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STEALTHY SUGAR STOWAWAYS IN SNACKS

Best Health - - NUTRITION -

These five con­ve­nience foods may ap­pear to be health­ier choices, but they of­ten con­tain star­tlingly large amounts of the sweet stuff. In­stead, con­sider home­made al­ter­na­tives.

SMOOTH­IES

On av­er­age, a medium (16-ounce) store-bought smoothie can add be­tween 30 and 80 grams of sugar to your day.

Make your own with non-fat milk, half a ba­nana, frozen berries and a sprin­kle of omega-3-rich flaxseeds, and add a drop of vanilla ex­tract to bring out the nat­u­ral sweet­ness of the milk.

OAT­MEAL

Flavoured oat­meal pack­ets may seem like a healthy strat­egy for busy morn­ings, but they can con­tain as much as 12 grams of sugar per serv­ing. (Heap­ing a ta­ble­spoon of brown sugar on top adds an ex­tra 12 grams.)

In­stead, take the 10 min­utes re­quired to cook your own quick oats and add a 1/4 cup (50 mL) diced ap­ple and a dash of cin­na­mon.

YO­GURT

A small (4-ounce) serv­ing of fruit-flavoured yo­gurt can con­tain up to 13 grams of sugar. If you top it with 1/4 cup (50 mL) store-bought gra­nola, you’re down­ing an­other six grams.

Reach for plain Greek yo­gurt and add your own fresh fruit and nuts. Greek yo­gurt of­fers more pro­tein than the fruity va­ri­eties and only one-third of the sugar per

1/2 (100 ML) cup serv­ing.

SALAD DRESS­ING

Grab­bing a salad for lunch may seem like a savvy di­etary choice, but it’s im­por­tant to know that some bot­tled dress­ings, such as French and rasp­berry vinai­grette, of­ten have four or more grams of sugar per 2 tbsp (25 mL) serv­ing.

Opt for a light driz­zle of oil and vine­gar on your salad in­stead.

TRAIL MIX

Con­ven­tional wis­dom sug­gests stash­ing trail mix in your car for a healthy snack on the go, but 1/4 cup (50 mL) of a com­mer­cial va­ri­ety can con­tain 16 or more grams of sugar.

Make your own mix and go heavy on the pro­tein-rich nuts and seeds and lighter on the dried fruit (and nix the choco­late chips al­to­gether).

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