6 Foods Secretly High in Sugar.

Carbohydrates are your body’s primary source of energy, but not all carbs are created equal. For a lot of people looking to release some extra weight or increase definition, reducing the intake of simple carbohydrates - like table sugar - is common practice.

Food products like candy, chocolate bars and soda are obviously loaded with sugar. But there are a number of unlikely foods that are shockingly high in sugar. Here are my top 6:

  1. Some dried fruit. Dried fruit sounds like a healthy and nutritious snack, right? It can be. Except that many dried fruits are loaded with added sugar to enhance the sweetness. It’s totally unnecessary. When buying dried fruits, read the ingredients carefully. If you see any other ingredients beyond the fruit (like corn syrup, etc.), then put it back!
  2. Fruity drinks. A Pina Colada, for example, has more calories than a Big Mac and as much as 60 grams of sugar. That’s a shockingly high number - and the equivalent of more than 70 Skittles!
  3. Barbeque sauce. It might be lip smacking delicious, but barbeque sauce is packed with sugar. Two tablespoons of BBQ sauce has 12 - 15 grams of sugar. And let’s be real, who uses just two tablespoons? And BBQ sauce isn’t alone - many sauces and glazes are secretly high in sugar, so pay extra attention to both the nutrition information and the listed serving size.
  4. Chocolate milk. Milk, which contains lactose, already has its fair share of sugar. But add in some chocolate syrup, and a sugar buzz is almost unavoidable. A single 16 ounce container of Nesquick Fat Free Milk has a mind-numbing 54 grams of sugar.
  5. Tomato Sauce. Believe it or not, one cup of tomato sauce has as much as SIX teaspoons of sugar! Pasta is high in carbs to begin with, but tomato sauce can be a real diet killer. 100 of the sauce’s calories come from pure sugar.
  6. Vitamin Water. Last but not least, most people think of Vitamin Water as a healthy alternative to soda. Not so fast. A single bottle (they claim a bottle is 2.5 servings) contains 32 grams of sugar. And really, not that many vitamins.

Not on the list but runners up: fruity yogurt, smoothies (many have added sugar and/or honey), granola bars, cereal and ketchup (yes, seriously).

The bottom line is that if sugars - or carbs in general - are of concern to you, it’s important to read the nutrition information carefully… even for those foods that are unlikely suspects.

About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.


  1. Well great, almost every snack I have other than canned tuna thrown in the trash there! Who knew? Time to find alternatives…

  2. Make your own tomato sauce and control the sugar! It’s not even necessary to add any additional in.

  3. “‘glacéau vitaminwater’ is specially formulated to help people on the go feel better, perform better, and live healthy lives. it provides drinkers a convenient way to get more of the nutrients they need to make it through their day.”

    Or you could just try ordinary water??

  4. Again he’s correct, all of those items have sugar. Another good idea when dieting. besides reading labels and paying attention to ingredients.. many things can be made in your own kitchen. But who has the time most say. 20 to 30 mins will make a meal. Besides healthier food, your in total control of what Goes in it. So there are not so many hidden traps. One old term that comes to mind is K.I.S.S ( keep It Simple Stupid) eh with out the negative connotation. You get the idea. So make your own sauces. Skip the 12 pack of smart/vitamin water and opt for the Seriously filtered water. I personally can’t stand the smell of chlorine or other odors & funny taste in my water. Keep it pure as it was intended and it’s not that bad.. I probably drink my weight in tea.. Sweet, tea, black tea, green tea.. If it’s Tea I drink it. All of it I make.. I tend to stay away from things all packaged and bottled up. Much easier to do than it sounds. So grab your favorite cook book, or go on-line try something new. It’s really not as hard as it sounds and you don’t have to be a fantastic cook. Just follow the recipe.
    With summer time here, nothing like using your own tomatoes in that tasty spaghetti sauce..

    Happy eating!

  5. seeing as tomatoes have so many other great nutrients, which are made more bio-available by cooking, marinara sauce would be the last thing i’d banish from a healthy diet. we need sugars. we need to be a little more selective about our sources.

    berries require as much energy to digest as is in the sugars they contain, so from a caloric stand-point they’re a wash.

    • I’m fairly certain that Davey wasn’t talking about the natural sugars in tomatoes (and the other listed items) he’s saying that canned tomato sauce often contains a lot of added sugar. Best bet is to always read the ingredient list for everything, you’d be surprised what you’ll find.

      I do this when I buy fruit juice, I’m amazed how many fruit juices first two ingredients are water and high fructose corn syrup. I only buy fruit juices that are 100% juice, even if it means they’re sweetened with apple juice, which is a cheap sweetener.

    • That one is totally inaccurate I am afraid to say. Depending on the berry they can contain a high level of natural sugars. Grapes, blueberries and strawberries all have 15 grams of carbs (one portion for a diabetic) per one cup. Cherries have one gram of carb per cherry that means a portion is 15 cherries. There is no berry that is a negative caloric intake. I think the only thing in the world that is a negative calorific intake is distilled pure water cus it has no calories.

  6. Hey Davey, I have a question about the milk part. What if I used lactose free milk? I can’t digest regular milk anyway, so I use a lactose free kind. Is it still high in sugars if lactose is removed?

  7. As a diabetic of 6 years, I have been forced to be acutely aware of the ingredients of everything I buy. It is quite shocking to me how many of our products are LOADED with sugar, especially high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Those commercials on telly saying your body doesn’t know the difference between regular table sugar and HFCS are pure hogwash! HFCS is metabolized as fructose and spikes your blood sugar much more so than even regular sugar, which metabolizes as glucose and fructose. It processes in your liver and does damage to your overall health. HFCS is nothing less than a poison and I urge everyone to boycott products containing it. Contact food manufacturers and let them know you want it removed from our food supply. It is used more heavily than other sweeteners, because it is extremely cheap to produce, thus giving higher profit margins! Cheers, everyone! And thank you Davey, I love your webisodes.

  8. I have some healthy substitutions ideas.

    Some dried fruit: Real fruit. Most dried fruit (even the ones without added sugar) is devoid of fiber. Eat real fruit for fiber and other health benefits (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc.)
    Fruity drinks: It’s best to avoid alcohol but if you must go for the lite versions.
    Barbeque sauce: Cook with other things such as spices and herbs.
    Chocolate milk: Try to get chocolate flavored protein shake instead. Or you can have fat free/low fat chocolate milk after workout for carbs and protein.
    Tomato Sauce: Make your own tomato sauce with real tomato, tomato paste and lots of vegetables.
    Vitamin Water: I think they have zero calorie vitamin water too so that would be a good option. Best alternative would be plain old water (learn to like the taste of water) but if you want some extra flavor, then drink naturally flavored sparkling water or unsweetened iced tea or water with some lemon/lime juice.
    Fruity yogurt: Get plain Greek yogurt and sweeten it yourself with fruit and/or protein powder.
    Smoothies: Make protein smoothie instead with protein powder, milk and fruit of your choice.
    Granola bars: Making your own would be the best bet. I personally see them as glorified candies and try to avoid.
    Cereal: Get high fiber/low fat & sugar cereals. I think Kashi brand makes some good ones. Plain oats are good too.
    Ketchup: They are sugar free ketchups available but personally I don’t like those sf stuff with artificial sweeteners so I would just stay away from ketchup altogether or get salsa instead.

  9. Louis Lagalo says:

    Uh oh, but YOU LOVE ketchup!

  10. FiniteKosmos says:

    I’d also stick to brown/wholemeal bread, white bread is criminal for its carb content.

  11. christopher says:

    what about steak sauce-similar in many ways to ketchup?i was shocked about pasta sauce.as far as ketchup-Heinz produces a no-sugar and no-salt version.

  12. @Maciej
    Lactose is a simply sugar with a bond. If you’re intolerant, it means you don’t have lactase, the enzyme needed to split that bond. Lactose free milk simply includes the lactase enzyme, so that your body needn’t do the splitting. The nutrition and carb content are identical. But it’s not worth fretting over. Sugar, per se, is not uniquely fattening. And milk and fruit, both of which have plenty of sugar, are healthy for other reasons.

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    I Gujarati foods every food has Jagger


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