamber says.

Another tip: Don’t skip meals. That can send you right to the sweets, looking for a quick pick-me-up. Remember, added sugar has no nutritional value at all, just empty calories. But naturally occurring sugar in fruit and dairy products is just fine.

  • Desiree M

    Despite what the ADA (Americn Diabetes Association) says to the contrary. Sugar is the cause of diabetes. Anyone with diabetes who is reading this please eliminate all forms of sugar, even whole fruit and fruit juices, yes whole fruit. See how you feel in 1 month. I guarantee your glucose levels will go down and you will have cured your diabetes itself.

    You must heavilly restrict glucose (bread, potatoes,pasta, beans, but is essential to eliminate anything that tastes sweet. If it tastes sweet SPIT IT OUT.

    It’s all about the carbohydrates. Fructose, no matter how many people tell you that it’s natural and harmless, is even worse than glucose, in all it’s forms.

  • Barry P

    Sugar, whether it’s natural, processed, fructose or glucose is the cause of diabetes, weight gain and obesity. It causes an imbalance in the mineral relationship in your body because it usses up the nutrients in your body in order for it to be assimilated and digested. It’s a shame that this article does not go far enough.

    Yoghurt is not a natural sugar unless your ar talkiing about milk sugars. Most yoghurts are sweetened with fruit concentrate and syrups and HFCS.

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