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Diet Advice on Hidden Sugar

Written by Lauren Long

Experts give good advice in where the hidden sugar is and how you can cut back.

Reports indicate that American adults consume an average of 20 teaspoons of sugar a day. That's 135 pounds of the sweet stuff per year. It's a startling statistic when you consider that a diet with too many spoons full of refined sugar can cause food allergies, endocrine problems, hypoglycemia, diabetes, tooth decay, osteoporosis, arthritis, cancer and other degenerative diseases, according to Nancy Appleton in Lick the Sugar Habit.

Reducing sugar intake is wise, but it's more complicated than skipping that morning doughnut. Many foods contain hidden sugars that add up over time.

Foods that contain hidden sugar can include:

• Cured meats. Some animals are fed sugar before slaughter to improve the meat's flavor and color.

• Restaurant hamburgers. Some contain corn syrup and molasses, which are added to reduce shrinkage in the cooking process.

• Canned salmon is often glazed with sugar.

• Most commercial ketchups get half their calories from sugar.

• Lunchmeats, bacon and canned meats often are processed with sugar.

What's your best bet? Avoid foods you know are high in sugar, become an avid food-label reader and watch out for reduced fat foods with added sugar.

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