No Lie: These 3 Unassuming Foods Are Hidden Sugar Bombs

Updated 05/02/17
Charlotte Tolhurst /StockFood

At this point, most of us are aware of the added sugars lurking in fresh juices and processed foods. But there are other unassuming products lining your grocery store shelves that boast just as much added sugar as the more obvious suspects (if not more). What's worse, others don't even show sugar content at all; companies aren't actually required to update their nutrition labels differentiating natural sugars from added sugars until mid-2018, reports Prevention. The fitness magazine reached out to nutritionists to uncover the common grocery store products that are actually hidden sugar bombs—steer clear of these three offenders.

Marinara Sauce

"Many of the popular marinara sauce brands have sugar or cane juice listed as the second or third ingredient, and provide up to 13 grams of sugar per half-cup serving," notes Edwina Clark, RD, head of nutrition and wellness at Yummly. Compare that to crushed canned tomatoes, which only pack five grams of sugar per half a cup.

The switch: Scan nutrition labels carefully, and opt for a pasta sauce containing less than six grams of sugar per half cup. The magazine recommends Colavita Organic Spicy Marinara or Classico Riserva Marinara.

Nut Butter

"Many brands of nut butter contain small amounts of sugar, molasses, honey, or dried cane syrup," explains Clark. If you frequently snack on peanut butter and jelly or apples with almond butter, the sugar content really adds up.

The switch: The only foolproof fix is to find a nut a butter that's 100% nuts; nuts and salt should be the only two ingredients listed. Smucker's Natural Chunky Peanut Butter and Trader Joe's Raw Almond Butter pass the test.

Deli Meat

Believe it or not, many popular deli meats "contain a myriad of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives such as nitrites, nitrates, and sodium benzoate," cautions Clark. Add honey, dextrose, corn syrup, or maltodextrin to the mix (all different forms of sugar), and you've got yourself a hidden sugar bomb.

The switch: Only buy nitrite- and nitrate-free deli meats, and make sure you can actually read the nutrition label. Applegate Naturals Uncured Black Forest Ham and Hillshire Farm Naturals Slow Roasted Turkey Breast both do the trick.

What hidden sugar bomb would you add to this list? Share your pick with us below!

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