How much sugar is in the food you eat??

The Sugar Trap

The sugar trapIn an age when obesity is fast becoming a pandemic and diabetes is increasing daily, we are hearing the message loud and clear that we need to reduce the sugar content in our diets. But exactly what this means can be a little confusing to say the least. There is a tendency to think that this refers to the white stuff we put in our cup of tea or sprinkle on our breakfast cereal, but that is far from the truth. Sugar is hiding in many of our foods and catches us out time and time again.

We need to educate ourselves to check the labels of the foods we purchase and to be more discerning. Make no mistake, sugar in any form can cause insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, both of which are responsible for the majority of our countries' ills. It is vital to good health that we do everything we can to balance our blood sugar levels and avoid the insulin spikes that can cause so much damage. 

Many people have a tendency to think that sugar is only dangerous if we are overweight or have a family history of diabetes. Although both of those statements are true in themselves, there are many reasons why sugar is bad for us. High Glucose Corn Syrup (HGCS) now found in many of our foods is not only sweeter than sugar, it has more calories and has addictive properties, which means we have a tendency to want to eat more of that particular food. Of course HGCS  is cheaper to produce than sugar and so many manufacturers are jumping on the bandwagon as there profits will inevitably be much higher. Little thought seems to be given to the health of the people, sadly  financial gain more often than not wins the day.

In my book Really Healthy Gluten Free Living I point out that even so called healthy gluten free foods contain a variety of sugars and sugar substitutes that mean that the product is far from being a healthy alternative. In fact many gluten free foods include gluten free alternative grains and flours that are high on the Glycemic Index ( meaning they cause insulin spikes) and so can cause other health problems for the gluten intolerant person.

Although there are foods that we can easily avoid by checking the ingredients, it is less easy to know which natural foods we should avoid or keep to a minimum. The chart below (courtesy of Dr Mercola) also shows the sugar content of some natural foods, to give you an idea of what nature has in store!!



sugar in foods infographic

Find out how much sugar there is per 100 grams of certain dried fruits, spices, condiments, and other common food products through our infographic "A Sweet Trap: Shocking Amounts of Sugar in Common Foods." Use the embed code to share it on your website.

<img src="" alt="sugar in foods infographic" border="0" style="max-width:100%; min-width:300px; margin: 0 auto 20px auto; display:block;"><p style="max-width:800px; min-width:300px; margin:0 auto; text-align:center;">Find out how much sugar there is per 100 grams of certain dried fruits, spices, condiments, and other common food products through our infographic "<a href="">A Sweet Trap: Shocking Amounts of Sugar in Common Foods</a>."</p>
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8 comments to How much sugar is in the food you eat??

  • Michael Lawrience

    Janet; Most of the corn syrup, if not all, is also GMO so a lot of harmful toxins get introduced into an already toxic body.

  • Janet

    You’re right Michael. There are so many things we need to be wary of it is hard to keep up with them all.


  • Wendy Owen

    Thanks for this excellent information Janet. The section on spices surprised me the most. I didn't realize there was sugar in onion flakes! It seems the best thing to do is to eat fresh wherever possible.

    My worst source of sugar is in soy milk (also almond and oat milks). Being lactose intolerant, I can't get away from this!

  • Janet

    It might be worth making your own Almond Milk Wendy. There is a recipe in my book. I would personally stay away from soy in general unless it is fermented soy, but I understand it can be a problem if you are lactose intolerant. You could also consider coconut milk.

  • Liz

    Great list but remember a lot of those items have pros rather than cons to eating them (even though the sugar is high). Also – there are reasons why some of those items have more <a href="sugar" rel="nofollow">">sugar in foods</a>.

    Interacts with molecules of protein or starch during baking and cooking process.
    Act as a tenderizer by absorbing water and inhibiting flour gluten development, as well as delaying starch gelatinization.

  • Janet

    It isn’t really surprising that the sugar association would consider that there are pros to the inculsion of sugar in our diets, as far as I am concerned there are no pros – just major cons. Yes sugar does all the things mentioned in the article on your site, but this article is concerned with the health of the individual and not how sugar can be used to create dishes that are unhealthy – especially for those who are overweight or suffering from illnesses that have been caused by too much sugar in the first place. Your comment may well get you a backlink but I doubt it will convince any of my readers that your site is worth visiting.

  • Liz

    Hi Janet, I see your point and why you would think that way.  I was not trying to tout and one source but I have been following your blog for some time and I happen to think there are a lot of things to be said for natural sugar. It frustrates me when some people are so anti-sugar, or anti-gas, or anti-logging that they get blinders on and cannot see past dogma. is another example of the pros of sugar, I just happened to pick the first site I googled last time.  

    I respect your opinion though I don't agree 100%.  Still, I really enjoy reading your blog. Thanks for letting me debate with you :)

  • Janet

    Liz – I have done a lot of research into the pros and cons of sugar and have yet to find any convincing evidence that there is any goodness in it. There are a large number of people who have Candida Albicans (that feeds off sugar) , diabetes, hypoglycemia, leaky gut syndrome, cancer etc etc all of which are known to either be caused by or made worse by sugar. There was a program on the TV some months ago ( in the UK ) explaining why sugar and not fat was the main cause of obesity. 

    If you would like to download my Gluten Free ebook, which happens to be free today (Tuesday) I explain in a little more detail why sugar is not good for those with a gluten sensitivity.

    Of course there are naturally occuring sugars that are found in foods such as fruit and vegetables that are ok though some need to be consumed in moderation – especially dried fruit. I had a look at the site you quoted and although they make a convincing case I don’t agree with what they are saying as simple sugar causes a glucose spike and unless your body is able to continually produce insulin - which clould be a problem if you have a diet high in sugar – even if just for hobbies such as cycling- there is likely to be a hypoglycemic episode which is then rectified with more sugar and so the cycle (excuse the pun) continues. Eventually you could end up with a condition called insulin resistance  which can increase your chances of getting diabetes. I don’t consider evidence such as that as being “dogma”. Anything I write on this blog has generally undergone a fair amount of research and not from sites trying to sell their product, but from reputable people who are well qualified, as I am, in the field of nutrition. 

    Thank you for visiting my site, I am always happy to debate the health issues that I deal with on here. I hope you will continue to visit.

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