These “Health” Foods Have Way More Sugar Than You Think
Published on March 10, 2020
Last updated February 4, 2021
If you’re trying to limit your sugar intake, there are some obvious places to start. Cutting out soda is a no-brainer as is cutting back on sweets. But once you start to pay more attention to how much sugar you’re consuming, you’ll realize that sugar is everywhere — even in foods we think of as being healthy. Here are 5 surprisingly high sugar foods you should know about — and how to avoid accidentally eating extra sugar.
Some yogurts are so packed with sugar, they really should be considered a dessert more than a healthy breakfast or snack. The average fruit-flavored yogurt contains about 32 grams of sugar in a single-serve cup. To get the protein and calcium perks of yogurt without all the added sugar, opt for plain yogurt and to sweeten it naturally, drizzle it with a little honey or maple syrup or top it with chopped fresh fruit.
Store-bought granola is another item that’s easily disguised as a health food. If you’re wondering why your favorite bag tastes so good, it’s probably because it’s pretty loaded with sugar. The average brand contains about 25 grams or so of sugar in a cup. Your best bet is to make your own granola, so you can sweeten it to your liking — it also happens to be way more affordable to make it yourself and it’s even tastier.
3. Non-Dairy Milk
While both sweetened and unsweetened non-dairy milks like almond, oat, and soy are readily available, if you don’t look at the label close enough it’s quite easy to grab the sugar-filled variety without realizing it. Depending on the brand, there may be 10 grams or more in a cup of sweetened non-dairy milk. While that’s low compared to the other items on this list, it’s added sugar that’s not really necessary so keep a close eye and grab the unsweetened kind.
4. Salad Dressing
Store-bought salad dressing is a surprising item to find sugar in and yet, if you glance at the label, you’ll likely find at least a handful of grams of added sugar in a serving. This is another item where there’s really no need for sugar to be in it so to avoid it altogether, opt to make your own easy salad dressing at home.
Recipe to try: Carrot, Ginger, Miso Dressing Recipe
Have you noticed that dates seem to be everywhere these days? They’re stuffed with peanut butter as a snack, blended into smoothies, and sprinkled on salads. While dates are full of good nutrition — they’re high in fiber, potassium, and magnesium — they’re also quite high in sugar. Just one date contains 16 grams of sugar and you very well may be eating more than one in a sitting. Luckily, the sugar is dates is completely natural and so it’s still a better choice than a candy bar. Knowing that they’re high in sugar helps you to be mindful when enjoying them.
Read more: Added vs. Natural Sugar: What’s the Deal?