5 Unexpected Sugar Bombs That are Ruining Your Diet

Updated 09/23/16

Of course you should eat as little sugar as possible, but sometimes it’s hard to put into perspective just how much is too much. Take these five foods, below: You could easily be fooled into believing that they’re relatively healthy. But hidden inside these processed snacks are sugar loads on par with candy bars, ice cream and even cupcakes.

Keep scrolling for five deceptively sugary foods you need to avoid now.

“Healthy” Cereals

If you’re shopping for breakfast cereal, marching right past the sugary, “kid” stuff is a no-brainer, but seemingly wholesome cereals can have just as much, or more sugar than the frosted or marshmallow-filled variety. Innocent-looking Kellogg’s Cracklin’ Oat Bran packs 14 grams of sugar per serving—even more than that of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes (11 grams). Kellogg’s Müeslix is another unexpected sugar bomb; 1 1/3 cups of the stuff has 28 grams of sugar, more than a full-size Snickers bar (27 grams of sugar).

Energy Bars

Never eat an energy bar without checking the nutrition information. Take Luna Bars: The Lemon Zest version packs 13 grams of sugar—and it’s not even the worst energy-bar offender. An apricot Clif Bar has 23 grams of sugar, so unless you’re working out like a fiend and using the bar for a boost, it’s best to skip it. Then there’s the  Carrot Cake Lärabar, which contain 24 grams—that’s more sugar than a standard-size Kit Kat bar. Although the sugar from these energy bars isn’t “added sugar” (it comes from ingredients like pineapple and dates), it still spikes your blood sugar and hits your body faster than, say, actually eating some pineapple or dates.

Bottled Green Juice

You know how sugary fruit juices are, so you reach for the green one, thinking it’s a more virtuous choice. But the fruits—apples and pineapple, for example—that are added to green juices have a sneaky way of making their sugar content soar. The Green Machine Juice from Naked has 28 grams of sugar per bottle; the Super Green juice from Evolution Fresh, available at Starbucks, has 54 grams. That’s more sugar than you find in a 22-ounce cherry Slurpee. Though the sugars in these green juices are naturally occurring, they’re still excessive—you’re better off just reaching for fresh fruit instead.

Flavored Yogurt

Flavored yogurts have so much sugar that they’re most appropriate for dessert. A serving-size cup of Yoplait Original Yogurt can have as much as 26 grams of sugar per serving. That’s almost as much sugar as you’d consume eating a cup of ice cream (28 grams).

Dried Fruit

Pass the dried fruit! No, we mean pass it altogether. Although dried fruit contains fiber and nutrients, it’s also loaded with sugar—most of the time, added sugar, unless you’re getting it from a health food store. A 1 ½-ounce box (think lunchbox-size) has 20 grams of sugar. Dried apricots are also extremely sugar-dense—a half-cup has as much as 35 grams of sugar, just two grams less than the sugar content of a Hostess Ding Dong. If you’re craving something sweet, better to opt for fresh fruit rather than the dried kind. 

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