Feb 5, 2016

10 “Healthy” Foods with a surprising amount of sugar!

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger  Theresa Walker- Beach Body Coach

The recommended amount of sugar in-take per day for an adult is 6-9 TBSP, which equals 24-36g sugar.  Take a look at what “healthy” items I found that break the bank when it comes to staying within your daily goal.  Keep in mind, a Krispy Kreme donut has 10g sugar, each of these offenders have more than a donut!    When you’re done, take a look in your pantry, see if there are any offenders that might pack in way more sugar than you ever realized. 

1.  Bumblebee Sensations Spicy Thai tuna in a can.  At 180 calories, 21g protein, and 6g healthy fat, you might think this is a perfect on the go lunch choice.  Not with 10g of sugar!   Even worse, this product actually won a Healthy lunch award in 2014 from Self magazine. 

Instead: Bumblebee Sensations Lemon & Pepper Tuna in a can.  At 160 calories, 24g protein and 6g healthy fat and not even ONE gram of sugar, this is a much better option!  As is the Sundried Tomato Basil can with only 2g of sugar. 

2.  Odwalla smoothie- Berries gomega has 300 calories and a shocking 45g sugar. 

Instead: If you are looking for something fast on the go, Lifeway Kefir Perfect 12 Triple Berry Tart has 110 calories, 12g sugar.  Better yet, try making your own smoothie and adding in fresh fruit.  Or, just eating cut up fruit- the sugars you get from real fruit is much better than anything in a bottle or juice form. 

3.  Campbells Soup at Hand “Healthy Request” Classic Tomato: At only 140 calories you may be shocked to find it has 20g sugar!! 

Instead: Campbells Soup at Hand Vegetable Beef, 50 calories, 3g sugar, or chicken and stars 60 calories and also 3g sugar.  Even Creamy Broccoli at 160 cals has only 4g. 

4.  Power Bar Performance Energy Bar, Citrus Burst 220 calories, 6g protein, yet 29g sugar.  If you read the ingredients, the “energy blend” is just a blend of different sugars.

Instead: Nature’s Valley Peanut Butter & Chocolate Protein bar has 190 calories and 6g sugar.  They have other flavors as well, also with the lower sugar.

5.  Bertoli Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce- Has only 70 cals, yet 12g sugar. 

Instead: Ragu Traditional Sauce, 80 calories, 6g sugar.  Or Newmans Own Maranara with 70 calories and 7g sugar.  Or, try making your own sauce!

6.  Oikos Greek Yogurt Orange Cream- 160 calories, 11g protein, but 19g sugar.  That's almost double the sugar than protein!  

Instead: Oikos Triple Zero 120 calories, 15g protein and 7g sugar.  Or any flavor of the Triple Zero, none of which has any artificial sweeteners. 

7.  Quaker Real Medley’s Instant Oatmeal Cup, Apple Walnut, boasting wholesome mulit-grains and chunks of real fruit and nuts, this packs a punch at 290 calories and 22g sugar. 

Instead: Quaker Real Medley’s Instant Oatmeal Cup, Blueberry Hazelnut is a better swap, same easy breakfast with 270 calories and 13g sugar, saving you 9g!  Or, if you have time, make a large batch of oatmeal, put individual servings in Tupperware and then add your own honey for flavor so YOU control the sugar content.

8.  Dole Canned Fruit- Tropical Fruit (in *light syrup*) at a half cup, 90 calories you might find this a quick option for your fruit for the day. However, that small half cup has 20g sugar!  Keep in mind, most people are going to eat a full cup, which would take you to 40g.

Instead:   If you must do canned; Del Monte has some canned fruit in extra light syrup, with 50 calorie serving sizes, still a half cup, and 12g sugar.  However, obviously the better choice would just be to eat some fresh fruit.  Much better to get your sugar from the FRUIT and not any liquid or syrup!

9.  Belvita Breakfast Biscuits, Apple Cinnamon, they boast “nutritious steady energy, all morning”, however with 230 calories and 13g sugar, the measly 3g protein doesn’t hold much value. 

Instead- Choose a Kashi granola bar, there are a lot of options that have much more protein and fiber; which is what you want for energy and keeping you full.  For instance Honey Almond Flax is 140 calories, 7g protein and 5g sugar.  Or the Kashi Trail Mix bar weighs in at 140 calories, 6g protein and 6g sugar.  These are just as easy and quick when you’re on the go. 

10.  Sun Maid Raisins ¼ cup has 130 calories and may seem like a great topping, but they contain 29g sugar per serving.  Basically, any dried fruit is going to pack a punch, it’s fruit, but it it’s dried form, you are getting much more concentrated sugars.

Instead- Eat in moderation!  Have a half of a serving or less.  Or, again, fresh fruit is a better option.  It will also fill you up much longer. 

The above list is just to name a few of the offenders in the food industry.  It illustrates that often times what is labeled as healthy and we *purchase* thinking we made a good decision, isn’t so great after all.  Other items you may not realize pack a big punch are condiments like ketchup (4g), BBQ sauce (16g), chili sauce (5g) and relish (4g).  These can especially be deceiving- because you may not use just 1 serving of the condiment, you may use 2 or 3.  I was surprised by Honey Maid graham crackers (8g) and Nutrigrain cereal bars for the kids (13g).  Even Vitamin Water, a 20oz bottle has 33g sugar, Snapple Iced Tea 16oz has 46g sugar and Arizona Iced Tea 24oz has 72g sugar; not far off from a 20oz can of Coke has 65g sugar.  Take a look at what is in your pantry, you might be unpleasantly surprised!

Metro Detroit Mommy Writer:


  1. Great article. I am really happy to see this post. Thanks for sharing.

    Catering Services in West Mambalam

  2. Nice article. I read your post. It was very nice. you shared informative post.

    best restaurant in hong kong