How Much Added Sugar Are You Really Eating? 

Some foods, like milk and fruit, have natural sugar in them. But many processed foods have “added sugars” — sweeteners such as honey, fruit juice concentrate and cane sugar that are added to give food flavor. Too many added sugars can cause problems for your health.
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Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

The Dangers of Added Sugar

Added sugars are full of empty calories and might even raise your risk of heart disease and diabetes. That’s why the American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugars to 6 teaspoons a day for women and 9 teaspoons a day for men. See how these foods stack up.

Note: 1 sugar cube = 1 teaspoon

Canned Fruit in Heavy Syrup: 1 cup, 37 grams added sugars (9 1/4 sugar cubes)

Canned fruit can be a good way to get a serving of fruit in your diet. Just make sure to choose fruit packed in juice or water. If it’s canned in heavy syrup, you’re getting almost a quarter-cup of added sugar.

Sports Drinks: 20 ounces, 8 teaspoons added sugars (8 sugar cubes)

Energy drinks get their “energy” from — you got it — sugar! You might think they’re healthier than soda, but they have almost as much sugar; for comparison, a 16-ounce “serving” of soda has 8 sugar cubes, too.

Nonfat Pumpkin Latte: 16 ounces, 29 grams added sugars (7.25 sugar cubes)

Do you like sugar in your coffee? Great. Add some. Chances are you wouldn’t add nearly as much sugar as the coffee shop adds by pumping in flavored syrups. 

Nonfat Flavored Yogurt: 6 ounces, 19 grams added sugars (4 3/4 sugar cubes)

Even plain yogurt has sugar in it from lactose. But when you compare the sugar content of plain versus flavored yogurt, you’ll be shocked by the difference. Some brands add almost 5 teaspoons of sugar!

Instant Flavored Oatmeal: 4 teaspoons added sugars per packet (4 sugar cubes)

Don’t be fooled by the healthier-sounding organic varieties — they can be equally high in sugar. Instead, make plain oatmeal and sweeten it with dried fruit, apples and/or a spoonful of brown sugar.

Granola Bars/Cereal Bars: 1 bar, 2.5 teaspoons added sugars (2.5 sugar cubes)

Granola bars and cereal bars sound like pretty healthy grab-and-go snacks, but most of them are as sugary as candy bars.

Barbecue Sauce: 1 ounce, 2 teaspoons added sugars (2 sugar cubes)

Barbecue sauce is one of the sweetest condiments around, delivering a couple of teaspoons of sugar per serving.

Fat-Free Salad Dressing: 2 tablespoons, 5.3 grams added sugars (1 1/4 sugar cubes)

Fat-free foods are often loaded with added sugars — the manufacturers need to replace the fat with something. Opt instead for an oil-and-vinegar-based dressing. Healthy fats, like olive oil, are good for you, and you’ll save big on sugar.

Ketchup: 2 tablespoons, 4.3 grams added sugars (1 sugar cube)

Do you like sugar with your fries? That’s a lot of what you’re getting when you dip fries in ketchup.

Multigrain Bread: 1 slice, 1/2 teaspoon added sugars (1/2 sugar cube)

Bread doesn’t need to have sugar in it, but most sliced bread does. Check the ingredient list and see how many forms of added sugar you can find.