‘Health Foods’ secretly packed with sugar

You might think that skipping those sweet cookies or candies and keeping them out of the reach of your kids means you’ve successfully avoided sugar. You may also be under the impression that avoiding foods with sugar makes your eating habits seem healthier. You’re right, but just partially.


Sometimes it’s easy to think that switching to alternative foods that may have less to no sugar are better for you and your family’s healthy eating. However, you may not be aware that some of these foods actually contain sugar that isn’t in as little a quantity as you imagined. Yes, you’ll find sugar even in foods that are tagged “healthy”. Here are a few examples –

Here are a few examples –


People have always associated Granola as being a health food item and granola bars as a quick fix solution to boosting energy levels. Essentially, it is considered a healthy food. That isn’t exactly untrue and depends on the brand, in some cases. That being said, some of these instant energy bars can contain up to 26 grams of sugar, per serving. That’s certainly not what the doctor ordered. The solution, go with protein-rich nuts like – Almonds, Peanuts, Pecans and sunflower seeds. These are great for the whole family and will ensure they always have enough energy to stay active.


Fruit Juice

Fruits are healthy, as is, naturally, it makes sense for one to assume that the juice of these fruits is the same. And in most cases it is unless you prefer off-the-shelf options. Don’t be fooled by the “100% Natural” “No Sugar” labelling on the packs, they’re often quite inaccurate. The last thing you want is for your child to get into the habit of sipping on those Tetra-packed juices. A good old fashioned fruit with all its fibre and roughage is the best for their health and yours too. Even freshly squeezed orange juice, while crammed with vitamin C, folate and Potassium, is high in sugar with and lacking in fibre. It’s better to go with the whole fruit and nothing but the fruit.


Low-Fat Yoghurt

Many dieticians will suggest you try low-fat yoghurt for weight loss. While there’s no doubt it’s considered to be low in calories, buying off-the-shelf may not be a great idea. Some brands include sugar which adds to the existing natural sugar (lactose) that’s found in milk. Sometimes, one container of yoghurt can contain up to 21 grams of sugar.



Another food item that’s synonymous with weight-loss and nutrition is Dry-fruit and Cranberries are one such item. They make great snacks and additions to those weight-loss salads. However, these are not as sugar-free as some of its compatriots. A handful of cranberries consists of 26 grams of sugar. That’s quite a bit. You might want to stick to nuts.


It always pays to be knowledgeable of what you eat. The signs, names and labels can often be quite misleading. When it comes to your sugar intake for you and your household, keep these numbers in mind as the recommended daily requirement of sugar is:

  • 36g or 9 teaspoons for men;
  • 20g or 5 teaspoons for women; and
  • 12g or 3 teaspoons for children

It’s perfectly fine to indulge in a little sugar treat every now and again, but it’s vital to keep it balanced for your everyone at home.