Healthy Tips, Nutrition

8 Common Foods with Hidden Sugars

So many common foods secretly contain loads of sugar.

This is a problem since eating an excess of sugar derails your fitness progress and quickly leads to an increase in body fat, and recent studies are proving that sugar is even more dangerous than we once thought.

Your risk of heart attack doubles when 20 percent or more of your calories come from sugar, according to a new study published in JAMA International Medicine.

That’s serious! So, with obesity and heart disease on the line, let’s uncover the 8 common foods that you didn’t know contain sugar. Avoiding these items will help lower your overall sugar intake, increase your fitness results and improve your overall health.

1. Fruit Yogurt
Yogurt is packaged and marketed as a diet food for women, which is outrageous. The pretty little packages may be low in fat, but just one serving contains a whopping 19 grams of sugar. Choose a yogurt that is unflavored and then add in your own fresh or frozen fruit. 

2. Pasta Sauce
This one may come as a surprise, since pasta sauce is considered to be a savory food, but alas, it has loads of sugar hiding in it. For every half a cup of store bought pasta sauce you’re ingesting 12 grams of sugar. You can find some at the store that don’t have added sugars, like THIS one that we buy. 

3. Agave Nectar
Many think of agave nectar as a free pass, since it has been so cleverly marketed as a health food, but sadly this sweetener is just as dangerous as white sugar. Agave nectar is 85% fructose. I personally use and recommend honey or maple syrup for natural sweeteners. (maple syrup is my fave sweetener because it has vitamins and minerals)

4. Dried Fruit
Yes, even our fruit isn’t safe anymore. Most companies are adding extra sugar in with their dried fruit, making it as sweet as candy. Just 1/3 of a cup contains 24 grams of sugar. If you really like dried fruit or like to make your own trail mix, make sure you buy dried fruit with no-added sugars and watch your portion control. 

5. Granola Bars
It may boast wholesome, whole grains on the package, but your favorite granola bar is hiding a sickly sweet secret. The average packaged granola bar contains 12 grams of sugar (some up to 30 grams!) Snacking on whole fruit or vegetables is a healthier snack but if you’re on the go and need to grab a bar look for real food ingredients, such as dried berries, apples, almonds, pistachios, oats, quinoa, chia, hemp. Healthier bars generally have whole grains, nuts, seeds, and fruit at the top of the ingredient list. They also should have about 4-5 grams of protein and plenty of fiber. If sugars, syrups, or refined grains are among the first ingredients listed on a bar, that’s a red flag. (HERE are a few I’ve found that are somewhat healthier granola/snack bars)

6. Energy Drinks
When you need an afternoon pick-me-up, think twice before reaching for that energy drink. Mega energy drinks contain up to 83 grams of sugar. A cup of coffee or green tea is healthy “energy drink” if you really need one. 

7. BBQ Sauce
There’s a reason that those BBQ chicken wings are finger licking good…all that sugar it’s hiding. A 2 Tablespoon serving will set you back 13 grams of sugar. If you like BBQ sauce (I prefer it over ketchup) then pick one like THIS brand that has less than 10 grams of sugar per serving. If you want a truly unsweetened BBQ sauce then THIS is the brand for you. (I tried the unsweetened brand and I couldn’t eat it lol) (if you prefer a spicier sauce THIS sugar-free, low carb sauce is my favorite!)

8. Beef Jerky
Sadly, most jerky you buy at the store has added sugars in them. Its used mostly as a preservative and flavor enhancer, but its not necessary at all. The best jerky shouldn’t have any sugar (in my opinion), but if you find one you like if you can keep it to under 5g of sugar per serving that’s ideal. The very best jerky brands use grass-fed, organic, and hormone-free beef. This type of meat has five times as many heart-healthy omega-3s and twice as much anti-inflammatory conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than grain-fed beef. Caveman Foods jerky is sugar-free (not organic though). Chomps is not technically jerky, but their beef sticks are my favorite! 

I encourage you to start eliminating the sugar-packed foods in your diet today. Your body and your heart will both be in better shape for it.

Stay Healthy my Friends!


Carrie A Groff

P.S. Check all ingredient labels for the words “added sugars”!

2 thoughts on “8 Common Foods with Hidden Sugars”

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