Hidden Sugar in “Healthy” Foods

We all know eating an excessive amount of sugar is not good for us.  After all, excessive sugar consumption is linked to diabetes and obesity.

We all know the usual sugar containing culprits too – cakes, cookies, muffins, chocolate and candy.  Yes, the OBVIOUS foods, but did you know that there are number of foods marketed as “healthy” that contain a LOAD of sugar?  Read on to learn more about these sneaky foods full of sugar:

Flavored Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt has taken the health food industry by storm – and why not? It’s full of protein and lower in sugar than regular yogurt, right?  Well, not if you’re eating the flavoured kind.  The added flavor fruit mixture usually has added sugar and bring that little serving up to 17g of sugar!

Solution? Buy plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt and add your own fresh fruit.  Still need sweeter? Add a sprinkle of Stevia – a natural plant-based sweetener with zero calories.  It comes in a liquid form too!

Cold Breakfast Cereal & Hot Oatmeal

Cereal and Oatmeal is usually marketed as a healthy option for breakfast, and while some are, MANY are not.  Words such as “bran”, “fibre” and “whole-grain” can be misleading.  Many times, breakfast cereals and oatmeal are full of sugar.  What to do? READ THE LABEL.  If the sugar content is higher than the fibre content, make a better choice.  Or better yet – get your own steel ground oats, add cinnamon, fruit and a touch of honey or stevia.


You would think salty or savoury crackers would have no sugar at all.  After all, it’s a salty food, not sweet right?  Well, many brands do.  Once again, read the label and ensure the sugar is 4g or less per serving – the lower the better.  And look for fibre – the more the better!


Ah the beloved “health food” – the smoothie.  Only that one serving can have up to 60g of sugar.  YES. 60 GRAMS!  The frozen yogurt, fruit, and juice make this a highly concentrated serving of sugar.  Rather than blending your fruit and drinking it, eat the real thing!

Fruit Snacks

They might have “fruit” in their name, yet they’re anything but. One package can have 25 grams of sugar or more.  Count these as candy.

Nut Butter (Peanut, Almond, etc.)

Nut butters are a source of healthy fats when eaten in moderation.  Some however, are full of sugar.  Read the label – sugar, cane sugar, honey, corn syrup – it’s all sugar.  Option? Look for ONE INGREDIENT nut butters.  Only peanuts, only almonds, etc.

Jam & Jelly

Sure, they are made of great things like berries, but it’s sugar that gives it that extra syrupy sweetness.  Add sweetness to your toast with fresh berries instead.  My favourite? Sliced strawberries with single ingredient peanut butter.  YUM.

Granola Bars

I see them in almost every lunch.  The word “granola” really has us fooled here.  Truth is, they have enough sugar and chocolate to be a dessert.  Make your own and enjoy a cleaner granola bar (in moderation of course).  I love this recipe from sugarfreediva.com.  I just cut the dried fruit by 1/3 to lower the sugar even more.

Low Sugar and Homemade Granola Bars

Mona Chona is a Certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition and specializes in fitness programs designed for real life. Feel free to inquire.

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