9 ‘Diet’ Foods That Are Secretly Ruining Your Sugar Intake

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By Karmen
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Uncover the hidden sugar in your ‘diet’ foods. Learn about nine supposedly healthy options that are secretly loaded with sugar, like smoothies, fruit juices, and granola.

Toast Of Peanut Butter And Bowl Of Granola On A Kitchen Countertop

When it comes to eating healthy, we all know that sugar is a big no-no. But what if I told you that some of the ‘diet’ foods you’re eating are secretly loading you up with sugar?

Shocking, right?

We often trust the labels that scream ‘low-fat’ or ‘diet’, thinking we’re making a smart choice. But the truth is, many of these foods are hiding a sweet secret. They’re packed with sugar, which is why it’s so important to understand what’s really in the foods we eat, especially those marketed as healthy.

Here are nine foods that aren’t actually as healthy as they sound.

Peanut Butter

Let’s start with a favorite: peanut butter.

Now, don’t get me wrong, peanut butter can be a great source of protein and healthy fats. But, and this is a big but, not all peanut butters are created equal. Many brands sneak in added sugars and hydrogenated oils, turning this healthy treat into a sugar-loaded trap.

So, the next time you reach for that jar of peanut butter, check the label. Are there added sugars? If so, it might be best to put it back on the shelf.

Low-Fat Yogurts

Moving on to another ‘diet’ food: low-fat yogurts.

It sounds healthy, right? The label ‘low-fat’ must mean it’s good for you.

Well, not so fast.

Many low-fat yogurts are loaded with added sugars to make up for the lack of fat. This means that while you’re thinking you’re making a healthy choice, you’re actually consuming a lot of sugar.

The next time you’re in the dairy aisle, take a moment to check the sugar content on your favorite low-fat yogurt. You might be surprised by what you find.

Bowl Granola And Yogurt

Canned Soups

And what about canned soups? These convenient meal options can also be a hidden source of sugar, especially the tomato-based ones.

Tomatoes are naturally high in sugar, and many soup manufacturers add even more to balance the acidity and enhance the flavor.

So, while a can of tomato soup might seem like a healthy choice, it could actually be adding to your daily sugar intake.


Smoothies are usually considered a healthier drink choice than sodas and fruit juices, but did you know that store-bought smoothies can be loaded with sugar? This is especially true for those with added sweeteners or fruit purees.

And while making your own smoothies at home can be a healthier choice, it’s important to be mindful of the ingredients you’re using. Remember, even natural sugars from fruit can add up quickly.

The next time you’re craving a smoothie, consider making your own and controlling the ingredients and sugar content.

Fruit Juice

While it might seem like a healthy choice, even those labeled as ‘100% fruit juice’ can be loaded with sugar. In fact, some fruit juices can have sugar levels similar to sugary soft drinks! This is because the sugar in fruit becomes concentrated when it’s turned into juice.

Always check the label for sugar content in the juice before you buy and consume it in small doses only.

Granola and Trail Mix

Granola and trail mix can be healthy snacks as they contain ingredients like oats, dried fruits, nuts, and seeds. The problem is, they often come with a hefty dose of added sugars and high calorie counts.

Many brands add sugar to make their products more palatable, turning what could be a healthy snack into a sugar-laden treat.

Before you grab that bag of granola or a handful of trail mix at the office, check the label. Look for products with no added sugars and a low calorie count.

Plate Grilled Meats With Sauces On The Side

BBQ Sauce and Ketchup

We often slather these two sauces onto our foods without a second thought, but did you know they can be a hidden source of sugar?

Many brands of BBQ sauce and ketchup contain high amounts of added sugars, turning your healthy grilled chicken or veggie burger into a sugar bomb.

The next time you’re at the grocery store, take a moment to check the labels on your favorite condiments. You might be shocked by the amount of sugar you find.

Salad Dressings

Many of us think that opting for low-fat or fat-free versions of our favorite salad dressings is a healthier choice. However, these are another so-called diet food that can be high in added sugars.

Manufacturers add sugar to these dressings to enhance the flavor that’s lost when fat is removed. So, while you might be saving on calories from fat, you could be adding to your sugar intake.

The next time you’re buying salad dressing, take a moment to examine the label, and leave the overly sugary ones at the store.


As you can see from out list, it’s crucial to be aware of the hidden sugars in ‘diet’ foods. While these foods might seem like healthier choices, they can often contribute to an increased sugar intake.

Reading nutrition labels is key to making informed food choices. Look for products with no added sugars and a low calorie count.

By being mindful of what you’re consuming, you can take control of your diet and make healthier choices. Remember, it’s not just about reducing calories; it’s also about reducing sugar.


Karmen is a health and wellness enthusiast from Tartu, Estonia who loves to write about food and nutrition. She got her nutrition counseling certificate in 2016. Karmen shares her partner's passion for cooking and is always looking for ways to make recipes healthier (and meat-free). She's also interested in leading a natural lifestyle and is taking baby steps to a cleaner and more eco-friendly life.

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