As someone who has been told to cut down on sugar intake, I am amazed by how these products are marketed as “healthy” even to the point of being in “healthy food” aisles at the supermarket. The recommended daily intake of sugar is 6 teaspoons/25 grams. In just one portion, all of these snacks contain this total or close to it. People are told to buy yogurt because it’s healthy, Yoplait yogurt is probably the #1 seller but it also contains the most sugar. (Look for unsweetened Greek yogurt instead.) And “no sugar added” does not mean it’s low in sugar, nor does “low fat.” Read the labels carefully folks!
Raisin Bran (With Milk) – 6 Teaspoons / 24g
The recommended daily intake of sugar is 6 teaspoons/25 grams. In just one portion, all of these snacks contain this total or close to it.
So, if you start your day with a bowl of “nutritious” Raisin Bran, you’ve already consumed your limit. Anything on top of this will most likely turn to fat and, let’s not forget, cause health problems like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
We’re not saying you should never indulge. Occasionally inhaling a box of donuts is a glorious part of life, but you have a right to know when you’re indulging.
Naked Smoothies – 13 Teaspoons / 53g
Don’t be fooled by the color green, this evil beast has over TWICE your recommended daily allowance!
Smoothies are marketed to us as super healthy and, yes, they contain vitamins… But our bodies are not designed to consume all that fruit once. Blending and juicing fruits means that we take in a huge amount of sugar that cannot be processed quickly enough and is therefore stored as fat.
Most unhealthy drinks and products trick us by listing the nutritional information with only half the contents or less as a portion. Manufacturers then hope that you assume the calories number is for the whole thing. Sneaky!
Yoplait Yogurt – 5 Teaspoons / 21g
Yogurt is a classic culprit of clever advertising. A lot of products boast about being low fat, but to keep their foods tasting good, they add even more sugar than the full-fat versions. Sugar is far worse for our health than fat… Avoid this trick!
Coconut Water – 5 Teaspoons / 22g
This pricey fad won’t do much for you except expand your waistline. With almost your entire daily allowance of sugar in just 11 ounces of “water,” it’s one of the most sugary drinks that you can buy.
Granola Bars – 3 Teaspoons / 13g
Granola bars are pretty much just as unhealthy as candy bars. Usually, their small size/weight stops them from having a high-calorie count, but this doesn’t stop their sugar percentage being around 37 percent or higher. What a waste!
Pure Apple Juice – 6 Teaspoons / 24g
Another way to consume an unnatural amount of sweet fruit in one go! Stick to eating the apple, that way you’ll get the fiber and other nutrients. Plus, you’ll feel fuller.
100 Percent Grape Juice – 9 Teaspoons / 36g
This is possibly the worst juice you could drink for your health. It has almost the same amount of sugar as a can of Coke and it’s way over your recommended daily intake in just one 8oz cup!
Craisins – 7 Teaspoons / 29g
Dried fruit follows a similar rule as juice. You’re compressing an unnaturally large portion of fruit into a small space. Also, craisins have added sugar because, you know, cranberries are sour as hell. You might as well just eat M&Ms and be done with it.
Welch’s Fruit Snacks – 6 Teaspoons / 24g
The misleading packaging manipulates your brain into thinking that this is a good, healthy snack for your kids. Well, sadly it isn’t. There really is no difference between these and regular gummy candy
Kombucha – 4 Teaspoons / 20g
Not all kombucha has a ton of sugar, but it’s smart to check the label as a few flavors are pretty serious offenders… Mystic Mango Synergy being the worst of all.
Trail Mix – 5 Teaspoons / 20g Per Half Cup
If you’re anything like us, munching on trail mix makes you think you’re being healthy like a mountaineer or a badass rock climber. However, dried fruit and M&Ms make this snack a big old bag of well-disguised candy!
Pure Orange Juice – 8 Teaspoons / 23g
Once again, eating the fruit is a much healthier way of gaining nutrients, but if you’re going to drink it, now you are aware that it is almost your entire daily allowance of sugar, so make an informed decision.
Sorry, we feel like we’re probably making you mad by this point but we’re just the messenger!
Fruit Strips – 9g Per 14g Strip
Fruit strips, like Welch’s Fruit Snacks, are another strategically packaged candy posing as a healthy option. They’re 64 percent sugar! Don’t be fooled by branding and go straight to the nutritional label where you’ll find out the true value of this product to your health.
Unhealthy products like these often make the recommended portion size unrealistically small to try and fool us into eating badly. Working out the percentage is a more accurate way of figuring things out.
Chocolate Milk – 5 Teaspoons / 22g
It makes our blood boil that this is so blatantly marketed towards children, especially as the numbers of kids with type 2 diabetes continues to soar.
Milk already has a lot of naturally-occurring sugar and adding the chocolate flavor just makes it into nothing more than a liquid dessert.
Raisins – 5 Teaspoons / 20g
There’s that pesky dried fruit again! Just like dried cranberries, dried grapes are pretty much pure sugar.
After reading this you may be thinking, “What the hell can I eat?” Naturally-occurring sugar in fruit (without modifying it by juicing/drying) is OK and there are plenty of non-sweet snacks that give you a ton more energy than sugary ones. Eggs, nuts, avocados, fresh fruit or any other non-processed savory foods are great. For more snack ideas for you and your family, visit the website Growing Human Kindness.