Nobody would waste time defending the healthfulness of a donut. A glazed yeasted donut has 10 grams of sugar—you know, that thing most Americans are already eating wayyy too much of already.
And that’s not an exaggeration: On average, each of us eats about 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day. (FYI, that’s an extra 350 calories.) The American Heart Association, however, recommends no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar for women and 9 teaspoons for men each day to reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. That means we’re consuming nearly four times the recommended limit—and that single glazed donut would take up about a third of your daily allowance.
There’s nothing wrong with an occasional treat, but the problem is that our main source of sugar comes not from Krispy Kremes, but from sneaky sources of sugar that are added to everyday processed and prepared foods, like soda and breakfast cereal. That means you might be getting way more sugar than you think, even if you never eat dessert and steer clear of the office M&M bowl.
Here are eight foods you might eat all the time that actually have more sugar than a glazed donut.
Frosted corn flake cereal: 12 g in ¾ cup
Cranberry juice blend: 23.5 g in 8 oz
BBQ sauce: 16 g in 2 tbsp
Cinnamon-flavored granola bar: 11 g in one bar
French vanilla latte: 35 g in a small
Strawberry lowfat yogurt: 12.5 g in ½ cup
Bottled green juice smoothie: 30.7 g in 8 oz
Sweetened applesauce: 19 g in ½ cup
Moral of the story: If you’re trying to avoid sugar, you’ll want to get out the magnifying glass and inspect the nutrition label on all those cans, boxes, and bags in your pantry. One major step you can take is ditching sweetened beverages (yeah, even those “natural” fruit juices) and drinking plain ol’ water instead—or amp up the flavor by infusing water with real fruit.