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20 Surprising Foods That Are Secretly High in Sugar

As a registered dietitian, it is important for me to educate my clients and readers about the hidden sources of sugar in their diet. Many foods that we think of as healthy or savory can actually be loaded with sugar, which can contribute to weight gain, insulin resistance, and other health issues. Here are 20 surprising foods that are secretly high in sugar:

  1. Granola bars: Many granola bars contain more sugar than a candy bar, making them a poor choice for a healthy snack.

  2. Flavored yogurt: While yogurt is a great source of probiotics and protein, many flavored varieties are loaded with added sugar.

  3. Smoothies: Smoothies can be a healthy way to get your daily dose of fruits and vegetables, but many store-bought varieties are packed with sugar.

  4. Salad dressings: Many salad dressings, especially the creamy ones, contain high amounts of sugar to balance out the acidity.

  5. Tomato sauce: Tomato sauce is a staple in many households, but it can contain a surprising amount of added sugar.

  6. Sports drinks: Sports drinks are marketed as a way to replenish electrolytes and energy after a workout, but many contain more sugar than soda.

  7. BBQ sauce: BBQ sauce is a common condiment used on meat, but it can contain as much as 12 grams of sugar per serving.

  8. Cereal: Many breakfast cereals marketed as healthy are actually loaded with sugar, often more than 10 grams per serving.

  9. Baked beans: Baked beans are a classic side dish, but many canned varieties contain added sugar.

  10. Protein bars: Many protein bars contain added sugars to enhance their flavor and texture.

  11. Instant oatmeal: Instant oatmeal is a convenient breakfast option, but many varieties contain added sugars and artificial flavors.

  12. Energy bars: Energy bars can be a healthy snack, but many varieties are packed with sugar and artificial ingredients.

  13. Ketchup: Ketchup is a condiment that is commonly used on burgers and fries, but it can contain up to 4 grams of sugar per tablespoon.

  14. Fruit juice: While fruit juice can be a good source of vitamins, it can also contain as much sugar as soda.

  15. Peanut butter: Peanut butter is a great source of protein, but some brands add sugar to enhance the flavor.

  16. Sweetened tea: Sweet tea is a popular beverage in the south, but it can contain as much sugar as a can of soda.

  17. Frozen yogurt: Frozen yogurt is often marketed as a healthier alternative to ice cream, but many varieties contain added sugars.

  18. Canned fruit: Canned fruit can be a convenient way to get your daily dose of fruit, but many varieties are packed in syrup that contains added sugar.

  19. Canned soup: Many canned soups contain added sugar to balance out the salty flavor.

  20. Teriyaki sauce: Teriyaki sauce is a popular condiment used in Asian cuisine, but it can contain up to 5 grams of sugar per tablespoon.

When it comes to avoiding hidden sources of sugar, it is important to read food labels carefully and choose whole foods that are naturally low in sugar. By making small changes to your diet, you can reduce your intake of added sugars and improve your overall health. As a registered dietitian, my goal is to help my clients and readers make informed decisions about their diet and lifestyle.


If you're struggling with your diet and are concerned about hidden sources of sugar, I encourage you to seek the guidance of a registered dietitian. As a registered dietitian, I can work with you to develop a personalized nutrition plan that meets your specific needs and goals. If you're interested in learning more about how I can help you improve your diet and overall health, please don't hesitate to schedule a consultation with me. Together, we can work towards a healthier and happier you.








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