Given the dizzying array of products on supermarket shelves, distinguishing between those that are good or bad for your health can be a real challenge. Coupled with misleading marketing to make products seem healthier than they really are, healthy eating doesn’t get any easier.
Many seemingly “healthy” foods contain high amounts of added sugar. To make matters worse, parents often unknowingly serve them to their children. When young children regularly indulge in sugar-laden foods, their taste buds get used to sweeter-tasting foods, creating unhealthy habits that track into adulthood.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), high-sugar diets have been linked to numerous health issues such as obesity, increased risks of high blood pressure and heart disease. Be aware of your daily recommended limit of added sugar!
Check out how these common sugar-laden foods compare to a glass of soda and find out what their healthier alternatives are!
1. 100% Orange Juice
Amount of sugar in 1 cup (250ml): 4.5 tsp
A glass of orange juice contains almost as much sugar as a glass of soda! An orange may be nutritious but during the juicing process, most of its beneficial dietary fibre is removed. Compared to one orange, a glass of juice contains more than 2X the amount of sugar and calories, but only ⅙ of the dietary fibre. It is also easier to over-consume liquid calories so have a whole fruit instead!
2. Regular Soy Milk
Amount of sugar in 1 cup (250ml): 3.5 tsp
Soy milk is a good source of protein but a glass of store-bought regular soy milk can contain enough sugar to exceed your child’s added sugar limit for the day. Consider substituting it with a reduced sugar option. Alternatively, mix ½ a cup of reduced sugar soy milk with ½ a cup of unsweetened soy milk for even lower sugar content.
3. Flavoured Low-Fat Yoghurt
Amount of sugar in 1/2 cup (125ml): 3.5 tsp
Low-fat does not necessarily mean it is good for you. Fat gives flavour and texture to foods so when it is removed, food manufacturers often make up for it with added sugar (such as white sugar, fruit concentrates, syrups) and thickeners. Consider buying plain, unsweetened yoghurt and throw in some fresh fruits for natural sweetness and additional fibre!
Amount of sugar in 1 cup (56g): 3.5 tsp
Cereals that are marketed as “High in fibre”, “Made with whole grains” or “Organic” might not necessarily mean they are healthy as they can contain high amounts of added sugar. The amount of sugar in cereals marketed at children sometimes exceeds the amount found in cereals marketed at adults! Learn to read food labels to pick out healthier cereal brands!
Exceeding the recommended daily limit is easier than you think…