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Legatus Magazine

Susan Locke | author
Mar 01, 2017
Filed under Your Health

Sugar hidden in your meals

The American Heart Association has set guidelines for the recommended daily amount of added sugar in our diets: women: 6 teaspoons = 25 grams (gm) of sugar and men: 9 teaspoons = 36 gm.

Susan Locke

Susan Locke

If we are not careful, we can easily exceed this number on a daily basis. This puts us at risk for obesity, heart disease or diabetes. Let’s take a look at some common meals and their accompanying sugar amounts.

58-Gram Breakfast
1 packet maple brown sugar oatmeal: 13 gm
Drizzle of honey: 11 gm
1 tbsp French vanilla coffee creamer: 5 gm
1 cup vanilla almond milk: 16 gm ¾ cup
Honey Nut Cheerios: 13 gm

Think granola is healthier? A ½ cup of Quaker Oats Granola, has 13 gm of sugar. Who can stop at a ½ cup?

30-Gram Lunch
1 PBJ sandwich: 18 gm
6 oz. plain low fat yogurt: 12 gm

Beware of yogurt with added fruit on the bottom; they can have up to a whopping 19 gm per cup.

24-Gram Lunch
1 bowl Subway tomato basil soup: 8 gm
6-inch Subway sweet onion chicken teriyaki sandwich: 16 gm

Canned soups sometimes contain added sugar as a preservative to extend their shelf life, and you might find up to 15 grams of sugar per 1½ cup in certain varieties.

24-Gram Dinner
2 tbsp. French dressing on salad: 6 gm
1½ cup cheese tortellini pasta: 2 gm
¾ cup tomato sauce: 16 gm

Some salad dressings contain 4 gm of sugar per tablespoon. Light or fat-free varieties will use sugar to make up for the flavor lost by cutting out fat.

Tomato sauces often contain sugar to cut the acidic taste and to keep jarred sauces fresh for a longer period. You might find up to 12 gm hiding in a ½ cup serving.

25-Gram Dinner
2 tbsp. barbecue sauce/grilled chicken: 16 gm
¼ cup glazed walnuts on salad: 9 gm

Sugar can sneak up on you in bread too, with some varieties containing up to 2 gm of sugar per slice (and that includes some whole wheat breads).

Snacks and Drinks
1 store bought granola bar: 7 gm
½ cup vanilla ice cream: 19 gm
1 blueberry muffin: 38 gm
1 handful dried cranberries: 29 gm
12 oz. serving Coke: 39 gm
1 cup hot cocoa: 24 gm
1 bottle Snapple peach tea: 39 gm
Pumpkin spice latte w/ whole milk: 39 gm

SUSAN LOCKE is Healthnetwork Foundation’s medical director.

HEALTHNETWORK is a Legatus membership benefit, a healthcare “concierge service” that provides members and their families access to some of the most respected hospitals in the world. One Call Starts It All: (866) 968-2467 or (440) 893-0830. Email:

HEALTHNETWORK FOUNDATION is a non-profit whose mission is to improve medicine for all by connecting CEOs with leading hospitals and their doctors to provide the best access to world-class care and increase philanthropic funding for medical research.


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