These Healthy Foods
Contain a Surprising
Amount of Sugar

If you’ve ever tried to cut back on sugar, you’ve definitely had the shocking realization that there is more sugar in food and drink than we think. This is never more obvious than when you try to embrace a keto or low carb diet, and begin reading labels.

The most surprising thing is that it’s not just ‘unhealthy’ foods like donuts and soda, that contain a lot of sugar, but healthy foods too. That’s right, even if you have the best intentions, and you are eating healthy foods, you’ll still need to watch how much you eat if you’re trying to cut back on sugar.

1. Granola

No bake energy granola bars on white wooden table with spatula. Top view.

If you’re not making your own granola, now is the time to check the label on the one you usually buy at the store. While the main ingredient in granola is oats, added nuts and honey mean that the sugar content can add up quickly. If you are making your own, try to limit the amount of honey, and add fruit (in limited amounts) for sweetness.

2. Protein bars

While they are a great source of protein, protein bars are also often laden with sugar in amounts not dissimilar to regular candy bars. If you are someone who’s used to throwing protein bars into your bag for post gym food, try to find other healthier substitutes (like roasted chickpeas, or if you have access to fridge, some cheese or low-sugar yogurt).

3. Salad dressing

I know, pretty horrifying to think that the stuff you typically use to add flavor to your healthy salad, is actually making your salad less healthy. A typical dressing contains around a 1g of sugar per recommended serving, so if you’re the type to liberally douse your salad in dressing, the sugar can quickly add up.

4. Nuts

Sounds nuts (see what we did there), but while these are a healthy snack, they can contain a surprising amount of sugar. A cup of almonds contains around 3.7g of sugar, while a cup of peanuts contains 6g. This doesn’t mean you need to stop eating peanuts, but it does mean you need to be watchful of how many you eat.

5. Flavored waters

There are a number of name brand flavored drinks used for hydrating, with added vitamins, electrolytes, and minerals. While there are a number of these that are low in sugar and perfectly fine to drink often, there are some with up to 32g per serving. Make sure to read the labels carefully and set your intake accordingly.

6. Fruit

Smiling little girl holding a piece of watermelon. The girl looking out of the window while eating watermelon.

Don’t panic, we’re not telling you to stop eating fruit, but on Keto diets, when carbohydrate and sugar intake are very limited, it’s good to know where you might find sugar in unexpected places. medium apple contains around 19g of sugar, a medium banana around 14g, and a cup of blueberries contains around 15g of sugar. If you’re trying to limit your sugar intake but want to ensure you still have fruit, opt for fruit with a lower sugar content, like a watermelon, which contains only 9g of sugar per cup, diced.

Femi A-Williams is a health and fitness convert trying to reconcile a healthy lifestyle and a happy food life. She is 80% whole grain and 20% donut.

All posts by Femi A-Williams