Eating too much sugar is really bad for your health.

It has been linked to an increased risk of many diseases, including obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. Why does added sugar cause so much trouble? It’s digested immediately and rapidly absorbed, and this causes an upswing in your blood sugar levels. This results in cravings for more sugar. It’s a vicious cycle that can lead to obesity.



So Many clients genuinely believe that their sugar consumption is low. When we dig deeper into their diet we discover that they have been duped.

Many foods are brimming with added sugars. It’s obvious when it’s concentrated in soft drinks, muffins, scones, donuts, cookies, and other sweet items. However, the sneakiest sources are those hidden in savory foods and processed foods or under a disguised name.

In my experience, here are some foods with added sugars that tend to be most surprising:

If you’re looking at an ingredient list, sugar can show up under several guises. This list includes some of the most popular words that indicate added sugar.

Common Names for Added Sugars
Cane Sugar​

Coconut sugar​

Coconut palm sugar ​





Fruit juice concentrate​

Fruit juice solids​

Apple juice concentrate​



Brown rice syrup​

Corn syrup​

High-fructose corn syrup​

Corn syrup solids​

Maple syrup​

Raw sugar​

Invert sugar​

Barley malt​

Fruit nectar​

Malt syrup​


Evaporated sweetener


Several foods that people are told are “healthy” have a lot of added sugar! Here are some examples:


  • Granola bars, nut bars, or energy bars.While convenient, most of them have either a sweetened fruit filling or a sticky syrup holding them together.
  • Barbecue sauce. 2 tablespoons (around 28 grams) of sauce can contain around 9 grams of sugar. If you’re liberal with your servings, this makes it easy to consume a lot of sugar without meaning to. In fact, around 33% of the weight of BBQ sauce may be pure sugar.



  • Trail mix.A lot of people rely on this as a so-called healthy snack for the nuts and seeds, but the mixes often also contain dried fruit, sugary-coated yogurt pieces, or candy-coated chocolates.
  • Vanilla yogurt.While almost all flavored and fruited yogurt sneaks in a surge of sugar, I call out vanilla on purpose because it seems to be the most surprising to clients. It’s just as full of sugar as it’s fruit-flavored counterparts.


  • Coffee drinks, including bottled, canned, and from a coffee shop.Most of the to-go lattes and shots of caffeine that are quick to grab are highly sweetened. I’ve noticed that even plain cold brew (both store-bought and from the local coffee shop) is often “lightly” sweetened.


  • Nut butters and hazelnut spread.Although options like peanut butter or chocolate hazelnut spread are beloved by many, a lot of products contain more sugar than healthy fat.
  • Dairy-free alternatives.The expansion of milk and yogurt made from almond, coconut, and rice have been a lifesaver for those who are avoiding dairy. But unless you’re looking for a product that is unsweetened, even the plain versions pack in a lot of sugar.
  • Marinades, sauces, and dressings.These can be a culprit both at home and with takeout. Sweet-and-sour sauce, spicy-sweet chili sauce, barbecue, and honey-garlic flavors are frequent offenders, along with salad dressing such as honey mustard or raspberry vinaigrette.

for your nutrition evaluation!