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6 Surprising Sources of Sugar

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By Rachel K. Johnson, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D., Contributing Writer for EatingWell Magazine.

Most of us eat too much sugar. On average, Americans consume 475 calories of added sugars every day (that's 30 teaspoons). Compare this with the American Heart Association's recommendation that American women limit their added sugars to no more than 100 calories (or 6 teaspoons) of added sugars per day and men consume no more than 150 calories (9 teaspoons) daily.

If you're trying to cut back on added sugars in your diet, you've probably already tackled the obvious sources. Sugar-sweetened beverages like soft drinks, energy and sports drinks along with fruit drinks account for almost half of Americans' added-sugars consumption. Desserts like cakes, cookies, pies and doughnuts as well as ice cream and frozen yogurt are among the top sources of added sugars in our diets too.

But what about the less-obvious sources of added sugars? Where do they come from and how can you cut back? It's difficult to know how much added sugars are in most processed foods because food manufacturers aren't required to disclose the amount in their products on the Nutrition Facts Panel. But, unless there is fruit and/or milk (which contain naturally occurring sugars, fructose and lactose, respectively) in the product, you can safely assume the amount of sugar listed on the label is added.

Here are a few healthy foods that may have added sugars lurking in them.

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Rachel K. Johnson, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D., is an EatingWell advisor and Professor of Nutrition at the University of Vermont. Dr. Johnson is Vice Chair of the American Heart Association Nutrition Committee and a member of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition Science Board.

Around the Web

Added sugar: Don't get sabotaged by sweeteners - MayoClinic.com

How to Spot Added Sugar on Food Labels - Healthy Drinks - The ...

USDA Database for the Added Sugars Content of Selected Food ...

Added Sugar: What You Need To Know -- FamilyDoctor.org

Foods Surprisingly High in Added Sugar - US News and World Report

Heart group urges daily limit on added sugar - CNN

Study: Added sugar, not just fat, bad for cholesterol - USATODAY.com