Mayo Clinic Minute: Surprising sources of added sugar

You might be surprised by what you find on the nutrition food label.

Sugar in foods not only adds calories, but it can also have direct toxic effects, such as tooth decay and an increased risk of heart disease. It is critical to limit the amount of added sugar in your diet. However, you may be surprised at how much added sugar you consume. This is due to the presence of added sugar in some seemingly healthy foods.

Dr. Donald Hensrud, a Mayo Clinic physician specializing in nutrition and the editor of “The Mayo Clinic Diet,” explains what to look for when trying to avoid added sugar in this Mayo Clinic Minute.

“When food is processed, certain ingredients are added. “And it’s usually sugar or salt,” Dr. Hensrud says.

Look at the nutrition food label to determine how much added sugar is in packaged food. You may be surprised by what you discover.

“Many things you wouldn’t even suspect — some sauces, some dips, some spreads — there’s added sugars in almost every category of food products out there,” Dr. Hensrud explains.

Foods that contain surprising amounts of added sugar include:

  • Dressing for salad
  • Condiments
  • Soup in a can
  • Granola bars
  • Protein bars

“It’s been shown that the amount of calories obtained from added sugars is quite significant in many people,” says Dr. Hensrud.

Dr. Hensrud advises paying close attention to food labels and consuming foods high in natural sugars, such as fruits, which are low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals.

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