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6 Surprising foods that are FULL of sugar

Article by boka

27th December 2017

Boka health

6 Surprising foods that are FULL of sugar

Most of us eat too much sugar. But cutting down isn’t as easy as you might think. That’s partly because many foods we think are healthy or just ‘normal’ are actually CHOCK-FULL of sugar!

Here are some common sugar-loaded foods that might surprise you…

How much sugar are we supposed to eat?

The kind of sugars we all eat too much of are known as ‘free sugars’. These are any sugars that have been added to food or drinks, or that are found naturally in honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juices.

The official advice is that adults should eat no more than 30g of free sugars a day, which is about 7 teaspoons.

Children should have even less (no more than 6 teaspoons for children aged 7 to 10 and no more than 5 if they’re aged 4 to 6 years).

Now, some foods and drinks are obviously loaded with sugar. A can of cola can have as much as 9 teaspoons of added sugar, while we all know that cakes, biscuits and chocolate bars have plenty of the sweet stuff.

Unfortunately, just skipping doughnuts and millionaire’s shortcake isn’t always the answer if we want to cut our sugar intake.

Here are some of the worst villains for sneaking in added or ‘free’ sugars…

1. Fat-free fruit yoghurts

Fat-free sounds healthy, but yoghurts are often given a big sugar injection to keep the flavour when the fat is taken out. A 150g serving of some 0% fat yogurts can contain as much as 20g – about five teaspoons – of sugar!

2. Tomato ketchup

That distinctive taste that goes so well with chips and bacon butties? Unfortunately, a lot of that is sugar. There’s typically about a teaspoon of sugar for every tablespoon of ketchup.

3. Bread

It’s processed bread – rather than the stuff you get from the baker’s or make yourself – that’s really sugary. Although it varies quite a bit, the average slice of processed bread can have as much as 3g of sugar – not far off a teaspoon a slice.

4. Pasta sauces

They seem savoury and, being full of tomatoes, reasonably healthy. But a 500g jar of one leading brand bolognese sauce contains about 6 and a half teaspoons of sugar – almost the entire daily recommended allowance for an adult. Watch out for ready meals too – they’re often brimming with sugar.

5. Fruit juices

Unlike free or added sugars, we don’t need to worry about cutting down on the sugars naturally occurring in whole fruit. But the juicing process removes the fibre, so the sugar is classed as the bad ‘added sugar’. 200ml of premium brand smooth orange juice contains about 3 and a half teaspoons of it.

6. ‘Healthy’ cereal and fruit snack bars

Some well-known processed fruit bars contain up to 18g of sugar per bar; while some cereal bars that look so healthy and ‘natural’ have more sugar than a two-finger KitKat and more calories than a bag of Malteasers!

Our advice is: if they don’t want to display their nutritional information clearly on the packet, then you should beware – there’s a good chance that inside there’s MUCH more sugar than you’d expect.


Fortunately, Boka bars take all that worry away. Our delicious cereal bars have FOUR GREEN TRAFFIC LIGHTS, meaning they’re low in sugar (as well as other bad things) and you can safely enjoy one knowing you’re good to go!