Sugary Beverages and Obesity


By D.C. Tworek, NASM CPT, Nutrition Specialist

Sugar is quite a nuisance in our society. Mayor Bloomberg is seeking to ban sugary drinks in large sizes in NYC, a well-intentioned cause, but at what cost? That’s a whole other story.

In the meantime, you can be certain that monitoring your sugar intake does more than keep your waistline slim – it reduces your risk of disease, including cancer.

Studies surfaced earlier this year revealing that not only does sugar stimulate the reward center of the brain, making it highly addictive, it actually feeds cancer tumors.

Sugar is hidden in so many foods, you may think you are making a healthy choice, but in reality it is just good marketing. Here are 4 foods that are a hidden source of sugar in the healthiest of diets:

  • Yogurt. If there is one diet food everyone feels they can count on for breakfast and snacks – it’s yogurt. You may to reconsider the diet classic. Most 8 ounce servings can have as much as 31 grams of sugar per serving. Instead, try all-natural Greek yogurts, which are lower in sugar than even natural plain yogurt.
  • Granola bars. Granola just sounds healthy, but when you glue it to chocolate chips and nuts with honey, you can bet there is a whole lot of sugar in every bite – 22 grams per serving.
  • Canned Fruit. If you pack lunches with these on-the-go snacks, reconsider and choose apples or bananas, which are equally travel-friendly. Canned fruits are pack in thick gooey syrups that contribute excess sugar to the fruit.
  • Tomato sauce. This one may come as a shock to many, but canned and jarred tomato sauces, often favored over fatty cheese sauces, has about 24 grams of sugar per one-cup serving. Reduce your portion size, make your own sauce or look for jars marked “reduced sugar” or “sugar-free.”

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