Our Top List of 31 Common Foods that are High in Sugar
How much sugar do you eat in a day?
If you don’t know the answer to this question, you might be in for a shocking revelation. Many foods have a surprising amount of sugar added to them, and those numbers can add up quickly. Read on to learn about some common foods that have a high sugar content.
Common Meals and Main Dishes
Pre-made meals and quick dishes from the grocery store can be extremely high in sugar, and you would never know if you didn’t check the label. The following can vary greatly, so be sure to check the sugar content before purchasing:
- Canned soups
- Breakfast cereals
- Premade freezer meals
- Instant oatmeal
- Hamburger helper
- Canned pasta dishes
Common Sides and Snacks
Sides and snacks can also contain large quantities of sugar:
- Granola comes in many different varieties, some of which contain 12 or more grams of sugar per serving
- Protein bars and granola bars are similarly varied, so make sure you check the label and avoid those particularly high in sugar (some have 20 or more grams of sugar per serving)
- Canned fruit, especially the kind preserved in syrup, can contain 16 or more grams of sugar per serving
- Canned baked beans may contain as much as 20 grams of sugar per can
- Dried fruit can contain anywhere from 20 to 50 grams of sugar per serving, with some of that being naturally-occurring and some being added for flavor
Condiments and Sauces
For many people, considering the sugar content in the main dishes you choose is part of the daily equation, but the extras that you add on top don’t get accounted for.
- BBQ sauce has around 6 grams of sugar per tablespoon
- Ketchup has 4 grams of sugar per tablespoon
- Salad dressing can contain 3-6 grams of sugar per serving
- Pasta sauce can contain surprisingly high amounts of sugar. In addition to the small amount of sugar naturally found in tomatoes, extra sugar (12 or more grams per serving) is frequently added to pre-made pasta sauces, even though they are not typically thought of as even being sweet
- Syrup (the maple kind) contains around 14 grams of sugar per tablespoon
- Honey contains large amounts of fructose (17 grams per tablespoon), which is even sweeter than glucose or sucrose. It does contain healthful antioxidants but should be consumed in moderation
Remember, the numbers you see “per serving” or “per tablespoon” are likely not the actual amounts that you are consuming. For instance, most people eat much more than one tablespoon of BBQ sauce or maple syrup at a time.
Beverages can be particularly tricky when it comes to sugar. Most drink options tend to be sweet, and many contain shocking amounts of sugar that consumers barely even register as they drink throughout the day.
- Coke contains 39 grams of sugar per 12 oz can
- Mountain Dew contains 46 grams of sugar in a 12 oz can
- Apple juice and orange juice both contain 24 grams of sugar per 8 oz glass
- Grape juice contains 36 grams of sugar in a 8 oz glass
- Naked Mighty Mango Juice contains 62 grams of sugar per bottle
- Premade iced tea typically contains around 35 grams of sugar per serving
- Coffee drinks can be particularly high in sugar, easily containing 40 or more grams of sugar per serving
- Chocolate milk has 24 or more grams of sugar per 8 oz serving
- Gatorade contains 38 grams of sugar in a 20 oz bottle
- Vitaminwater contains 30 grams of sugar per bottle
- A mojito contains 23 grams of sugar per cocktail
- A margarita can have as much as 45 grams of sugar per serving
People don’t typically think of dairy products when the topic of carbs and sugar comes up, but many dairy products are shockingly high in sugar. Lactose, which is naturally found in dairy products, is a type of sugar, and added sugars are combined with many dairy products to sweeten them.
- Yogurt, particularly yogurt labeled as “low-fat,” can be shockingly high in sugar. Some yogurts contain 45 or more grams per serving
Track Your Daily Intake
For a few days (or weeks), consider tracking your daily sugar intake to get an idea of how much you actually consume. You might be surprised just how much sugar you’re putting into your body on a daily basis.