Quiz: Which Food Has More Sugar?
Think you know how much sugar’s in your favourite lunches, snacks and drinks? Take our quiz to find out…
Ham, Cheese and Pickle Sandwich vs Cornish Pasty
The Answer: The Sandwich
You’d probably not expect to see much sugar in your savoury snacks anyway, but it’s the sandwich that has more here. Looking at the ingredients, the pasty contains wheat flour, meat and veggies along with some seasonings. But the sandwich lists sugar as an ingredient in the ham and also one of the main ingredients in the pickle, with a total of 4.4g sugar per 100g, in contrast to the pasty’s more innocent 2.4g.
Tomato Ketchup vs BBQ Sauce
The Answer: BBQ Sauce
That sweet flavour and sticky texture has to come from somewhere. BBQ sauce tends to contain a lot of brown sugar - and in the sauce we looked at there was 3.8g per 15g serving. But the ketchup wasn’t far behind, at 3.4g in a 15g serving. We know both sauces are sweet, tangy and taste lovely with chips. But the real question is this: the amounts are shown for a 15g serving - about a tablespoon. If you tend to squeeze a lot more sauce than that over your cone of chips then you might be eating more sugar than you realise.
4 Dates vs 6 Squares of Dark Chocolate
The Answer: Dates
Ah, dates. They’re dark and sticky and are often used to give a deep caramel flavour to healthy smoothies, raw energy bars and puddings. But they actually contain more sugar per serving than a small handful of dark chocolate. The serving of 85% dark chocolate (six squares) contained 2.7g sugar (13.5g per 100g) while the dates packed a whopping 15.3g per serving or 51g per 100g. Dates are a good source of fibre and vitamins but are often eaten in moderation because of their naturally high sugar content.
Cranberry Juice vs Chocolate Milkshake
The Answer: Cranberry Juice
Cranberry juice is high in vitamin C, which is good. But cranberries are also naturally quite sour, so sugar is added to sauces and juices to make them more tasty for us to eat and drink. Of course that means it’s not always the healthiest option when you’re thinking about sugar content. 100ml of tangy, ruby-coloured cranberry juice contains 11g sugar, while the same amount of chocolate milkshake contains 10.8g. Quite similar, eh?
Caesar Salad vs Moroccan Style Couscous
The Answer: Moroccan Couscous
We’re looking at you, Caesar Salad, with your sweet, creamy dressing, Parmesan cheese and croutons. And so you might expect it to be quite sugary. One serving of the salad we looked at contained 3.9g sugar. Yeah, ok, it’s still quite high for a salad. But tuck in to a serving of spiced couscous studded with dried fruits and you’d be looking at more than twice that amount - 10.6g sugar, in fact. It’s mostly down to the dried fruits - which here include cranberries, apricots and raisins.
Chocolate Chip Muffin vs Blueberry Muffin
The Answer: Chocolate Chip Muffin
It might seem obvious. But check this out. One of these chocolate chip muffins contains 19g sugar. Want to go for a blueberry muffin instead because you’re being good? One of those contains 16g sugar. Not that much difference, is there?
A Bowl of Sugar-Coated Cornflakes with Milk vs 2 Slices of Wholemeal Toast with Butter and Raspberry Jam
The Answer: The Toast and Jam
Bet you thought it’d be the cereal. And while a 25g serving (that’s a small bowl) with 125ml milk clocks in with a not totally innocent 15g sugar, it’s the toast and jam that pips it to the post. There’s some sugar in the bread and a huge 8.7g sugar per 15ml of jam, adding up to 20.6g sugar for the two pieces of toast pictured.
Four-Cheese Pasta Sauce vs Tomato and Mascarpone Pasta Sauce
The Answer: Tomato and Mascarpone Sauce
Tomato sauces often have sugar added, because tomatoes aren’t always naturally that sweet. So while this luxurious and creamy four-cheese sauce might look indulgent (and taste pretty sweet too), it’s the tomato sauce that contains more sugars, some of which are naturally occurring, with a top up for a sweetness boost. The figures: a serving of the cheese sauce contains 4.7g sugars, while the same serving of the tomato and mascarpone sauce contains 7.1g.
Half a Can of Baked Beans vs Half a Can of Minestrone Soup
The Answer: Baked Beans
Half a can of these baked beans will give you 9.8g of sugar, while the equivalent serving of canned Minestrone soup contains 3.6g sugar - less than half the amount that’s in the beans. It’s worth adding that you can buy tins of baked beans that have their salt and sugar levels reduced, so look out for those.
BBQ Pulled Pork vs Chinese Duck with Pancakes
The Answer: BBQ Pulled Pork
We love them both: tender, shreddable meat, with a sticky sweet glaze. And their sugar content isn’t that much different. The pulled pork has 11.6g sugar per 100g, while the Chinese duck has 10.8g per 100g. It’s close enough, but it’s probably the sugary barbecue sauce that’s shredded into the pulled pork after cooking that’s mostly to blame.
What do you think? Did any of these surprise you? Let us know in the comments below.
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