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Packaged Foods Surprisingly Low in Sugar

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    Understand Your Sugars

    The average American consumes upwards of 23 teaspoons of added sugar a day. That's 3 to 4 times the American Heart Association's recommended intake of 6 to 9 teaspoons. Numerous studies link excessive sugar intake to a slew of health problems including weight gain, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and more. In an effort to avoid added sugar, we've been conditioned to avoid packaged and processed foods, which tend to have a lot of it. But what if we said there are many convenient packaged foods that are actually low in sugar? Yep—they exist.

    It is unrealistic and unnecessary to shun packaged foods altogether. Instead, challenge yourself to minimize your consumption of obvious high-sugar foods like cakes, cookies, soda, and candy. Secondly, don't fall victim to the health halos that certain foods like yogurt, granola, oatmeal, and salad dressings may have. Do your homework, read the ingredient list, and know what to look for. Sugar can be masked under a variety of names including sucrose, agave, cane juice, and fruit juice concentrate. Once you spot a form of sugar in the ingredient list, head to the nutrition label and do some math. Four grams of sugar is equivalent to 1 teaspoon.

    It is important to note that the food label doesn't differentiate between added sugars and those that naturally occur. Naturally occurring sugars are found in foods like fruit, dairy, and some grains. For example, a plain yogurt will have as much as 15 grams of sugar, none of which are added. They are naturally occurring in the form of lactose. You can, however, compare your plain yogurt to a vanilla variety in which any increase in sugar denotes those that are added for flavoring. Still confused? Fortunately, we did some of the legwork for you. Instead of listing all the foods you should never eat, here are eight packaged foods that are low in sugar and all-around smart choices for you.

  • Siggi's Dairy

    Siggi's Vanilla Non-Fat Yogurt

    Most vanilla yogurts, even organic varieties, contain as much as 4 teaspoons of added sugar! Not Siggi's, which is made with the same whole-food ingredients you would use to make yogurt in your own kitchen. Their plain non-fat yogurt contains 4 grams of sugar and the vanilla contains only 9 grams. That is just a little over a teaspoon of added sugars that you can feel good about eating.

  • Purely Elizabeth

    Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grains Granola + Puffs

    Traditional granola boast around 24 grams of sugar per serving, with lower-sugar varieties coming in around 6 to 7 grams. The addition of the "puffs" in Purely Elizabeth's Ancient Grains Granola + Puffs brings the total sugar down to 4 grams per serving. Add to that the fact that this granola is gluten-free, organic, and free of refined oils, and you have yourself a winner.

  • Cascadian Farms

    Cascadian Farms Purely O's

    Puffed cereals are your best bet as they contain no added sugar, but sometimes you crave a little crunch. With only 1 gram of sugar, a solid 3 grams of fiber, and a mere 120 calories per 1 1/4 cup, Cascadian Farm's Purely O's is simple yet satisfying. Plus, it beats out most of the multi-grain flakes on the market, which tend to have at least 4 grams of sugar per serving.

  • Nature's Path

    Nature's Path Qi'a Creamy Coconut Oatmeal

    Flavored oatmeal can easily find itself in the "unhealthy health food" category but this Qi'a Creamy Coconut Oatmeal hits the mark with only 1 gram of sugar. The addition of chia, hemp, and buckwheat adds protein and healthy fat for a nutritional punch. The naturally sweet flavor of the coconut will satisfy your sweet cravings, too.

  • LaCroix

    LaCroix Cúrate Beverage

    Naturally flavored with no added sugars or artificial sweeteners, the sophisticated taste and effervescence of LaCroix Cúrate beverages make them the perfect replacement for carbonated sugary drinks like soda, which can boast a whopping 31 grams of sugar in a 12-ounce can!

  • Tessemae's All-Natural Dressings

    Tessemae's Salad Dressings

    Tessamae's salad dressings deserve a gold medal for multiple reasons—including the fact that there are no added sugars in their entire dressing product line. In fact, there are absolutely zero artificial ingredients in these dressings at all. Now that's something you can feel good about.

  • Food for Life

    Food for Life Genesis 1:29 Sprouted Grain and Seed Bread

    The healthiest of the multi-grain and whole-wheat bread varieties tend to have sugar contents ranging from 1 to 3 grams of sugar per slice. Found in the freezer section at your grocery store, Food for Life's plain Ezekiel and Genesis breads contain 0 grams of sugar. With 16 sprouted grains and seeds, the Genesis 1:29 bread is particularly nutty, delicious, and nutrient dense.

  • Somersault Snack Co.

    Somersaults Snacks Dutch Cocoa

    When you need to satisfy your fix for a chocolate chip cookie, reach for a Somersaults Snacks Dutch Cocoa snack. Made with satisfying sunflower seeds, each serving contains 5 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and only 4 grams of sugar—just chocolaty enough to curb your sweet tooth.