What’s worse than gaining weight? Gaining while eating foods you thought were slimming! That’s so not cool but completely possible. Most people don’t know that “healthy” foods can have sugar. So, saying no to ice cream and cookies is not the end of your diet struggle as you might be ingesting hidden sugars into your body.
If you’re dieting and have reached a weight-loss plateau, be aware. If you’re not losing weight when you should, you might be eating a surprising amount of hidden sugars. Here are 10 high-sugar “healthy” foods that might be the reason for your inability to lose weight.
10 Healthy Foods That Are Sugary
1. Flavored Oatmeal
When you look at a packet of oatmeal, you’ll see lots of information about whole grains. Now, plain oatmeal is heart healthy and low in sugar. But flavored oatmeal has quite a bit of sugar. In fact, just one small packet of flavored oatmeal has about as much sugar as many candy bars! So, if you put two packets in your bowl, you’ll be inundated with hidden sugars.
2. Energy Bars
Energy bars are marketed as a healthy boost when your energy is low. But have you looked at the sugar content of your favorite bar? It’s very likely higher than a candy bar! And don’t be fooled by these natural-sounding sugars. A product that has high amounts of sugar is fattening, no matter what the sugar source. There are some better options of energy bars out there. But make sure you read the label.
3. Whole Grain Or Bran Muffins
Whole grains are healthy and slimming. But a muffin has a lot of fattening ingredients beyond whole grains. And one of the more fattening ingredients is sugar. No wonder these taste so good! And many packaged muffins are huge, which means your muffin habit is allowing you to eat lots of sugar.
4. Vitamin Water
You grab those specialty waters to get extra nutrients or electrolytes. But you’d be amazed at the sugar content. Some of these drinks have way more sugar than you’ll find in a candy bar. Better to drink regular water and get your nutrition through other sources.
5. Dried Fruit
Dried fruit is often a sugar double whammy. It’s a concentrated source of fruit sugar. And the processing of dried fruit makes it even worse because most dried fruits are processed with even more sugar. which means this healthy treat can make your blood sugar levels soar.
6. Salad Dressing
A bottled salad dressing might be low-fat, non-dairy, or organic. But that doesn’t mean it’s low in sugar. In fact, many salad dressings have up to 2 teaspoons of sugar in just a single serving. And you’re likely eating way more than just a small serving of salad dressing on your salad, and sugar.
7. Flavored Yogurt
It doesn’t matter if your yogurt is non-fat, low-fat, or extra fat. If you’re eating flavored yogurt, you’re probably eating lots of fattening sugar. And that’s before you start adding toppings. A healthy option is to buy plain yogurt and add your own fruit because anything else will bump up your sugar intake significantly.
So, you’re planning to make a healthy smoothie. Watch out! Your well-intentioned smoothie might be a sugar powerhouse. Take note of added sugar in your non-dairy milk. And beware of sugar lurking in your protein powder. Oh, and don’t forget to check the sugar content of add-ins like peanut butter and almond butter, because these sugars add up. Make sure that the only sugar in your smoothie is coming from the fruit.
Granola seems healthy because it contains whole grains, real fruit, and other supposedly wholesome ingredients. Or it contains “healthy” sugars like agave or coconut sugar. But be mindful of the sugar content that’s listed on the label. Because most of these healthy granolas have so much sugar. And while natural sugars might be better, they’re still fattening when overconsumed.
10. Fat-Free Foods
Ok, this is a big topic. But here’s something that pretty much all fat-free foods have in common. They’re made with much more sugar than their full-fat counterparts. Something must compensate for the lack of taste and texture after removing the fat! And many fat-free foods have as much, if not more, sugar than a candy bar.
Wow! Now, that’s a lot of hidden sugar in foods that are supposed to be healthy. So, if you’re planning to eat a high-sugar food, why not save the calories for a decadent treat? Don’t do it with salad dressing for goodness’ sake! If you’ve hit a plateau with your weight loss, look at some of the healthy foods in your diet. You might be shocked to learn that you’re eating a lot more sugar than you thought.