There's nothing sweet about eating too much sugar. Diets high in sugar have been linked to obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, tooth decay and even cancer. The American Heart Association recommends that women consume less than 100 calories of added sugar per day (about 24 grams) and men less than 150 calories per day (about 36 grams). The average American overshoots those targets by a mile, consuming about 88 grams (equivalent to 22 teaspoons) per day.
Obvious offenders are easy to avoid. A can of Coke contains 39 grams of sugar. A serving of Skittles contains 42 grams. A pint of Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice creams contains 84 grams. But you already know these foods are packed with added sugar, and you're probably already making an effort to limit or avoid them. However, there are many other sources of added sugar—and some are super sneaky. You might be downing some of them every day, having no idea that they're stuffed with sugar.
To help you in your effort to consume less added sugar, here are 13 foods and drinks you might never guess are high in sugar.
1. Canned Tomato Sauce - 10 grams of sugar per serving
Yep, the sauce you put on your spaghetti can be pretty high in sugar. Making your own sauce or limiting yourself to one serving can help you avoid getting a big-time sugar hit.
2. Coleslaw - 16 grams of sugar per serving
You might think coleslaw is healthy since it consists of various diced vegetables, but that's not exactly the case. Coleslaw, especially the kind served in restaurants, is typically high in both sugar and fat.
3. Orange Juice - 21 grams of sugar per serving
A single 8-ounce glass of orange juice packs over 20 grams of sugar and lacks many of the nutrients that make actual oranges good for you, such as fiber. You're better off drinking a glass of water and eating a real orange.
RELATED: Is Orange Juice Good for You?
4. Hazelnut Spread - 21 grams of sugar per serving
Hazelnut spread doesn't sound terrible—I mean, hazelnuts are healthy, right? Unfortunately, hazelnut spreads like Nutella are quite high in added sugar, 21 grams in a two-tablespoon serving. Stick with natural peanut butter if you're looking for a tasty, low-sugar spread.
5. Flavored Oatmeal - 13 grams of sugar per serving
Oatmeal is a healthy way to start the day, but most store-bought flavored varieties shovel in added sugar to increase sweetness. Stick with plain oatmeal or steel-cut oats and use fruit or a bit of honey to add sweetness.
6. BBQ Sauce - 6 grams of sugar per serving
That bit of sweetness found in many BBQ sauces is no coincidence—it's because they're packed with sugar, 6 grams in a single tablespoon. Be extra cautious with your serving size, or add a little water if you don't mind a slightly diluted flavor.
7. Apple Sauce - 22 grams of sugar per serving
Apple sauce is another food that seems healthy based on its name, but whose nutrition facts tell a different story. If you're a big apple sauce lover, buy the all-natural variety. You'll avoid taking in about 11 grams of sugar per serving.
8. Bagel - 6 grams of sugar per serving
Bagels don't have as much sugar as some other items on this list, but 6 grams is 25 percent of the recommended daily limit for women. And that number is for plain bagels. For sweeter variations like cinnamon-sugar or blueberry, it's significantly higher.
9. Canned Baked Beans - 12 grams of sugar per serving
Beans are a great food. They are high in protein, packed with fiber and stuffed with other useful nutrients. But canned baked beans should be avoided, since they pack 12 grams of sugar per serving.
10. Fruit Punch - 25 grams of sugar per serving
Many types of fruit punch contain almost no fruit, but they do contain lots of sugar. Cut up some real fruit and throw it in sparkling water if you want a similar taste with less sugar and more nutritional benefits.
11. Energy Drinks - 27 grams of sugar per serving
Most popular energy drinks don't just deliver caffeine—they're also packed with sugar. They typically contain several servings in a single can, misleading you into believing they're not as bad as they really are. With all that sugar, you're setting yourself up for a massive crash down the road.
12. Ketchup - 4 grams of sugar per serving
With 4 grams per tablespoon, ketchup is one of the sneakiest sources of added sugar. And most people use way more than a single serving! Mustard is an all-around healthier choice.
13. Flavored Lattes - 26 grams of sugar per serving
You might think drinking a flavored coffee drink instead of plain coffee is no big deal, but it could lead you to consume way more added sugar. Caffeine plus tons of sugar means you could be headed for a nasty crash sooner or later.
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