Surprising Foods Full of Sugar - Diet Rite System
Surprising Foods Full of Sugar

Surprising Foods Full of Sugar

When trying to develop a healthy eating lifestyle, whether it’s to lose weight or just to improve your health, there are certain foods you will learn to avoid. These foods which can be marketed as healthy contain lots of sugar.

Chances are you already know that eating too much sugar isn’t good for you. Yet you’re probably still overdoing it. Americans average about 270 calories of sugar each day, that’s about 17  teaspoons a day, compared to the recommended limits of about 12 teaspoons per day or 200 calories.

Sugary drinks, candy, baked goods, and sweetened dairy are the main sources of added sugar. But even savory foods, like bread, tomato sauce, and protein bars, can have sugar, making it all too easy to end up with more sugar than what is recommended.

Dangers of Added Sugar

To complicate matters, even more, added sugars can be hard to spot on nutrition labels since they can be listed under a number of names, such as corn syrup, agave nectar, palm sugar, cane juice, or sucrose.

Sugar is added to many foods, and almost all processed foods that come in a package are a source of sugar.  Sugar is also added to many unsuspecting foods as a filler, preservative, and taste enhancer.

Most Americans get more than the recommended amount of sugar per day.  Eating extra calories from added sugars can increase the risk for weight gain or increase the risk for chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, can increase your risk for cancer, can cause depression, accelerate skin aging, can cause acne, a fatty liver and other inflammatory conditions.

Sugar can hide in as many other words on an ingredient label including dextrose, high fructose corn syrup, or fructose.  If you are concerned about eating added sugars, check nutrition and ingredient labels on foods before purchasing.

Some foods you wouldn’t suspect as having sugar are surprisingly a source of extra sugar.  Here are a couple of shocking foods that contain high amounts of sugar.


Smoothies can be a healthy way to get fruit, vegetables, and possibly protein in a portable, easy way. Though they’re made with fruit, smoothies can also contain fruit juice, sherbet, ice cream or flavored syrups. Even the fruit- and veggie-only ones can include up to 60 grams of sugar per

serving. You’re better off biting into a piece of the real thing. Smoothies sound healthy, but sometimes smoothies can have more sugar than a can of soda.

Smoothies from quick-service restaurants are especially notorious for being very high in sugar.


Barbecue, ketchup, teriyaki, and spaghetti sauce are just a few examples where the sweet stuff slyly hides. One look at the ingredients and you might find sugar, honey, agave or corn syrup in the mix.  Tomatoes naturally have carbohydrates and sugar in them.

However, many tomato-based sauces, salad dressings, stir fry sauces or salsas have added sugars to them. A half-cup of spaghetti sauce can have around 5-7gm of sugar per serving.

This serving size can easily be doubled for an average serving of pasta with sauce. Ten grams of sugar just from spaghetti sauce could be almost half the recommended added sugar level for a typical adult. Choose sauces that are lower in sugar and ideally do not have sugar or high fructose corn syrup on the ingredient label.

Flavored Greek Yogurt

Dairy contains a simple carbohydrate called lactose, so all dairy products will naturally have some sugars. When a dairy product like yogurt is sweetened, the sugar content can jump up dramatically. A typical 6-8 oz serving of sweetened yogurt can contain anywhere from 24-30 grams of sugar. Instead of buying pre-sweetened yogurt, purchase plain yogurt and sweeten it with honey or some fruit.

Cold Cereal

Some popular cereals pack as much as 20 grams of sugar in a three-quarter cup serving. Cold cereal is a favorite of children and perhaps without being aware, we can create a sugar addiction early in a person’s life. Consider also that when you pour milk on cold cereal, you are adding to and increasing the sugar consumption, Add-in artificial coloring and flavoring in certain brands of cereals. Sugar content can vary

widely between brand, so always read the label to see how much sugar is in a serving.

Coffee Drinks

Flavored versions of coffee can contain as much as 12 grams of added sugar in 12 ounces. That is the equivalent to half of what the American Heart Association recommends you have in an entire day Considering that much sugar is contained in your morning cup of coffee, skip the sweetener and use cinnamon and nutmeg to flavor instead

Salad Dressing

We have salads as part of our new healthy eating lifestyle. We feel great because we know we are eating properly, however, some bottled dressings start at 20 grams of sugar for a 1-ounce serving. This completely undermines the healthy eating we are trying to establish. A dressing made yourself with olive oil, garlic, herbs, and vinegar is a great alternative

Energy or cereal bars

Energy or cereal bars can be a quick source of energy on the go. The nutrition content for bars varies drastically, so don’t assume they’re all the same. Some energy bars can have over 20 gm of sugar in them.  Smaller snack bars can easily have 10-12 gm of sugar in them.

Some protein bars are actually candy bars in disguise. Compare brands at the store to look for a lower sugar option.

The WHO recommends adults limit added sugars to about 5% of total calories.  Most Americans far surpass this recommendation.

You don’t have to avoid eating any sugar, rather it is important to be aware that some foods you are eating could be deceptively high in sugar. It is important to read the labels so you can make better, healthier food choices.

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