Juices, yogurts and fat-free products are all subconsciously lumped into the same "healthy food" category in consumers' minds. However, they're not always so healthy. The following foods will probably surprise you with their sugar content.
Frozen entrees: These go-to meals are supposed to be helpful and are often advertised as healthy. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for all of them. Lean Cuisine’s Beef Chow Fun has 18 grams of sugar in it and the Lean Cuisine Chicken Pecan contains 15 grams. Healthy Choice’s new Pineapple Chicken has 19 grams of sugar listed. It’s not the brand you need to avoid, but the dish itself. Each brand has the best and the worst. Click here for some healthier frozen options for you and the family.
Flavored yogurts: Yogurt is a healthy snack and cooking alternative. Yet, when you go for the sweet, artificial flavors, you’re also signing up for some extra sugar. Yoplait’s Light yogurts have an average of 10 grams of sugar per cup. Even though they're fat-free, those calories shift their way into sugar. Even Chobani’s fruity flavors like Verry Berry contains 11 grams of sugar per cup compared to the brand’s plain yogurt, which contains 7 grams.
Bottled smoothies: Convenient, these bottled pre-made smoothies make you think you’re making a smart choice. What’s better than drinking fresh fruit that tastes so amazing? The problem is that these drinks contain way too much sugar for one sitting. And when they’re made, most of the fibers are stripped out. Fiber slows the absorption of sugars. Naked’s Orange Mango juice contains approximately 54 grams of sugar per bottle. Odwalla’s original Superfood blend contains 49 grams of sugar per bottle. Yikes! If you’re going to drink it, split it up or add it to your own smoothies.
Low-fat dressings: Whatever you use dressing for, be it a salad, pasta salad, veggie dip or marinade, chances are you won’t be using much. Tablespoon by tablespoon, though, it adds up. Hidden Valley’s Fat-Free Ranch has 3 grams of sugar per tablespoon. Despite the high sugar content, this is as good as it’s going to get for a creamy ranch. You want less than 1 gram of sugar per tablespoon.
Fruit cups and applesauce: Now, it makes sense that there will be some sugar in these items because they are fruit-based. However, Mott’s original applesauce has 22 grams of sugar per cup. Del Monte’s peaches in light syrup have 16 grams of sugar per cup, while their “no sugar added” option has only 5 grams per cup.
>> Read more: The Difference Between Refined and Natural Sugars