1. Fruit Juice
Many people think of fruit juice as healthy, but it’s important to be aware of the sugar content. One cup of orange juice can pack 21 grams of sugar. Even green juice can have a ton of sugar if it’s sweetened with fruit juice. Another common mix up is that when you look at the nutrition label on a small bottle of juice, it’s often more than 1 serving, so that’s double the sugar.
If you drink fruit juice, have it in small doses, or just have a splash in a glass of plain or sparkling water. If you drink green juices, go for one that’s full of green veggies like kale, cucumber and celery, with lemon, ginger and just a small amount of apple to sweeten.
Yogurt is another “health food” full of sugar, a dessert in a cup. A Dannon “Fruit on the Bottom” with blueberry has a whopping 24 grams of sugar in a 6 ounce container. This particular yogurt is advertised as 99% fat free, fat isn’t the troubling part — but you can see it’s loaded with sugar. Make sure to check the labels to find better options.
3. Protein Bars
Most protein bars on the market are junk food for adults. Right off the bat, many have a long list of ingredients that you can’t pronounce. Then there’s the sugar issue. A Clif Chocolate Chip Peanut Bar has 21 grams of sugar. That may be appropriate if you’re doing endurance sports, but it’s another if you’re sitting at a desk.
A better option might be a Kind bar, they have a few varieties such as Madagascar Vanilla Almond which only have 4 or 5 grams of sugar.
4. Gluten-Free Baked Goods
Often people see a “gluten-free” label and take that as a license to indulge. Splurging on a gluten-free muffin will have just as much sugar as a muffin that’s made with wheat.
While fruit is my sweet treat of choice and the only “dessert” that we keep in the house on a regular basis, I reach for the low-glycemic fruits like berries or apples. In smoothies, I often use avocado instead of a banana, opting for the healthy fats. I love the sweet fruits like pineapple, mango and grapes, but eat those less often and in much smaller quantities. And be aware that dried fruit is a sugar bomb — a little sprinkle of dried cranberries over a salad might be ok, but eating any large quantity of dried fruit is going to be tons of sugar.