15 Unexpected Sources of Sugar in your Diet

By Caroltoo Latest Reply 2012-05-09 17:18:26 -0500
Started 2012-05-01 03:39:23 -0500

Here are some of the ways even those of us who don't use sugar end up getting some in our diets. Which ones do you use? Which ones surprised you?

1. coleslaw: 3.5 t sugar per 1 cup prepared coleslaw,
2. BBQ sauce: 2 t in 1 ounce,
3. flavored yogurt: 5 t per 6 oz,
4. fruit drinks: 4 t per cup,
5. spaghetti sauce: 2 t per 1/2 cup,
6. sports drink: 3.5 t per 8 oz,
7. chocolate milk: 1.5 t per 8 oz.,
8. granola cereal: 5 t per cup,
9. coffee drink: 8-15 t per 16 oz of your favorite Starbucks,
10. ketchup: 1.5 t per 1 oz,
11. sweetened tea: 12 t per 16 oz,
12. instant oatmeal: 3 t per packet,
13. jelly/jam: 1 t per tablespoon,
14. protein bar: 4 t per bar, and
15. dried fruit: 3 t per 1/4 cup.


59 replies

flipmom 2012-05-05 21:56:55 -0500 Report

I love creamy peanut butter…then I tried the natural, I did not like it. so then I tried the peterpan brand since it doesnt have mollases, its good but also very oily. So I think I'm going back to Jif !

Wound Lady
Wound Lady 2012-05-07 12:27:21 -0500 Report

I'm with you I love JIF. It doesn't make my sugar go up. I only have a teaspoon at a time. I also eat chocolate bars once a week. The bars doesn't make my sugar go up either. I usually eat it a bite at a time. Hersey's.

Caroltoo 2012-05-07 14:16:10 -0500 Report

There are really two issues here that I don't think we are completely separating: one is the effect of ingested sucrose/fructose/glucose on our blood glucose readings which, as you say, is minimal for many of us, and the second is the toxicity of dietary sugar on our liver as it has to metabolize the product.

I was just reading a study this morning that says that anything over 15 gm of fructose in a day has the same biochemical effect on the liver as alcohol consumption. Then there are the AGEs that are the result of metabolizing sugar.

So the question of whether or not using sugar is acceptable for us is actually much more complicated than just looking at our blood glucose levels.

Young1s 2012-05-09 16:33:36 -0500 Report

I think I get what you're saying here, Carol. It's like what my doctor was explaining to me a while back. Because our organ functions are so interconnected, one small thing that goes out of whack with lets say the liver, will trickle down to a number of other organs, and soon the small problem becomes a major one. So, I say all that to say, we can't just have tunnel vision when dealing with our D, we need to be aware of all of the aspects that will effect it. Or have I missed your point completely?

Caroltoo 2012-05-09 17:18:26 -0500 Report

Yes, you are tracking with me. In part, I was reacting to the simplistic response that that I keep hearing w/r/t PNB that says: "I'm ok if it doesn't raise my BG level".

If sugar damages the liver w/out raising the BGs, you are not OK. Diabetes may still be under control, but you could find yourself dying of liver disease because of the assumption that BGs are the ONLY issue involved.

Caroltoo 2012-05-05 22:21:35 -0500 Report

The thing coming through clearest here is that many of us use peanut butter and none of us seem to agree on which is best. Viva la difference!

Young1s 2012-05-06 15:03:31 -0500 Report

That's almost what I was going to say. How did we get started on PB anyways? It's not even on the list. Funny how these discussions flow sometimes.

Type1Lou 2012-05-03 13:49:42 -0500 Report

Good post Carol! It's amazing how adulterated processing makes our food. Most Peanut Butters also have a lot of added sugars (but not Smucker's All Natural). It's also amazing to me that most "Lite" or low-cal versions of a product (e.g salad dressings) have more carbs/sugars in them than the regular versions. Reading labels is enlightening and essential if we are to control our carbs and limit our sugars.

Caroltoo 2012-05-03 15:34:06 -0500 Report

Thanks, Lou! I've gone back to the old "grind you own" routine for peanut and almond butters. Do smaller quantities, of course, and keep refrigerated, but that's ok cause it doesn't have to be preserved to travel 4000 miles.

Yes, I've read that sugar and salt are both used to replace flavor in the many "low-fat" versions of our foods. I usually buy the full fat versions and just try to eat a little less. Frankly, I like the flavor better that way too.

jayabee52 2012-05-04 11:27:45 -0500 Report

how do you "grind" your own peanut and almond butters? Inquiring minds . . . .

jayabee52 2012-05-05 06:23:50 -0500 Report

I thought perhaps it could be whipped up in a blender with some peanut oil in it with just a touch of salt.

Caroltoo 2012-05-05 11:27:29 -0500 Report

The chunky kind probably could be. I've just never tried it because it was so simple to just use theirs and leave the clean-up to the store.

jayabee52 2012-05-04 13:21:47 -0500 Report

what I would prefer is to do it myself so I know what goes into it. And I would guess that having it made would be even more costly. it would be a service for which I would need to pay to have done.

Type1Lou 2012-05-04 11:13:43 -0500 Report

My one attempt at grinding my own peanuts was a DISASTER! I think I put too much salt in it but had to throw it out, it was so unpalatable. I'll pay Mr Smuckers to do it for me…reminds me, I'm running low and need to get another jar. If the only PB in the house is Skippy or Jif or the other adulterated stuff, I'll forgo eating it at all. (My husband likes it, so it's in the house)…the natural stuff tastes so much better to me!

Young1s 2012-05-05 12:43:31 -0500 Report

My family prefers Skippy too, so my natural PB is left alone. I remember the first time I bought some, all of the oil had settle at the top. Silly me, I poured it off and closed the lid back up. The first few uses were perfectly fine, but I noticed that the closer I got to the bottom the dryer and harder the PB was getting. It was really frustrating. So now I make sure to stir it up real good with a butter knife so that the oil remains consistent throughout. Should go check to see if it's palm kernel oil though. Don't want to be eating anything that doing more harm than good.

Type1Lou 2012-05-05 15:29:47 -0500 Report

I store my unopened jar of Smucker's Natural PB upside down in my pantry. When I first open the jar to use it, I stir in all the oil and once it's well blended in, I then store the jar in the refrigerator which prevents it from separating again. The ingredients listed on the Smucker's label are Peanuts and 1% or less of salt, and nothing else. The ingredients on the label of my husband's Skippy Natural are Roasted Peanuts, Sugar, Palm oil, Salt. We really do need to check the labels…I guess sugar and palm oil are natural products but Sheesh!

Caroltoo 2012-05-06 13:09:47 -0500 Report

Thanks, James, for the research. Palm kernal oil definitely sounds like one we should avoid: don't want to eat something that can be used as fuel oil. Palm oil from the fruit sounds a little better from a process perspective but still is very high in saturated fats. Mahalo for the information.

Type1Lou 2012-05-05 08:56:05 -0500 Report

James, the ingredients listed for Smucker's Natural are only peanuts and salt. You're right that most other "so-called" Natural PB's" (like Skippy) have many other undesirable ingredients. Many local supermarkets also have their own "natural" PB, usually in the deli section. But I would always check the ingredients on the label to be sure I'm getting only what I want. Publix here in Florida does that but the large jar of Smucker's Natural is a better buy for me…my tightwad Yankee tendecies are showing!

jayabee52 2012-05-06 04:37:21 -0500 Report

as I recall the smuckers also had the paln kernel oil. Going back to the store (for other items) later today and will look at it specifically then again.

I am from the midwest (Ohio) and I am about as tight as they come. My ex MIL omce said that I was the only one who could pinch a penny and make ol' Abe say "ouch!"

Type1Lou 2012-05-07 15:34:38 -0500 Report

My 26 oz jar of Smucker's Natural Creamy Peanut Butter lists the following "Ingredients: Peanuts, contains 1% or less of salt." Nothing more! Maybe Smucker's makes another brand that is not Natural, but I don't ever recall seeing one.

jayabee52 2012-05-07 21:17:42 -0500 Report

the store to which I went yesterday didn't have the smuckers brand (seemed to have everything except that for which I was looking ).

Since it is so close to my trip to Milwaukee, I probably will not take the time to pursue it at this time.

Caroltoo 2012-05-07 15:55:50 -0500 Report

Thanks, Lou. Hope James finds this helpful in his PNB search.

When I think of PNB, I know I tend to discount all the name brands simply because I have such a low opinion of most major food producers because of their consistent lack of concern for the public's health except as it may be affected by the actual rules and regulations of the state and federal governments. It's understandable, cause there is so much (read dollars) involved in any change to their established processes, but isn't generally helpful to the consumers.

GLAD to hear that Smucker's is onboard with a healthy product. I've liked some of their jams/jellies over the years also and just gave my husband a PBJ with honey and Smucker's strawberry jam yesterday for lunch. His alternate sandwich is PBJ with honey and banana.

Set apart
Set apart 2012-05-02 06:16:01 -0500 Report

I keep an eye on the content of grams of sugar in foods. For a treat I do regular cup of coffee with sugar free flavored creamer and stevia, adding fat free whipped topping. While attending a meeting the other day my friends wanted keva juice, I thought great I'll just have water. Lo and behold they had sugar free strawberry ice cream, stirred into a smoothies with only 12 net carbs, you should have seen me I was in heaven slurped it until the last drop. I live 1 hour from here, otherwise I'd probably make it a weekly treat! I keep an eye on sugar as well as carbs!

Caroltoo 2012-05-02 14:02:17 -0500 Report

Sounds like you found a yummy one! Was this in a chain store (that might also be in other states), or something local?

Set apart
Set apart 2012-05-03 05:39:24 -0500 Report

Hi Carol, not sure if KEVA juice is throughout all the states. In NM i know there are some throughout the larger cities! Now I'm wondering if they are throughout any other states. Worth checking!

Caroltoo 2012-05-07 18:25:52 -0500 Report

Seems to be a chain that specializes in fresh fruit smoothies, etc. Look at the link James posted. Scroll to the bottom of that page and it gives a carb, fiber, fat, and protein count for each drink. Can't find anything about "Keva" per se, so guess it's just a name.

techguy87114 2012-05-07 18:56:23 -0500 Report

Keva juice is the best! there is one at the mall near my house.. SOOO GOOD. oh and good for you too.

Thanks jayabee52!

Caroltoo 2012-05-07 18:58:27 -0500 Report

Hey, Techguy: is Keva just a trade name … the menu seems to include many different flavors of fruit. I had never heard of it before and first thought we were talking of a "Keva berry", but now I'm thinking it's more like "Jamba Juice".

Young1s 2012-05-02 08:23:28 -0500 Report

I keep an eye on my sugar grams, as well. Some days it's hard to get my sugar intake to be less than my fiber intake. There's sugar in practically everything.

Caroltoo 2012-05-02 14:01:12 -0500 Report

Don't get me wrong here, I'm not totally virtuous; I occasionally have a candy bar and wreak my record of little/no sugar. But when I do, it's my choice, not something that sneaks into my food. The way to avoid the "sneaky" sugar is to cook from fresh foods. The sugar is in the canned and bottle, processed foods.

Young1s 2012-05-03 11:20:23 -0500 Report

I'm sure you do, Carol. The cool thing is, the more I get into this and go shopping, the less time I spend going up and down the middle aisles. I've always heard people say, shop the outer aisles, it's healthier. Well, I totally get it now.

Caroltoo 2012-05-03 11:36:26 -0500 Report

It's really refreshing and feels so good, once you get past the idea of having boxes and cans around that have an indefinite shelf life. It is a new way of thinking because you do have to "shop fresh" more often. No more once a month Costco runs except for paper goods and my favorite gluten free crab cakes.

Young1s 2012-05-01 12:58:28 -0500 Report

Love yogurt and I'm still on the search for a yogurt that is low in sugar. Used to get Fiber One 50 Cal yogurt (only 4g of sugar), but the two grocery chains that I go to stopped selling it. Not enough sales to make it worth their while to keep it in stock. Not a fan of plain yogurt but may have to get used to it, or used to adding some Stevie to it.

Nick1962 2012-05-01 10:37:24 -0500 Report

Sugar has always been something I watch as closely as carbs. When you consider it in terms of grams (4-8 grams per teaspoon), nearly everything on the list ends up off my diet.

MewElla 2012-05-01 07:43:59 -0500 Report

Isn't this amazing? In so many favorites, truly sneaks up on us. It's hard to stay ahead of everything we need to watch when sugar appears in most everything we eat. Appreciate your bring this to our attention!!

Caroltoo 2012-05-01 08:05:24 -0500 Report

I was surprised at how much there is in sweetened tea and purchased coffee creations. I knew a latte gives me a big bump, so I don't do it very often, but hadn't really connected the bump with sugar. Inquiring minds needed to servive!

jayabee52 2012-05-01 04:36:31 -0500 Report

Thanks Carol. I had already known about most of those except the cole slaw.
I surmised there was some there but not 3.5t there. But then again I only eat prepared coleslaw in resturaunts. When at home I use Basalmic Vinagarette to top it.

Wound Lady
Wound Lady 2012-05-07 12:38:42 -0500 Report

I make my cole slaw at home and I replace the sugar for sweet & low. Use Mayo with olive oil & add mustard.

Caroltoo 2012-05-01 07:32:30 -0500 Report

That was a surprise to me too. Recently I fixed some and asked Nick for a recipe for the dressing because I hadn't fixed it for so long. I know when I buy it out, it always seems just goopy with dressing and I prefer it more dry.