Written by: Natasha Kleyn
Article source: Supplied

Smoothies, granola and low fat yoghurt – all healthy options that we choose when wanting a healthy, balanced diet. What most of us don’t realise, however, is that unless we choose carefully, these aren’t necessarily as healthy as we think!

According to Registered Dietician, Ezette Oosthuizen:
It’s alarming how much sugar some of these seemingly healthy products contain. If you take granola as an example, some varieties have more than 26g/100g, while Canderel’s Granola offering has just 1g/100g, by far the lowest on the market. That’s a huge difference!

It’s so important to understand the ingredients in products, what they mean, and what to look out for so that you can make choices that are actually better.

Watch out for these common culprits:


  • Baked beans
  • Granola
  • Low fat yoghurt
  • Peanut butter
  • Sauces, including tomato sauce, salad dressings, marinades and some ready-made pasta sauces
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Breakfast cereal
  • Protein bars
  • Cereal bars


  • Sports Drinks
  • Flavoured sparking water
  • Ice Tea
  • Fruit juice
  • Tonic water
  • Bottled smoothies
  • Yoghurt based drinks
  • Instant cappuccino sachets

Don’t always trust what the packaging says on the front – look at the ingredients list before purchasing an item and see for yourself. Companies have to list ingredients according to their weight in a descending order, so if sugar is in the top 3 listed then you know it is high in sugar. Other names for sugar include:  cane sugar, honey, maltose, maltodextrin, dextrose, corn syrup, glucose, sucrose, high fructose corn syrup.  Also read the nutritional information per 100g or per 100ml.  For a product to be low in sugar it should have less then 5g/100g or if in liquids it should be 2.5g/100ml.

We all know that sugar has earned itself a bad reputation – and for good reason too. In fact, there is no need to add sugar into your diet at all! The less you have the healthier you will be.  But sadly most of us far exceed our acceptable daily limit. According to the American Heart Association, men are allowed about 9 tsp per day and women 6 tsp per day. The South African guidelines state that less than 10% of our energy needs should be derived from sugar. That is 202 calories for women and 250 calories, based on the Department of Health’s recommended calorie intake. Those at higher risk, such as being overweight or pre-diabetes, should aim for half of that.

“As more and more companies introduce healthier alternatives, consumers really are able to make better choices,” adds Nargis Khan, Brand Manager at Incobrands. “Canderel is a great example of a brand leading the way in this regard. Through its range of sweeteners, chocolates and granola, consumers wanting to control their sugar intake can enjoy their favourites while caring for their health”.

Feature image: unsplash.com

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