The Forbidden Culprit: Sugar!

Today I wanted to discuss the forbidden culprit that everyone wants to remove from their diet, Sugar!

Most people know that too much sugar can add extra calories to their diet and cause unnecessary weight gain, so they avoid obvious things like; candy, chocolate, pastries, juice, and soda. We all know these items are loaded with empty calories and full of sugar, but what about the hidden sugar items? There are lots of food items that we may think are better than cookies and sodas, but the reality is they still contain a significant amount of sugar in them. To be specific, I’m talking about items like pasta, yogurt, granola, bread, condiments and sauces. One 6 ounce container of strawberry Yoplait yogurt contains 18 grams of sugar. If you top it off with a ½ cup of Special K granola you would be adding 6 extra grams of sugar. That’s a total of 24 grams of sugar in one small snack. The Dietary Guidelines for 2015 only recommends 30 to 35 grams of added sugar a day in a 1200-1400 calorie diet. This snack alone is more than half of the recommended daily dietary guidelines.

Also, condiments, dressings, and sauces are another culprit when it comes to hidden sugars.

The problem with these is that we tend to use more than the recommended amount causing a sugar overload. Take for instance Chick-fil-A, everyone has their favorite sauce that they just have to dip their chicken in. My personal favorite is Polynesian sauce. It contains 5 grams of sugar in one container. Most people tend to grab 2 to 3 extra sauce packets for their meals, you must have enough to cover the entire meal (sandwich and waffle fries) but that’s where the culprit comes in to add the extra calories. By adding the dipping sauce, you have increased your overall sugar intake for that meal 10 to 15 grams just in sauce alone. Being mindful and aware of these hidden sugars can help you cut back on your added sugar intake.

Some tips that I would suggest are if you just can’t have Chick-fil-A without the sauce try minimizing it to one container only. Also try to keep things simple. If you want yogurt try having plain unsweetened yogurt then add fresh fruit or granola to plain yogurt. That way you only have one item that adds the extra sugar. Also, always read the nutrition labels and stick to the serving sizes. When you increase serving sizes you increase sugar.

My name is Danielle Lamb. I’m from Nashville, Tennessee.
I’m a graduate from Middle Tennessee State University.
I’m currently a Dietetic Intern at Oakwood University.



Cording, Jessica. “Looking to Reduce Your Family’s Intake of Added Sugars? Here’s How.” Eat Right. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics., 2018,