13 Places Sugar Is Hiding In Your Food

Sugar is what makes many foods so delicious, but too much can be harmful. Eating a healthful diet means controlling the amount of sugar you take in, but avoiding excess sugar can be harder than you think. It is even more important to check your labels for sugar when you are struggling with keeping your skin clear. Sugar can be one of the main reasons for your breakouts so be sure to check your labels even when you are purchasing food that you think is healthy for you.

When you accept a slice of birthday cake or eat a handful of jellybeans, you know you’re consuming sugar. But sometimes sugar hides in places you might not even think to look.

Here are 13 places where sugar hides and can easily make its way into your body without you even realizing it.


Packed with protein and good bacteria, yogurt is typically considered a healthy food. However, most yogurt is sweetened in some way. And some yogurt contains more sugar than a candy bar.

Compare labels on different types of yogurt to see which has the least amount of sugar. Plain yogurt is the best choice, and yogurt with a candy topping is typically the worst.

Fruit Juice

Fresh fruit contains natural sugar, but its effects are balanced by fiber and other nutrients from the fruit itself. When fruit becomes juice, the sugar remains but much of the nutrition is lost. Making things worse, many brands of fruit juice have even more processed sugar added before packaging.

Fruit juice is not necessarily bad for you, but it’s important to monitor how much sugar you are getting front it. Drink fruit juice sparingly and try to stick to varieties that do not have sugar added.

Salad Dressing

Salads are usually among the healthiest options you have when going out for a meal or even making yourself something to eat at home. But even a salad can contain a sugar trap.

Read the label on your salad dressing to make sure that it contains fewer than 2 grams of sugar per serving. Also, pay attention to your portions. You could be eating more servings than you realize.


You know that cookies are a sweet treat, but crackers seem like a healthier choice, right? In general, a cracker will have less sugar than a cookie, but many crackers still contain quite a bit.

Eat crackers without extra sweeteners when you can, and resist the urge to eat too many.


The whole fruits and even veggies that go into a smoothie can trick you into believing that it is a health food, but be aware of other ingredients as well. Smoothies can be loaded with sugar, essentially turning them into a dessert. Carefully check the ingredient list before ordering a smoothie at a restaurant, or make your own at home where you can control your sweeteners.

Flavored Coffee

Many people add a packet or two of sweetener to their morning coffees, but you have to be very careful when it comes to coffee shop beverages.

Those fancy drinks are fun to order and taste great, but many recipes call for a lot of sugar.

Sugar in coffee shop drinks can come from many sources like syrups, whipped cream and flavor shots. Know what you’re ordering and how much sugar is involved.

Frozen Foods

Sugar and salt are staples of packaged frozen meals because these ingredients help keep them fresh and tasting good. This means that there is probably sugar throughout your frozen meal, whether it contains a dessert or not.

Alcoholic Drinks

Cocktails and mixed drinks are often very sweet because of added syrups and flavoring. Fruit flavored and frozen drinks can contain as much sugar as a soda.

Alcohol tends to have a lot of calories on its own, and sugar brings even more. Try ordering drinks that aren’t too sweet and limit yourself to a reasonable number of refills.

Granola Bars

Snack bars packed with whole grains, fruits and nuts can be the perfect food for an energy burst between meals, but be sure to read the label to know what you’re eating.

Many granola bars have as much sugar as a candy bar and are sometimes even coated in chocolate.


Sauces can bring flavor and variety to meats, veggies, and grains, but they often come with excess sugar. Barbecue sauce, salsa and pasta sauce are common offenders, so check the bottle before you overload. Look for low sugar versions of your favorite sauces or consider flavoring with spices instead of a sauce.

Sauces made in restaurants are very likely to contain a lot of sugar. You can request that your meal have light sauce or even no sauce at all.

Peanut Butter

This delicious staple of families everywhere can surprise you when it comes to the sweet stuff. Many processed peanut butters are full of added sugar. Check the labels to compare brands, and look for natural peanut butters without added sweeteners.

Protein Shakes

Many people drink protein shakes to help them lose weight, but you could be secretly sabotaging yourself this way.

Protein drinks are marketed as a health food, but they are not all the same. Some use a lot of sugar to make these beverages taste like milkshakes.

Chewable Vitamins

Gummies and other chewable vitamins are a good place to get nutrients you need each day, but read the labels to know how much sugar is being added to make the vitamins more palatable. Sometimes gummy vitamins contain just as much sugar as gummy bears.

Almost everyone is aware that sugar is bad for your health. It causes breakouts, tricks your brain and sends your blood sugar on a roller coaster ride. You don’t have to give up sugar completely, but it’s smart to make good choices about how much sugar you will consume. Carefully monitor the amount of sugar you eat and remember to look for the hidden sugar in places like those listed above.


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