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Hidden Sugar in our lives

Sugar and sweet things are just the tips of the iceberg. Hidden below the surface are the refined, starchy and quickly absorbed carbohydrates that will rapidly put up our blood sugar levels, followed by a crash that will leave you hungry. Unfortunately, many of us are still being told to pile our plates with carbohydrates like pasta or bread.

Hidden Sugar in our so-called-healthy food


You’ll get plenty of calcium and protein. But even low-fat flavoured yoghurts can have 17 to 33 grams of sugar per 8-ounce serving (including those that are naturally in the milk yoghurt is made from). That’s about as much as 2 scoops (1 cup) of chocolate ice cream. Choose those that are lower in sugar. Or, buy it plain and toss in the fruit of your choice.

Instant Oatmeal

Oatmeal has a good rep for being full of healthy fibre. But many fruit-flavoured instant ones have 10-15 grams of sugar per packet. “Reduced sugar” varieties can have closer to 5 or 6 grams per packet. Better yet, add apple slices to plain instant oatmeal. It has less than 1 gram of sugar in a packet.

Salad Dressing

Sweet types, such as raspberry vinaigrette, French, and Catalina, have the most sugar -- about 5 to 7 grams in just 2 tablespoons of dressing. So watch how much you pour on. A lower-sugar option is a light homemade vinegar and oil dressing. It will have only about 1 gram of sugar in the same amount.

Breakfast Cereals

Yes, we all know that fruity kids’ cereals are high in sugar, but even healthier-sounding ones sneak it in. Many popular oat, corn, and bran cereals have 10-20 grams or more per cup. No matter what the front of the box promises, read the ingredients label and nutrition facts panel so you know what you’re getting.

Energy Drinks

Most of those drinks that say they’ll give you a lift have lots of sugar along with caffeine. Some energy drinks have about 25 grams per 8-ounce serving. How about having some cool water instead? Sometimes, being dehydrated can make you feel tired.

Canned Fruits

Mandarin oranges in light syrup have about 39 grams of sugar per 1-cup serving. You can cut down on the sugar somewhat by draining the cup -- that gets you to about 15.5 grams. A better choice: Just have fresh fruit.


That’s the “healthy” side dish at the fast-food restaurant, isn’t it? Think again. One regular-size side of coleslaw from many popular fast-food places will give you about 15 grams of sugar. You can learn what goes into some of your favourite restaurant offerings by looking it up online on their website. When you crave coleslaw, you can always make a low-sugar version at home.


You’re wary of the added calories and sugar in juices, so you’ve switched to tea. Uh-oh. Many popular teas have a surprising amount of sugar. The leading brands of lemon-flavoured iced tea, for example, all have about 32 grams of sugar per bottle. A cup of apple juice has 24 grams. You can control sugar if you brew your own tea instead. Or try flavoured water that’s not high in sugar -- check labels, though.

Dried Fruit

With all the water taken out, dried fruit has much more sugar by volume than fresh fruits. A small box of raisins -- 1.5 ounces -- has more than 25 grams of sugar. Instead, you could eat a half cup of grapes for 12 grams of sugar.


Did you know that Milo contains more sugar than the other ingredients like malt, cocoa, and milk? Everybody in Malaysia knows that most Malaysians don’t just drink Milo with milk. They often take Milo powder and add sweetened condensed milk. 40% of a tin of milo is sugar. So is it safe to drink Milo especially early in the morning?

What Is a Safe Amount of Sugar to Eat Per Day?

Men: 150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons)

Women: 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons)

How much sugar is OK for children?

“Let’s start by looking at American Heart Association (AHA) recommendations,” says Dr. Pomeranets. The new guidelines call for less than 25 grams (6 teaspoons) of sugar per day for children ages 2 to 18 years. That includes no more than 8 ounces of sugar-sweetened drinks per week.

“Children younger than 2 years should have no sugar at all,” adds Dr. Gaydos.


Teacher Yaya

Credits to:

Dan Sweeney, Personal Training

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