If you’re trying to eat less sugar but want to avoid artificial ingredients, steer clear of these products with artificial sweeteners–you may be surprised where fake sweeteners are hidden!
Wouldn’t it be nice if food manufacturers reduced the sugar in their products by making them less sweet–instead of dumping in artificial sweeteners? Is that too much to ask?
Seems that way. Because these faux-sweetened products are all over the store, from breads and breakfast drinks to yogurt and oatmeal. In some cases, the presence of artificial sweeteners is made known on the front of the package–but in many others, you really have to read the fine print on the ingredient list.
As a dietitian, I understand that artificial sweeteners can be helpful to some people. I personally choose not to use them–not only because I don’t like the taste but also because as a general rule, I try to limit artificial ingredients when I can.
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If you feel the same way, here are 10 products with artificial sweeteners to watch out for:
BREAD: Some bread can have nearly a teaspoon of added sugar per slice, so a low- or no-sugar bread would be great, right? Alas, this one contains sucralose.
CANNED FRUIT: “No sugar added” makes it sound like it’s all fruit in there, but the peaches are actually sweetened with sucralose.
CHOCOLATE SYRUP: It’s labeled “50% less sugar” than regular Hershey’s syrup, but that’s because they include an artificial sweetener called acesulfame potassium.
BREAKFAST DRINK: This Carnation drink is labeled “80% less sugars” because it’s sweetened with sucralose. (It also contains inulin, which can cause gas and bloating in some people–read “Is This Ingredient Giving You Gas?“)
DRIED FRUIT: Dried cranberries typically contain a lot of added sugar. This one has 50% less–because they use sucralose. Cue sad trombone.
OATMEAL: Instant, flavored oatmeal is another product that can be heavy on added sugar. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have an instant, lightly-sweetened version? This one is indeed “lower sugar”–because they added sucralose.
YOGURT: This yogurt drink is labeled “no sugar added–pretty sweet, huh?” Sure, it’s sweet–because it’s made with two artificial sweeteners.
HOT COCOA: This Swiss Miss “Sensible Sweets” cocoa may be made with real milk, but they use two faux sweeteners (and artificial flavors).
SPORTS DRINKS: I am not a fan of sports drinks for kids, especially ones that use two kinds of artificial sweeteners!
JUICE: “No sugar added” may sound like this juice is all fruit, but it has two artificial sweeteners in it too.
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