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Day 18:

5 “Healthy” Foods Loaded with Sugar

You’ve become a master label reader, but don’t be fooled by seemingly “healthy foods” hiding added sugar. Today Andrea breaks it down!

How’s your Sugar Reset coming along? Remember to share your experience on social using the hashtag #BarbarasSugarReset!

~ The Barbara’s Team

You may have noticed foods that are either labeled or call themselves “healthy,” yet a close look at their Nutrition Fact labels and the ingredients may reveal something entirely different. Such is the case for so-called healthy foods that have lots of added sugar.

Once you know what to look for, you can unmask these imposters for what they truly are and look for real healthier choices. 

  • Enhanced Flavored waters. You want to believe that water enhanced with vitamins and minerals would be good for you, but don’t be so sure. The brand Vitamin Water, for example, has a whopping 31 to 32 grams of sugar in each 20-ounce bottle.[1] Other enhanced waters, such as Propel, may be calorie-free and sugar-free, but they contain artificial sweeteners, which are not healthy and can increase sugar cravings.
  • Fruits canned and jarred. It can be convenient to buy fruit in cans, jars, and single-serving cups, especially for children’s lunches. But there may be added sugars in each fruit serving. While some brands state that their fruit is in 100% natural juice, others say “light syrup” or “heavy syrup,” which means added sugars. Check the ingredient labels for “corn syrup” and “high-fructose corn syrup.” Here is a tip: dump the juice and you’ll eliminate unnecessary sugar.
  • Traditional Granola. The majority of conventional granola brands contain lots of sugar, so be sure to read labels carefully. If you love granola and want to enjoy it during your lower sugar Challenge, try Barbara’s Oats & Honey and Dark Chocolate Cranberry Better Granola. It contains 10 grams of protein per serving, six grams of fiber, and half the sugar of conventional brands.
  • Nonfat yogurt. Do you know what manufacturers do to nonfat yogurt to make it taste good (that is, more like full-fat yogurts)? They add sugar! You may save yourself from a few calories if you choose nonfat yogurt, but the fat in regular yogurt is healthy and the added sugars (or even artificial sweeteners) are not! Instead of nonfat yogurt, buy full-fat unflavored yogurt (including Greek) and add your own flavorings, such as fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, and cinnamon.
  • Tomato sauce. If you make tomato sauce the old-fashioned way, slow-cooked for hours on the stove then you can control the amount of sugar you add, if any. However, many store-bought sauces in jars and cans contain sugar, which is added to help reduce the acidic taste and extend the product’s shelf life. However, you may find as much as 10 to 12 grams of added sugar in every ½ cup of sauce. Some brands state “no sugar added,” so be sure to check the label before you make your purchase.

[1] Vitamin Water.


Andrea Donsky, B. COMM, is an Author, Registered Holistic Nutritionist (R.H.N.), Editor-in-Chief, and Founder of Her passion is to inspire people to make enlightened choices for healthy living. Andrea has combined her background and expertise as both a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and an entrepreneur to educate the public on living an organic and non-GMO lifestyle through the creation of her businesses, books, articles, videos, speeches, and media appearances.