Sugar Shockers: Foods Surprisingly High in Sugar


When you read the labels on foods in your supermarket, it’s no surprise that you find plenty of sugar in products like cake mix, ice cream, jelly, cookies, and soda. But it can be downright shocking to see 12 grams of sugar in bottled pasta sauce or barbecue sauce — and even more so to find 50 grams of sugar in a healthy-sounding bottled tea!

To help you ferret out which products are surprisingly high in sugar, I embarked on a mission in the aisles of my local market. Over the course of several days, with my reading glasses close at hand, I examined hundreds of cinnamon or original): 1 small serving cup (113 g) = 22-23 grams sugar, 100 calories

  • Dole diced peaches in light syrup: 1 small serving cup = 18 grams sugar, 80 calories
  • DelMonte diced pears or mandarin oranges in light syrup: 1 small serving cup = 17 grams sugar, 70 calories
  • 2. Pudding & Pudding Cups

    This line of products is designed with kids in mind. Yet, a snack pack of pudding can add 20 grams or more of sugar to your child’s meal or snack. You’ll find some sugar-free pudding options on the supermarket shelf as well.

    • Jell-O Instant Vanilla, Green Tea: 16 ounces = 50 grams sugar, 200 calories
    • Snapple Iced Tea, Peach, Lemon, or Raspberry: 16 ounces = 46-50 grams sugar, 200 calories
    • ArizonaIced Tea: 16 ounces = 48 grams sugar, 180 calories

    Vitamin and Energy Drinks

    • Snapple Antioxidant Water, Agave Melon: 20 ounce bottle = 32 grams sugar, 140 calories
    • Glaceau Vitamin Water: 20 ounce bottle = 32 grams sugar, 125 calories
    • Gatorade Bring It, Shine On, or Be Tough: 16 ounces = 28 grams sugar, 100 calories

    Instant Cocoa

    You’d probably expect hot cocoa mix to have cocoa, or maybe powdered milk, highest on its list of ingredients. But for Swiss Miss Mocha Cappuccino and Marshmallow flavors, the first and second ingredients are sugar and corn syrup, with cocoa listed as the fourth ingredient.

    • Swiss Miss Mocha Cappuccino or Marshmallow flavors: 1 envelope made with 6 ounces water = 19 grams sugar, 120 calories

    12. Yogurt

    To enjoy yogurt without the added sugar, make your own flavored yogurt starting with plain yogurt. Or, buy the light yogurts that use alternative sweeteners.

    • Yoplait Original 99% fat free, Lemon Burst: 6 ounces = 31 grams sugar, 180 calories
    • Yoplait Thick & Creamy Yogurt, Strawberry: 6 ounces = 28 grams sugar, 180 calories
    • Yoplait Original 99% fat free, Boysenberry: 6 ounces = 27 grams sugar, 170 calories

    13. Frozen Breakfast Foods

    You wouldn’t expect to find frozen products that feature savory items like sausage and cheese to be foods that are particularly high in sugar. And yet the new Jimmy Dean breakfast entrees contain 16 and 21 grams of sugar per serving.

    • Jimmy Dean Breakfast Entrees, Sausage & CheeseCroissant with diced apples and hash browns: 1 entrée = 21 grams sugar, 560 calories (the sugar seems to mainly be from the sweetened diced apples)
    • Eggo Cinnamon Toast Waffles: 3 waffles (each with 4 mini waffle pieces) = 17 grams sugar, 300 calories
    • Jimmy Dean Breakfast Entrees, Scrambled Eggs with Sausage & Cheese with diced apples and hash browns: 1 entrée = 16 grams sugar, 390 calories
    • Eggo French Toaster Sticks Cinnamon: 2 pieces = 15 grams sugar, 230 calories

    14. Frozen Desserts

    • Weight Watchers Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cups (and other flavors): 1 small cup = 22 grams sugar, 140 calories
    • Weight Watchers English Toffee Crunch: 2 bars = 20 grams sugar, 220 calories
    • Skinny Cow Low-fat Ice Cream Cone (different flavors): 1 cone = 19 grams sugar, 150 calories
    • Weight Watchers Giant Chocolate Fudge Bar: 1 bar = 16 grams sugar, 110 calories
    • Weight Watchers Giant Cookies & Cream Bar: 1 bar = 15 grams sugar, 140 calories
    • Skinny Cow Low-fat Fudge Bar: 13 grams sugar, 100 calories