Since 1989, February has been celebrated as National Snack Food Month in the United States. At one time, snack foods weren’t as popular as they are now. Today, we’re a snacking nation. In fact, some people snack all day long and forego an actual meal. Regardless of how far we’ve come with snacking options, there are snacks to steer clear of, especially those high in sugar. Compiled below, in no particular order, are the worst snack foods to eat if you’re trying to avoid sugar.
An 8-ounce serving of fruit-flavored yogurt can have as many as 47 grams of sugar. That’s like 12 teaspoons of sugar. Basically, you’re sitting down and eating white sugar from a bowl. Cut the sugar by adding fresh fruit to plain, sugar-free yogurt.
An 8-ounce glass of chocolate milk has almost twice as much sugar as white milk, coming in at 20 grams for the 8-ounce serving. Parents and schools have traditionally used flavored milks as a way to encourage children to drink more. But it’s really not the healthiest choice, and there are many other ways to get calcium.
Cookies are such an easy grab for an afternoon pick-me-up in the office with coffee or tea. And many times, the cookie jar at home is raided for an afterschool snack. In looking at a national brand, three small cookies have 21 grams of sugar. Adults can limit themselves, but kids can eat an entire bag. And that’s a lot of sugar.
These bars have been sold as a healthy alternative snack option; but in reality, one granola bar has 3 teaspoons of sugar per serving. Read the ingredients to find out how much sugar and how many different kinds of sugar are in these bars.
Our nation has become accustomed to purchasing coffee on the run. And we can have it anyway we like it. Most like it sweet, with extra sweet. Unless it’s black coffee, chances are the drink is loaded with added sugar. Every pump of that sweet flavored syrup adds an additional 5 grams of sugar. That’s for one pump. Depending on the size of the coffee, that can be three to five pumps of syrup.
The little fruit cups placed in kids’ lunches for school or on the counter at home for after-school snacking are filled with sugar. Because they are fruit, we assume they are healthy. But all we have to do is read the label and see that a 7-ounce cup has 19 grams of sugar. And that is just one brand. Natural fruits are so much better.
Popsicles and Ice Cream Bars
Moms with kids generally have the freezer loaded with these frozen treats, especially during the summer when it’s hot. But even a natural juice or a frozen yogurt bar is generally full of added sugar. Even “no sugar added” versions have around 5 grams of sugar. Look for sugar-free versions as a best bet.
Raisins are made for snacking. They are small and come in cute little boxes. They’re easy to throw in a lunch bag or purse. But that small 1.5-ounce box packs in 25 grams of sugar. Although raisins have a lot of good things going for them, they are really high in sugar.
Pudding cups are yummy and creamy and tasty. Kids love them; adults love them. And they are often sold as a “no fat” snack option for those wanting a sweet treat without the fat calories. However, a pudding cup has 13 grams of sugar. So, in a 100-calorie pudding cup, over one half of the calories come from sugar.
Muffins aren’t simply for breakfast anymore. They are nibbled at coffee breaks in the morning and afternoon, whether at work or at home. Mini-muffins are readily available at most grocery stores. But the small size is deceiving. One mini-muffin can contain about 6 grams of sugar. But who eats just one? Skip the muffins and pass the pretzels.
There’s nothing wrong with snacking; just keep those choices healthy. Read labels and go for low-sugar options instead. Happy snacking!
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