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Hidden Sugar Exposed

There’s an amazing amount of sugar hidden in many common foods.

We’re all more or less aware of this fact. But recently I ran across a web site about this that amazed me. The name of the site is Sugar Stacks. It’s really a brilliant idea.

The site uses photographs to depict the sugar content of a wide variety of foods. It does this by using sugar cubes. A sugar cube is about a teaspoon of sugar. When they are stacked up you really get a clear idea of exactly how much sugar you are getting when you eat a particular food.

Now of course a sugar cube isn’t a standardized measurement. However, for the purposes of these illustrations, the photographer used cubes with 4 grams of sugar in them. And for the purpose of showing sugar amounts, this is close enough to get the point.

After the pictures I’ll talk a bit about why this is important.

Here are just a few examples of sugar in foods from the Sugar Stacks site:

We will start with the obvious. Most people are aware that soda has a high amount of sugar in it. But you really get the idea when you see it shown this way:

Mountain Dew sugar amounts

The bottle on the left is a 20 ounce bottle (77 grams of sugar). The bottle on the right is a one-liter bottle (124 grams of sugar).

What about other drinks? For example here’s one that’s advertised as being made from “the best stuff on earth.” What do you think?

Amount of sugar in Snapple

The glass holds an 8 ounce serving. The bottle is the normal 16 ounce size. That’s almost a sugar cube per ounce.

Alright. Surely natural fruit juice must be better? Let’s see…

Amount of sugar in orange juice

Hmmm… not much better, is it? These are also 8 ounce and 16 ounce servings.

Okay, let’s finish up the beverages before we go on to some more solid examples. Do you ever drink coffee drinks? Here’s one popular choice:

Mocha Frappuccino sugar content

This is a 16 ounce (Grande) version with whipped cream. That’s 47 grams of sugar.

We’ll look at just a few more examples since I’m sure you get the idea. After these I’ll let you know where you can go to see the entire massive collection of images.

One place I sometimes see people get confused is with dried fruits. Here’s a very common one, raisins:

Sugar in raisins

That’s one of those small, single-serving boxes. It’s 42.5 grams of raisins, but 30 grams of sugar. Wow!

Even something as seemingly innocuous as salad dressing often holds a sugary surprise:

Sugar in Thousand Island Dressing

The sugar cubes represent the sugar in a two tablespoon serving. That’s the amount shown in the plastic cup.

If you don’t eat sugar or foods containing it, the above may not drive the point home. So to help make it more clear, here’s a comparison of a popular soda with the equivalent amount of sugar contained in carrots…

Sugar in carrots and Coke

That’s about 3 pounds of carrots to equal the sugar in one 20 ounce soda.

The above images only scratch the surface of what’s on the Sugar Stacks site. I’ve chosen not to show the obvious categories for foods. These include desserts, candy, cookies, breakfast foods and shakes & smoothies. You can find all of these categories at the original web site, which is at: www.SugarStacks.com.

I encourage you to look around the site. The author has done a wonderful job of sampling common foods illustrate exactly what we get when we eat them.

All the best to you for your health and happiness,

Dr. Bruce Eichelberger

Dr. Bruce

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • KarenApril 1, 2011, 7:12 pm

    This is awesome! Thank you so much for this information. I’m sharing it on Facebook.

  • Dr. BruceApril 2, 2011, 5:13 am

    Hi Karen,

    I’m glad you found this useful. And thanks for spreading the word!

    Dr. Bruce

  • Lauren @ MRSApril 6, 2011, 5:41 pm

    Whoa, even raisins has that much sugar?! I love munching on those, and I can’t believe it’s actually unhealthy.ugh

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