Top 10 Foods Highest in Sugar (To Limit or Avoid)

Top 10 Foods Highest in Sugar (To Limit or Avoid)

Sugars are a form of carbohydrate found in a variety of foods, including fruits and vegetables. Since the dawn of agriculture and the industrial age consumption of sugar has increased rapidly, leading to an epidemic of obesity and other illnesses. All the sugar the body needs can be found in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes. There is no need to consume refined sugars. Like carbohydrates, excessive consumption of sugars can lead to type II diabetes, and cancer. Below is a list of high sugar foods, where sugar is defined as monosaccharides (galactose, glucose, and fructose) and disaccharides (sucrose, lactose, and maltose). For more see the extended list of sugar rich foods to avoid, and the article of high carb foods. All these foods should be limited or avoided.
  • #1: Sugars, Syrups & Sweeteners (Granulated Sugar)
    Up to 100% Sugar
    Sugar 100g Per teaspoon (4g)Percent Sugar
    99.8g 4g100%
    Other Sugars, Syrups & Sweeteners High in Sugar (Percent Sugar): Brown Sugar (97%), Fructose (93%), Saccharin Sweetener & Maple Sugar (85%), Honey (82%), Aspartame (Equal) Sweetener (81%), Sucralose (Splenda) Sweetener (80%), High-Fructose Corn-Syrup (76%), Molasses (75%), Agave Syrup & Maple Syrup (68%), Pancake Syrups (42-68%), and Canadian Maple Syrup (60%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.


  • #2: Drink Powders & Soft Drinks (Instant Sweetened Lemon Tea)
    Up to 95% Sugar
    Sugar 100g Per serving (23g)Percent Sugar
    95.3g 21.9g95%
    Other Drink Powders & Drinks High in Sugar (Percent Sugar): Lemonade Powder (95%), Orange Breakfast Drink (92%), Chocolate Milk Drink (84%), Gatorade Mix (81%), Malted Chocolate Drink Mix (67%), Cocoa Mix Powder (66%), Instant Coffee with Whitener, Reduced-Sugar (59%), Instant Mocha Coffee (58%), Pink Lemonade Concentrate (46%), Fruit Drink (16%), Cream Soda & Energy Drink (13%), Cola, Root Beer & Orange Drink (11%), and Lemon Ice Tea & Lemon-Lime Soda (10%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.


  • #3: Candies & Nougat (Almond Nougat)
    Up to 93% Sugar
    Sugar 100g Per piece (14g)Percent Sugar
    83.3g 11.7g83%
    Other Candies & Nougat High in Sugar (Percent Sugar): Low Calorie Hard Candies (93%), Butterscotch (81%), Vanilla Fudge (80%), Skittles (76%), Chocolate Fudge (73%), Chocolate Coated Fondant (71%), Jelly Beans & Low Calorie Gum Drops (70%), Taffy (69%), High Vitamin C Fruit Snacks (68%), After Eight Mints (67%), Chewing Gum & Caramels (66%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.


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  • #4: Dried Fruit (Apples)
    Up to 81% Sugar
    Sugar 100g Per cup (60g)Percent Sugar
    81.1g 48.7g81%
    Other Dried Fruit High in Sugar (Percent Sugar): Blueberries, sweetened (68%), Currants, Dates & Sweetened Cherries (67%), Cranberries, sweetened (65%), Pears (62%), Raisins (59%), Apricots (53%), Figs (48%), Bananas (47%), Peaches (42%), and Prunes (38%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.


  • #5: Cookies, Cakes & Pies (Macaroons)
    Up to 71% Sugar
    Sugar 100g Per cookie (24g)Percent Sugar
    70.7g 17g71%
    Other Cookies, Cakes & Pies High in Sugar (Percent Sugar): Chocolate Sandwich Cookies (61%), White Cake with Coconut Frosting (57%), Soft Raisin Cookies (48%), Fortune Cookies & Chocolate Covered Marshmallows (45%), Cream-Filled Wafers & Coffee Cake (43%), Oatmeal Cookies & Yellow Cake, with Vanilla Frosting (42%), Chocolate Cake (40%), Diet Chocolate Chip Cookies (40%), Reduced Fat Chocolate Brownies (39%), Sugar Cookies (38%), Chocolate Chip Cookies & Sponge Cake (37%), Coconut Cream Pie & Boston Cream Pie (36%), Doughnuts, glazed (35%), Blueberry Muffins 933%), Reduced-Fat Pie Crust (30%), Mince Pies (28%), and Pecan Pie (25%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.


  • #6: Jams, Preserves & Spreads (Marmalade)
    Up to 60% Sugar
    Sugar 100g Per tablespoon (20g)Percent Sugar
    60g 12g60%
    Other Jams, Preserves & Spreads High in Sugar (Percent Sugar): Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread (54%), Most Jams (49%), Apricot Jam (43%), Diet Jam (38%), Chunky Peanut Butter (11%), and Smooth Peanut Butter (10%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.


  • #7: Cereals (Kellogg’s Honey Smacks)
    Up to 56% Sugar
    Sugar 100g Per serving (27g)Percent Sugar
    56.2g 15.2g56%
    Other Cereals High in Sugar (Percent Sugar): Marshmallow Froot Loops (50%), Berry Colossal Crunch (44%), Cinnabon (42%), Frosted Rice Crispies (40%), Cocoa Crispies (39%), Frosted Flakes (38%), Cocoa Puffs (37%), Lucky Charms (36%), Golden Grahams (35%), Raisin Bran (34%), Low Fat Fruit Granola & Honey Nut Cheerios (33%), Special K Fruit & Yogurt (32%), Fruit & Nut Muesli (31%), Special K Red Berries (30%), Low Fat Granola (28%), Reduced Sugar Frosted Flakes & All-Bran (27%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.


  • #8: Fruit Canned in Syrup (Papaya)
    Up to 52% Sugar
    Sugar 100g Per piece (39g)Percent Sugar
    52.2g 20.4g52%
    Other Canned Fruit High in Sugar (Percent Sugar): Maraschino Cherries (39%), Plums, Sour Red Cherries & Strawberries (22%), Figs (21%), Blueberries, Raspberries, Apricots & Blackberries (20%), Grapes & Peaches (19%), Fruit Salad (18%), Fruit Cocktail & Pineapple (17%), Pears, Sweet Cherries (16%), and Mandarin Segments (15%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.


  • #9: Sauces & Instant Gravies (Barbeque Sauce)
    Up to 38% Sugar
    Sugar 100g Per tablespoon (17g)Percent Sugar
    33.2g 5.7g33%
    Other Sauces & Instant Gravies High in Sugar (Percent Sugar): Cranberry Sauce (38%), Pickle Relish (29%), Hoisin Sauce (27%), Pork Gravy Powder (25%), Instant Beef Gravy (24%), Peanut Sauce (19%), Sweet & Sour Sauce (19%), Teriyaki Sauce (14%), Cocktail Sauce (12%), Tomato Chili Sauce (11%), Pasta Sauces (6-10%), Cheese Sauce Mix, Steak Sauce & Worcestershire Sauce (10%), Instant Turkey Gravy (7%), Salsa (4-6%), and Tartar Sauce (4%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.


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  • #10: Ice Cream, Frozen Yogurt & Milk Shakes (Mint Choc Chip, Light)
    Up to 25% Sugar
    Sugar 100g Per 1/2 cup (68g)Percent Sugar
    25.4g 17.3g25%
    Other Ice Creams, Frozen Yogurts & Milk Shakes High in Sugar (Percent Sugar): Chocolate Ice Cream & Light Chocolate Ice Cream (25%), Frozen Vanilla Soft-Serve Yogurt (24%), Light Vanilla Ice Cream (22%), Thick Chocolate Milk Shake, Vanilla Ice Cream & Fat Free Vanilla Ice Cream (21%), 98% Fat Free Chocolate Ice Cream (20%), Chocolate Frozen Yogurt (19%), Chocolate Covered Ice Cream Bar & Thick Vanilla Milk Shake (18%), Non-Fat, No Sugar Frozen Yogurt (13%), Fat-Free, No Sugar Ice Cream (9%), Low Carb Vanilla Ice Cream (6%) . Click to see complete nutrition facts.





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Author Info


Daisy Whitbread BSc (Hons) MSc DipION is a fully qualified nutritionist also trained in nutritional therapy. After her undergraduate degree in Anatomy and Physiology, she studied a Masters degree in Nutrition at King's College, London. She then studied Nutritional Therapy for three years at The Institute of Optimum Nutrition. Read more...