The Nation's Health + inflammation

Psssst . . . There's sugar in there

You non-diabetics who check your postprandial blood sugars already know: There are hidden sources of sugar in so many foods.

By now, everybody should know that foods like breakfast cereals, breads, bagels, pretzels, and crackers cause blood sugar to skyrocket after you eat them. But sometimes you eat something you thought was safe only to find you're showing blood sugars of 120, 130, 150+ mg/dl.

Where can you find such "stealth" sources of sugars that can screw up your postprandial blood sugars, small LDL, inflammation, blood pressure, and cause you to grow visceral fat? Here's a few:

Balsamic vinaigrette
Many commercially-prepared balsamic vinaigrettes, especially the "light" varieties, have 3 or more grams carbohydrates per tablespoon. Generous use of a sugar-added vinaigrette can therefore provide 12+ grams carbs. (Some, like Emeril's and Wish Bone, also contain high-fructose corn syrup.)

I learned this lesson the hard way by taking my blood sugar after having a hamburger, turkey burger, or vegetarian burger (without bun): blood sugar would go way up. The effect is due to bread crumbs added to the meat or soy.

Tomato soup
If it were just tomatoes, it would still be somewhat high in sugars. But commercially-prepared tomato soup often contains added high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose, and wheat flour, bringing sugar totals to 12 to 20+ grams per half-cup. A typical 2-cup bowl of tomato soup can have upwards of 80 grams of sugar .

Sure, granola contains a lot of fiber. But most granolas come packed with sugars in various forms. One cup of Kellogg's Low-fat Granola with Raisins contains an incredible 72 grams (net) carbohydrates, of which 25 grams are sugar.

Given modern appetites and serving sizes, you can see that it is very easy to get carried away and, before you know it, get exposed to extraordinary amounts of sugar and carbohydrates eating foods you thought were healthy.

And don't be fooled by claims of "natural" sugar. Sugar is sugar--Just check your blood sugar and you'll see. So raw cane sugar, beet sugar, and brown sugar have the same impact as white table sugar. Honey, maple syrup, and agave? They're worse (due to fructose).

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