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Common Foods (and Drinks) with a Ton of Hidden Sugar

By Sara Butler

Eating (or drinking) a lot of sugar is bad for you. Too much sugar in the diet has been linked to a host of health problems such as heart disease, obesity, cancer and type 2 diabetes. With all of the health consequences of ingesting too much sugar you may try to avoid it, but it is in more things than you may think. Here are a few foods and drinks that are surprisingly high in sugar that you may want to add to your off limits list.

BBQ Sauce

BBQ sauce is quite tasty, but it also has a lot of sugar in it. Some BBQ sauce can be as much as 40 percent sugar, as a matter of fact! If you liberally apply BBQ sauce to things you enjoy eating, you may be getting more sugar than you bargained for. Read labels of your favorite sauces carefully in order to avoid getting more sugar than you want. And always watch the portion size!

Spaghetti Sauce

Many don’t consider spaghetti sauce as a source of sugar in their diets, but it sure can be! Spaghetti sauce isn’t a sweet food, but it often has a lot of added sugar in it. Either make your own or read the labels to make sure you’re not getting too much sugar in your otherwise healthy diet.


Many people think of granola as a healthy food, but it is often high in calories and added sugar. Since the main ingredient to granola is often oats, and oats are good for you, you may not think about what else is put in granola. The nuts and honey as well as added sweeteners in granola make it a sugar-laden breakfast bomb, and they’re often high in calories too. You’re better off going for the oats alone.

Protein Bars

Protein bars are very popular, and protein is great for you because it helps you to feel fuller for longer. However, the added sugar in protein bars makes them no better for you than a regular candy bar. If you buy protein bars, make sure to look at the label for sugar content or think about replacing them with another high protein snack such as yogurt.


Vitaminwater has been presented to the public as a healthy beverage, but it actually has a lot of sugar! Just one bottle of this beverage has 32 grams of sugar and 120 calories, so stick with regular old water for your go-to beverage.

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