Sugar advertisements in the 1950s, '60s, and '70s made claims that make our blood boil. One ad said three teaspoons of sugar contains fewer calories than one medium apple, and “supplies quick energy.”
As if three teaspoons a day could keep the doctor away!
These days, we all know that such candy-coated claims are ridiculous and dead wrong, so you look for items without added sugar. The result? You end up consuming more artificial sweeteners.
One study found that 25% of kids and 41% of adults in the U.S. consume sugar-free and low-calorie sweeteners — most of them daily.
The problem is these additives don't dodge all of added sugar's health risks. They cause what researchers call “metabolic derangements” that promote weight gain and increase your risk for Type 2 diabetes.
But avoiding these health hazards can be trickier than just opting for water over diet soda.
An investigation featured on “The Dr. Oz Show” revealed two foods that are loaded with artificial sweeteners — and they're items many use in an effort to achieve a healthier diet: whole-wheat breads (even 100% whole-wheat) and salad dressings.
The breads are packaged, shelf-stabilized brands; and the dressings often are marketed as light, low-carb, and low-calorie.
Other surprising foods that may contain artificial sweeteners include English muffins, no-sugar-added canned peaches, and bottled ice tea.
Our recommendation: Read all labels. Opt for fresh-baked, 100% whole-grain breads (but ask about ingredients), and make your own dressing with olive oil, lemon/vinegar, a touch of herbs, garlic, and/or Dijon.