iOS app Android app More

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Darya Pino, Ph.D

GET UPDATES FROM Darya Pino, Ph.D
 

Shocking: Sugar Content of Common Food Products

Posted: 04/08/10 09:33 AM ET

Refined sugars and high-fructose corn syrup are considered by many experts to be the biggest contributors to obesity and poor health in Western civilization.

In her book What To Eat, Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition at NYU and blogger at Food Politics suggests that any food that contains more than 15 grams of sugar per serving is closer to dessert than anything else. Though this number is arbitrary, it is a good benchmark for evaluating food products.

Obviously sugar content is not the only factor in a food's nutritional value and there are differences between naturally occurring sugars and added refined sugar, but it can be illuminating to see the relative amounts in the foods we consume.

Just for fun I looked up the sugar content of a few common foods and menu items. I hope you're as horrified as I am.

Listed values are as close to a normal serving as I could approximate. Units are listed as grams of sugar.


Sugar Content of Common Food Products

1. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut .........................................................10 g

2. Luna Bar berry almond ....................................................................................11 g

3. Froot Loops breakfast cereal 3/4 cup ............................................................12 g

4. Ben & Jerry's vanilla ice cream .....................................................................16 g

5. Starbucks caffè latte grande 16 oz ..................................................................17 g

6. Godiva 2 truffles ..............................................................................................17 g

7. Subway 6″ sweet onion teriyaki chicken sandwich ......................................17 g

8. Ms. Field's chocolate chip cookie ...................................................................19 g

9. Tropicana 100% orange juice 8 oz ..................................................................25 g

10. Yoplait original yogurt .................................................................................27 g

11. Craisins dried cranberries 1/3 cup ................................................................29 g

12. Vitamin Water 20 oz bottle ............................................................................33 g

13. Oscar Mayer Lunchables crackers, turkey & American cheese ...................36 g

14. Coca-Cola Classic 12 oz can .............................................................................39 g

15. Sprinkles Cupcake red velvet ..........................................................................45 g

16. California Pizza Kitchen Thai chicken salad ...................................................45 g

17. Jamba Juice blackberry bliss 16 oz ................................................................49 g

18. Odwalla SuperFood 450 ml bottle ..................................................................50 g

19. Starbucks caffe vanilla frappuccino grande 16 oz .........................................58 g


Take home messages:

* Foods we recognize as dessert (e.g. doughnuts, ice cream, cookies) often have far less sugar than things we consider "healthy" (e.g. juice, yogurt, dried fruit).

* Froot Loops aren't necessarily better than doughnuts.

* Energy bars are glorified candy.

* Dessert is sometimes hidden in things like sandwiches.

* Some foods marketed to children aren't much better than soda.

* A salad can have as much sugar as one of the biggest cupcakes I've ever seen.

* "Natural" foods can have lots of sugar.

* The worst offenders are drinkable.

* Starbucks is why you're fat.

Darya is a scientist, foodie and advocate of local, seasonal foods. For more healthy eating tips visit her blog Summer Tomato. You can also connect with Darya on Twitter @summertomato and Facebook.

 

Follow Darya Pino, Ph.D on Twitter: www.twitter.com/summertomato