With your best intentions to keep that belly flat, you know better than to pick the foods your dentist warned you about. But what about the hidden sugars? Those are the ones straight out to get ya! From your go-to marinades to your milk — are you aware that some of your everyday choices contain more sugar than a donut?
If you’re thinking there’s no way your favorite foods contain hidden added sugars, you’re not the only one. Researchers behind the best-selling Zero Sugar Diet were also surprised to find these 13 common foods are chockful of the sweet stuff. Whether brands trick you into thinking they don’t add sugar by using one of sugar’s 60 code names or add it to a food that doesn’t typically have much sugar in it to begin with, these shocking foods each have high levels of the sweet stuff. Next time you’re out shopping, stay far away from these supermarket finds! And if you’re really trying to cut out sugar out of your diet — be sure to check out these 30 Easy Ways to Stop Eating So Much Sugar.
Dannon Fruit on the Bottom Strawberry Flavored
Per 1 container: 130 calories, 1.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 95 mg sodium, 25 g carbs (0 g fiber, 22 g sugar), 5 g protein
A good breakfast gone wrong. Normally, yogurt is one our favorite foods for weight loss, but this product is far from flat-belly friendly. Yes, some of the sugar in this creamy breakfast comes from naturally-occurring sugars from milk and fruit, but that’s not where the majority of the sweet stuff comes from. Next to milk, Dannon injects their cartoon with, you guessed it, sugar. And since this cartoon is low in digestion-slowing macronutrients like fat and protein, you’re more likely to experience waist-widening spikes in blood sugar after polishing off the container. For a better yogurt, don’t miss our exclusive report: 25 Best Yogurts for Weight Loss.
Odwalla Blueberry Monster
Per 1 bottle: 240 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 15 mg sodium, 59 g carbs (2 g fiber, 54 g sugar), 2 g protein
Smoothies have the potential to be flat-belly friendly. But when they’re coming straight out of a bottle and not your blender, you should probably think again. Smoothies like these are overflowing with more sugar than your typical Halloween basket! Many see the label, glance at the ingredients, and say, “No biggie, it's all from fruit!” And while that may seem accurate, a closer look proves otherwise. A smoothie made at home provides you with the digestion-slowing, belly-filling fiber from real fruit, but this bottle has almost no fiber at all. In fact, many smoothie companies use fruit juice concentrates and fruit purees to enhance their sweet sips, according to the Zero Sugar Diet. Ingredients like those can be just as damaging as high fructose corn syrup, an additive that has been said to cause increased levels of bad cholesterol, weight gain, and belly fat accumulation.
Peanut Butter & Co The Bee’s Knees Peanut Butter
Per 2 Tbsp: 180 calories, 14 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 60 mg sodium, 12 g carb (1 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 6 g protein
It may be your go-to when you need a sandwich on the go or when you need a push of protein post workout. But, surprisingly, many jars of peanut butter contain a significant amount of sugar — especially when it's flavored with honey, cinnamon, or even chocolate. Just two spoonfuls of this creamy treat hold more sugar than 2 Chips Ahoy Cookies. We’re not suggesting that you completely avoid protein-providing nut butters, but make sure this spread isn’t in your everyday meal plan because it can easily become a sugar-filled diet destroyer.
Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Barbecue Sauce
Per 2 Tbsp: 70 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 300 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (0 g fiber, 15 g sugar), 0 g protein
Who would’ve thought that adding a simple marinade to your chicken could cause your dinner to become as sugar filled as your dessert! Don’t let words like “sweet” and “honey” just sneak right by. Just two tablespoons of this BBQ sauce contains 15 grams of sugar — and if you’re thinking there’s no way you use more than that. Read this: on average more than four tablespoons get smeared onto a serving of ribs. So that would be you’re getting 30 grams of sugar — more than a Hershey Bar — in your dinner dish.
Gold Peak Green Tea
Per 1 Bottle: 130 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 35 mg sodium, 33 g carbs (0 g fiber, 32 g sugar), 0 g protein
Green tea may be our favorite when it comes to a metabolism-boosting beverage, but not when it's bottled! All of the added sugars cancel out every benefit this tea has to offer. Not to mention, antioxidant levels of bottled beverages have been measured to be considerably less than in a freshly-brewed cup. Instead, go for your own cup brewed at home to get the tummy-tightening benefits.
Ocean Spray Original Cranberries
Per ¼ Cup: 130 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 33 g carbs (3 g fiber, 29 g sugar), 0 g protein
Dehydrated, chewy, sweet pieces of fruit are far from the fiber-rich food group we know and love. In fact, the snacks are closer to candy than their original form. That’s because without water, the sugars become more concentrated in the dried variety. What’s worse is that manufacturers often coat the dried-up sweets in more sugar. Cranberries are originally one of the lowest sugar containing fruits compared to most, but Ocean Spray decides to inject the berries with cane sugar in order to create a less-tart treat.
Odwalla Blueberry Swirl Superfood Bar
*Per 1 bar: 200 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 125 mg sodium, 41 g carb (4 g fiber, 19 g sugar), 3 g protein
Sorry, but if you purchased this superfood bar, you were just catfished into thinking this bar would do the job to fuel your most important meal of the day. In fact, this bar has “brown rice syrup” as its first ingredient — and that’s just another of nearly 100 aliases for sugar, as reported by the Zero Sugar Diet. This bar offers you two times the amount of sugar as it does fiber and protein combined. When you’re on the go, scarfing down this bar’s 19 grams of sugar is worse than choosing a serving of 3 Oreo cookies.
Ken’s Fat-Free Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing
Per 2 Tbsp: 70 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 270 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (0 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 0 g protein
You’ve seen it before, and you’ll see it again! Bottled salad dressings are a diet destroyer. When trying to stay slim, choosing a dressing that’s marketed to be “fat-free” or “light” is a classic rookie mistake. In order to make up for the loss of flavor provided by fat, companies pack the bottles with chemicals, sodium, and — of course — sugar. Whether its ketchup-based like Russian and thousand island, a fruit vinaigrette like raspberry, or Ken’s Sun-Dried Tomato, you’re getting more sugar than you would in a flat-belly-friendly dessert.
Silk Vanilla Almond Milk
Per 1 Cup: 90 calories, 2.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 160 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (< 1 g fiber, 16 g sugar), 1 g protein
If your body is unable to process lactose and dairy makes your belly all bloated, we get the notion to go dairy free. Options like Silk’s Vanilla Almond Milk contain more sugar than a slow-churned vanilla ice cream. Holding 16 grams of sugar, is way too close to comfort, especially if you’re mixing it with sugar-stocked cereals, or a sugar packet in your cup of joe.
Starbucks Java Chip Frappuccino Blended Coffee
Per Grande, 16 oz, Whole Milk, Whipped Cream Frap: 470 calories, 18 g fat (12 g saturated fat), 260 mg sodium, 72 g carbs (2 g fiber, 66 g sugar), 6 g protein
You may think that “frappuccino” is a nice blend of coffee that is sure to keep you cool, but you have to admit that you’re drinking something that’s closer to a milkshake than a fit-friendly beverage. admit it. You’re closer to having dessert. Drinks like this have more sugar than 24 Hershey Kisses! Downing yourself in such a sugary drink is completely unnecessary; you can still get your coffee pick-me-up and treat that sweet tooth with plenty of other options. Cool down with an iced coffee instead. And while that may sound quite bland compared to this traditional frap, you can still jazz things up with a pump of flavored syrup, and the addition of spices like cinnamon.
Dunkin’ Donuts Reduced Fat Blueberry Muffin
Per 1 muffin: 410 calories, 10 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 540 mg sodium, 75 g carb (2 g fiber, 39 g sugar), 7 g protein
Don’t let health imposter muffins fool you. Whether its bran or reduced fat muffins are only making your muffin top bigger. Muffins like these sound like they will be fiber-filled and low-sugar but they are the opposite. The added sweeteners chains like Dunkin’ Donuts use to enhance flavor do more than just that, they boost the total calorie count too.
Prego Italian Sauce Heart Smart Traditional
Per 1/2 Cup: 70 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 360 mg sodium, 13 g carbs (2 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 2 g protein
It may be lower in sodium compared to other sauces, but this sauce isn’t very heart friendly when it comes to sugar. Holding double-digits, this marinara sauce does not hold up to the ideals of the Mediterranean diet. Rather this jar is filled with sugar itself and inflammatory omega-6s, which may be making you gain belly fat, not lose it.
Whole Grain Bagels
Thomas’ Plain Bagels Made With Whole Grains
Per 1 Bagel: 260 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 420 mg sodium, 53 g carbs (3 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 9 g protein
More often than not, bagels are a belly bully. But with a whole-grain promising name, you may have thought otherwise. Unfortunately, you’re better off listening to that stereotype. These bagels contain more carbs and calories than an entire bowl of white-flour pasta, and more sugar than a Dunkin Donuts Sugar Raised Donut. Bread companies know that consumers who are making the change of whole grain from white, are expecting to taste a product that resembles cardboard. So, to imitate the sweet taste of white bread the brand adds sugar to their breads to satisfy. Whole-grains may have great fiber-filling benefits, but that's when they're used as main ingredients. When checking for a breakfast bread that's worth it; check for ingredients like bulgur, farro, and quinoa. This isn’t the only culprit. Don’t miss these additional 15 Worst Whole-Grain Foods.