Hidden in Plain Sight


By now most of us are at least aware of the fact that too much sugar isn’t good for us. But you may not be aware of some of the hidden sources of sugar like "not so sweet" foods such as pasta sauce, salad dressing, ketchup and bread. Some other "healthy" foods that tend to be high in added sugar include:

Yogurt/Greek Yogurt

Yogurt is probably one of the biggest sources of added sugar for those people that think they are eating healthy. Most “yogurts” in the grocery store are more like pudding than yogurt. Some can have up to 30g of sugar per container.  Get plain yogurt and mix in your own fresh fruit.

Energy/Granola Bars

Most bars are some combo of whole grains, nuts, seeds, and sugar. Sugar content can range from 5g per bar to 25g per bar. You can always make your own bars, or just toss some nuts and seeds in a small reusable container and bring along a piece of fruit for an easy portable snack that will give you long lasting energy.


Cereal is another contributor to added sugar intake. Many of the “healthy” cereals are loaded with sugar and some granolas can have up to 30g of sugar per serving. Choose plain rolled or steel cut oats, unsweetened shredded wheat or make your own hot cereal out of any whole grain (quinoa, amaranth, etc.).

Find out where #addedsugar is hiding in plain sight. You might be surprised! #saslife Click To Tweet

Added sugars have been all over the media lately. One study that has been getting a lot of attention is a large, prospective study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This study reported that adults with diets highest in added sugar had substantially higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease compared to people with the lowest amounts.  Many other studies have concluded that there is definitely a significant relationship between added sugar and cardiovascular disease, arguing that a high sugar intake is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

So, remember, the goal is to cut down your refined sugar intake as much as possible. So make sure you choose real, whole foods as much as possible, and always read the ingredients in processed foods to find those hidden sugars.


Homemade Ketchup

Makes approximately 10 ounces

This quick and easy recipe is a great way to help reduce your refined sugar intake. For a more complex flavor check out this recipe for a longer more involved ketchup (but well worth the time).




6 ounce) can tomato paste
½ cup water or broth
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp honey
½ Tbsp onion powder
½ Tbsp garlic powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
⅛ tsp ground cloves
⅛ tsp ground allspice
pinch of cayenne
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place everything in a medium saucepan, mix well and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Store in refrigerator, covered, for up to 1 month.

Note: If you like your ketchup a little thinner simply add a little more water.



About Author

Kelly Gehle, MS, RDN, LDN, IFNCP


Kelly is a Nutritionist at the HCC at SAS Institute Inc. in Cary NC. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science from Arizona State University and her Master of Science degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and an Integrative and Functional Nutrition Certified Practitioner. Her areas of expertise include functional nutrition, health and wellness education, prenatal nutrition, food allergies and intolerances and culinary nutrition.


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