Common Supermarket Foods that are High in Sugar – Lakanto Australia

Common Supermarket Foods that are High in Sugar

How much sugar (white, brown, honey, maple syrup, rice malt syrup etc etc) do you eat in a day?

If you don’t know the answer to this question, you might be in for a shocking revelation. Many foods have a surprising amount of sugar added to them, and those numbers can add up quickly. Read on to learn about some common foods that have a high sugar content.


Pre-made meals and quick dishes from the grocery store can be extremely high in sugar, and you would never know if you didn’t check the label. The following can vary greatly, so be sure to check the sugar content before purchasing. A lot of these items are super quick and easy to make at home, and will be far lower in sugar if you make them yourself: 

  1. Canned soups
  2. Breakfast cereals
  3. Premade freezer meals
  4. Instant oats / porridge 
  5. Smoothies / juices 
  6. Pasta sauces 
  7. Stirfry sauces 
  8. Flavoured yoghurts 


Sides and snacks can also contain large quantities of sugar. Not all brands are out to get you, some a great - it's just finding the right ones! 

  1. Granola and muesli come in many different varieties, some of which contain 12 or more grams of sugar per serving
  2. Protein bars and granola bars are similarly varied, so make sure you check the label and avoid those particularly high in sugar (some have 20 or more grams of sugar per serving)
  3. Canned fruit, especially the kind preserved in syrup, can contain 16 or more grams of sugar per serving
  4.  Canned baked beans may contain as much as 20 grams of sugar per can
  5. Dried fruit can contain anywhere from 20 to 50 grams of sugar per serving, with some of that being naturally-occurring and some being added for flavor


    For many people, considering the sugar content in the main dishes you choose is part of the daily equation, but the extras that you add on top don’t get accounted for.

    1. BBQ sauce has around 6 grams of sugar per tablespoon
    2. Tomato sauce has 4 grams of sugar per tablespoon
    3. Salad dressing can contain 3-6 grams of sugar per serving
    4. Pasta sauce can contain surprisingly high amounts of sugar. In addition to the small amount of sugar naturally found in tomatoes, extra sugar (12 or more grams per serving) is frequently added to pre-made pasta sauces, even though they are not typically thought of as even being sweet
    5. Maple syrup contains around 12-14 grams of sugar per tablespoon
    6. Honey contains large amounts of fructose (17 grams per tablespoon), which is even sweeter than glucose or sucrose. It does contain healthful antioxidants but should be consumed in moderation

    Remember, the numbers you see “per serving” or “per tablespoon” are likely not the actual amounts that you are consuming. For instance, most people eat much more than one tablespoon of BBQ sauce or maple syrup at a time - a reminder to be realistic with your serving size. 


    Beverages can be particularly tricky when it comes to sugar. Most drink options tend to be sweet, and many contain shocking amounts of sugar that consumers barely even register as they drink throughout the day.

    1. Coke contains 40 grams of sugar per 375ml can
    2. Sprite contains 32 grams of sugar in a 375ml can 
    3. Apple juice and orange juice both contain 24 grams of sugar per 250ml glass
    4. Premade iced tea typically contains around 35 grams of sugar per serving
    5. Iced coffee drinks can be particularly high in sugar, easily containing 40 or more grams of sugar per serving
    6. Chocolate milk has 24 or more grams of sugar per 8 oz serving
    7. Gatorade contains 38 grams of sugar in a 20 oz bottle
    8. Vitaminwater contains 30 grams of sugar per bottle
    9. A mojito contains 23 grams of sugar per cocktail
    10. A margarita can have as much as 45 grams of sugar per serving


    People don’t typically think of dairy products when the topic of carbs and sugar comes up, but many dairy products are shockingly high in sugar. Lactose, which is naturally found in dairy products, is a type of sugar. The problem is that a lot of companies will add a lot of extra sugar on top to sweeten them.

    1. Yoghurt, particularly yogurt labeled as “low-fat,” can be shockingly high in sugar. Some yogurts contain 45 or more grams per serving. Choose natural plain or greek yoghurt instead of the flavoured yoghurts. 


    For a few days (or weeks), consider tracking your daily sugar intake to get an idea of how much you actually consume. You might be surprised just how much sugar you’re putting into your body on a daily basis.

    Remember the RDI (recommended daily intake) is no more than 6tsp of added sugars throughout your day (about 24g).