Have you ever fallen into the trap of grabbing a “healthy” snack, only to find it’s really a sugar bomb in disguise? I think everyone has fallen into this trap at some point…including me. Manufacturers are great at using packaging to trick our brains into thinking a food may be good or healthy for us. I know you’ve probably seen the more neutral-toned packages and terms like “natural” being used on food packaging. These terms can be very deceiving.
I want to let you in on a few foods I’ve seen clients deem healthy, only to discover they have as much or more sugar than some popular sweet treats!
So many people don’t realize yogurt can be a sugar bomb in disguise.
Let’s take a look at 1 cup from one of my favorite brands…Stonyfield.
- Low-Fat Plain: 12g of sugar
- Low-Fat Vanilla: 22 g of sugar
- Blueberry Fruit on the Bottom: 22.5 g of sugar
Yes, yogurt does have a little protein, but not much in comparison to the amount of sugar you’ll be ingesting.
If you’re going to eat yogurt, I highly recommend eating PLAIN Greek yogurt. (Not fruit on the bottom like the Chobani in the picture…it still has 14g sugar in 5.3 oz!) Plain Greek yogurt is much higher in protein and
You also need to beware of low-sugar, no-sugar, “sugar-free” yogurts. These typically have artificial sweeteners added to them.
2. Fruit Juice
I remember believing apple juice was a healthy option for my kids (Yes, I diluted it, but it still wasn’t healthy). The thing about fruit juice is
Are you aware 1—8 oz glass of apple juice (even organic and unfiltered) has 20-30g of sugar? One package of Reese’s cups
3. Protein Bars
Next up are the ever so popular protein bars. Bars like this ProMax Protein Bar are a sugar bomb in disguise, and I even compare them to a candy bar. This specific “protein” bar contains 20g of sugar. After the first ingredient (a mixture of proteins), the next 3 ingredients are some form of sugar!
How does this protein bar compare to a candy bar? Well, a Snickers contains 27g of sugar, Twix (my favorite of all time) contains 28g of sugar, and a Butterfinger contains 28g of sugar. So, you can easily see why I say protein bars may just be a sugar bomb in diguise.
When choosing a protein bar, you need to be very diligent. Be sure to look for whole food ingredients, no artificial sweeteners (look for stevia or
4. Granola and Granola Bars
Granola (and granola bars) is another food that is a big deceiver. Maybe because in the past it’s been touted as a health food? I’m not really sure. Not that granola and granola bars can’t be healthy. They usually DO consist of healthy foods. When you see these foods, you may think…oatmeal is healthy, nuts/seeds are healthy, honey is healthy, and probably some of the other ingredients too.
However, honey (and lots of it) is usually the binder for granola and granola bars. Even though honey can be healthy, it’s still sugar and impacts your blood sugar. Also, these foods usually contain a lot of fat (because of lots of nuts and seeds) and very little protein for such a small portion.
Thankfully, there are more companies offering granola with lower sugar, however, the bars still tend to be higher in sugar.
If you feel you need granola, make your own, with stevia and cinnamon as the sweeteners.
5. Commercial Smoothies
Smoothies are all the rage, but when you choose a commercial smoothie, whether
While fruit is good for you, it’s easy to go overboard in regards to the sugar content. You may notice companies will even add a sweetener, like honey, in addition to the fruit. Something else commonly found in these types of smoothies is they have very little protein in comparison to the sugar content. Don’t be fooled by the smoothie boasting of 30 grams of protein because it usually contains more sugar than that. Some brands have as much sugar as a tall Starbucks Frappuccino, so don’t be deceived! This specific Bolthouse Farms Chocolate Protein Plus Smoothie contains 2 servings, which equals 410 calories, 51 g of sugar & 31g of protein.
If you’re wanting a smoothie, a better option is to make one yourself. Plus, you’ll get a more balanced nutritious smoothie (aka meal replacement) and save yourself a lot of money! If you need some inspiration for healthy and great tasting smoothies, check out THIS BLOG POST. You won’t be let down!
Oh, the ever lovely oatmeal! Don’t get me wrong. Oatmeal is a healthy food, for most people, but it’s what’s in the oatmeal that’s the problem. The yummy sugary flavored or fruit-filled options are the ones that can get you into trouble. You know the ones I’m talking about. The peaches & cream, apples and cinnamon, maple and brown sugar. Yes, the ones that taste
While these are yummy, they’re also loaded with sugar. Those small little packs, that are so convenient, have about 12 g of sugar in them. Plus, they won’t be as filling as your less processed oats.
Don’t be fooled by lower sugar varieties either. Most of the time, companies replace sugar (whatever form they choose) with artificial sweeteners, and those, my dear, are trouble! (In case you didn’t know, artificial sweeteners can cause a lot of issues. You can read more HERE and HERE.)
A better option
7. Fruit & Nut Bars (Trail Mix Bars)
The last sugar bomb in disguise I want to talk about is fruit and nut bars. I admit, they kinda fall into the same category as granola bars.
So many people believe they are a healthy option because they have nuts (healthy), fruit (healthy), and honey (healthy). Again, like granola bars, these tiny bars are usually calorie dense and have a lot of sugar in comparison to the size of the bar. Another ingredient found in fruit and nut bars that can drive up the sugar content is dried fruit. Don’t overlook the sweeteners used in them either. Honey and maple sugar may be natural, but your body won’t be able to tell the difference when you eat it. This specific Kind bar contains 3 forms of sugar…honey, glucose sugar, and sugar!
A better option is
There are a lot of healthy foods that are just a sugar bomb in disguise. Don’t be fooled into thinking a food is healthy because it contains healthy ingredients.
Read your labels. Check to see where sugar is in the ingredients list, how many forms of sugar are used, and how much sugar is in 1 serving. Beware because the food may have more than one serving!
Your best bet is to stick to food closest to its natural state. Real food has more health benefits and won’t send your blood sugar soaring…only to crash and create more cravings.
Are you confused by all the foods that do or don’t support your weight loss? Set up a Free Weight Loss Strategy Session HERE and we’ll chat about a plan.