Seven deadly sins

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Hidden sugars in foods
We’re always being told that too much sugar is bad for us, but sometimes it’s hard to avoid. Here are seven foods and drinks that are not as healthy as they may first appear

Granola 
It’s just a breakfast cereal, right? Wrong. Although breakfast cereals in general can be eye-wateringly high in sugar, granola is one of the worst offenders. It may taste good, but don’t kid yourself you’re having a healthy start to the day. A few reduced sugar options are now available, but they are still few and far between.

Orange juice
Who doesn’t like a glass of refreshing real orange juice with their breakfast? Be careful, that sugar content could be piling up. Yes, fruit is good for us, but if you think about how many oranges go into one bottle of juice… that’s a lot of fruit sugars and while they are natural, they are still sugars. You can still enjoy a glass of the good stuff with your breakfast – it’s a great source of vitamin C – just opt for a small glass.

Low-fat yoghurt
Yoghurt can be good for us – it is a good source of calcium and those that come with probiotics can aid good bacteria in our tummies – but the problem is that once you reduce fat in a food, it is often replaced with sugar. The answer? Check the label or maybe go for a full fat, natural yoghurt instead.

Sauces
A cooked breakfast wouldn’t be a cooked breakfast without a dollop of ketchup or brown sauce, but those dollops are ratcheting up the sugar content of your weekend treat. One tablespoon of ketchup contains around 4g of sugar – about a teaspoonful. You can now pick up reduced sugar ketchups in supermarkets, or why not try fresh tomatoes instead. Your bacon will still taste every bit as good.

Flavoured waters
You may think flavoured water is just water, but it really isn’t. Don’t be distracted by the picture of fresh fruit on the bottle, some flavoured waters contain up to 13g of sugar! That’s around three teaspoonfuls. Just stick to plain, sparkling water and the problem is solved. It may not taste as sweet, but that’s rather the point.

Protein/cereal bars
You know those ‘healthy’ bars you snack on before or after the gym? You may need to spend a lot longer working out to burn off the sugar they contain. They do vary, so check the individual packaging, but some bars have more sugar in them than the type of chocolate bar you would never look twice at when you’re trying to watch your weight.

Coffee sachets
Latte, mocha, cappuccino… they all come in sachet form now, for a convenient cup of coffee that is a bit more interesting than a plain black. They may look innocent enough, but they can hide a dark secret: sugar. You may think you’re being good not adding sugar to your coffee, but surprise – it’s already there. 

Published in: April 2018

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