11 Surprising Foods That Are High In Sugar

on March 15, 2022

If you don't read the nutrition data labels on your food carefully, you can unknowingly be working against your health goals. Buying foods based on their surface-level marketing promises — all-natural, whole-grain, and so on — is a classic error. 

Unfortunately, extra sugar may be hidden behind those promises on the ingredients list, masquerading as something healthier than they are. When looking for sugar content on a package, you should not only look for the word "sugar," as sugar is known by many various names and comes in many different forms. 

Dextrose, maltitol, high fructose corn syrup, brown rice syrup, agave nectar, invert sugar, or molasses are all typical sugar substitutes, and they’re all things you should be paying attention to when you’re trying to avoid sugar. Here’s what you need to know about sugar, and some of the foods with high sugar content that might surprise you!

Where Do You Get the Sugar From? 

Sugar comes in two forms: naturally occurring sugar, such as the lactose in dairy or fructose in fruit, and refined sugar, which is found in cookies, pastries, soft drinks, and other foods. Then there are the so-called "healthier" sweets, such as honey, maple syrup, and rice malt syrup – but, alas, they, too, qualify as added sugars. 

Added sugars are quickly absorbed and generate a spike in blood sugar, setting off a chain of metabolically negative reactions. Fatty liver disease, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and systemic inflammation can all be caused by a high diet of added sugars. They're also commonly linked to being overweight or obese.


“Healthy” Foods That Are Surprisingly High In Sugar

1.    Yogurt

Low-fat yogurts, like many other low-fat products, frequently contain added sugar to increase flavour. If you start your day with yogurt, you may consume up to 15 g of sugar, depending on the type of yogurt you consume. Even if you're eating strawberry "bits" in your yogurt, you will find that there is no fibre content listed on the pack.


2.    Energy Bars

This seemingly healthful snack option is rather unhealthy due to its high sugar content. High concentrations of sugar in these and nuts and dry fruits are known to induce a fast jump in blood sugar levels, making them 'seem' ideal before a quick workout.


3.    Sports Drinks

Sports drinks are sometimes misunderstood as a healthy option for athletes. Sports drinks are classified as sugary beverages. They've been related to obesity and metabolic disorders, just like soda and sugar-sweetened fruit juice. Sports drinks are meant to hydrate and feed trained athletes throughout lengthy, intensive workouts. As a result, they include a lot of added sugars that may be absorbed fast and used for energy.


4.    Smoothies

These blended beverages, especially if made at home, may offer anything from vitamins to a sneak helping of fibre. But if you add a lot of sugar or honey, or if you don't know what's in them at a restaurant or juice bar, they might be dangerously high in sugar. 

Most packaged smoothies lack satiating macronutrients. To improve their delicious sips, these smoothie makers mix fruit juice concentrates and fruit purees rather than actual blended fruit. 


5.    Packaged juices

While most of them claim to be freshly made, packaged juices are a massive source of added sugar. This is because sugar is a preservative, so adding it to canned fruits and liquids helps keep them from spoiling and extends their shelf life.


6.    Granola

Granola is frequently promoted as a low-fat health food, even though it is heavy in calories and sugar. Oats are the major component of granola. Plain rolled oats are a nutritious breakfast with carbohydrates, protein, fat, and fibre. Granola, on the other hand, contains oats that have been blended with nuts, honey, or other sweeteners, increasing the quantity of sugar and calories.


7.    Peanut Butter

It might be your go-to whether you need a quick sandwich or a boost of protein after a workout. However, many jars of peanut butter, especially those flavoured with honey, cinnamon, or even chocolate, contain a large quantity of sugar. Choose your peanut butter carefully since some are processed with sugar and hydrogenated oils, turning a nutritious meal into one that may interfere with your health goals.


8.    Dried Fruit

Peel and store dried fruit in a sweet syrup. This technique removes the fibre from the fruit and adds a lot of sugar to what should be a nutritious snack. On top of the fruit's naturally occurring sugars, a single handful of dried cranberries can contain up to 27 g of added sugar. Keep in mind that dried fruits that are naturally sour have the highest sugar content.


9.    Salad Dressings

You've topped a big bowl of greens with chopped veggies, almonds, and a lean protein, and you're on your way to a healthy meal. Would you want to destroy all of your hard work by sprinkling it with liquid sugar? Probably not, yet that's what a lot of bottled salad dressings are. Salad dressings may not appear to be sweet items with sugar, yet they are a popular source of hidden sugars in the diet.


10.                   Canned Soup

Canned soup appears to be a healthful, comfortable, and simple way to get in a full meal after a hard day, especially on a cool evening. While canned soups contain veggies and nutrition, several kinds also contain a lot of added sugar. So, before you go out and get some soup, read the labels carefully, especially if it's a tomato-based kind.


11.                   Tomato Sauce

Unfortunately, the most popular tomato-based products, such as tomato sauce and ketchup, are frequently high in sugar. One teaspoon of sugar is included in 1 tablespoon of sauce. Given that the average person uses 2 to 4 tablespoons of sauce in a sitting, this may quickly mount up.


Use ketchup sparingly, or opt for a different condiment like mustard. Homemade tomato sauce is ideal since you can control the ingredients. 

Final Thoughts 

When you consume a lot of sugar in your diet, insulin levels in your body spike. This elevation in insulin levels causes fat cells all over your body to go into calorie-storage overdrive. Added sugar-rich foods and beverages are high in calories but poor in satisfying nutrients like protein and fibre. As a result, a sugary-food-rich diet has been related to weight gain. Cutting out sugar from your diet or even avoiding some of it can help you reach your weight loss goals much faster. 

Another great way to lose weight (or at the very least, to work off any excess sugar you may have consumed) is, of course, exercise. The best thing you can do for your body is to get into some trendy women's leggings and head to the gym. Investing in good activewear increases your motivation to exercise two-fold! 

 If you're not a gym person, you can still get a lot of movement into your schedule by switching to yoga. Get hold of some yoga pants or yoga leggings to get started. High rise yoga pants are the best if you're too conscious about your body, and you won’t have to worry about them rolling down as you make your yoga moves.