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Hidden Sugars – The Worst Foods and Drinks

It is no secret that sugar is damaging to our teeth, but did you know sugars lurk in many unexpected places? Below you will find our guide to hidden sugars – the worst foods and drinks. You may be shocked after reading how much sugar you are consuming unknowingly.

Salad Dressing

Salad is healthy, right? Yes, vegetables are good for us, especially leafy greens! However, when we take those vegetables and load them up with sugar without realizing it, we are turning something very good for the body into something not so good. Just 2 tablespoons of certain dressings include 5-7 grams of added sugar. Keep in mind it is recommended to have no more than 25 grams of added sugar daily. To avoid the sugar opt for a homemade vinegar-based dressing.


You may have read our article on the oral benefits of yogurt, so you know that yogurt can be good for your smile, but there can be a lot of hidden sugar…up to 17-33 grams per 8 ounce serving. That’s a lot of sugar! Instead of choosing those dessert flavored yogurt cups choose the plain yogurt and top it with some fresh berries for a sweet and sour treat with no added sugar.

Instant Oatmeal

Again, another seemingly healthy option as oatmeal is loaded with health benefits. However, fruit-flavored instant oatmeals can pack in 10-15 grams of sugar per serving. The better option is to make some old fashioned oats or steel-cut oats and jazz up your bowl of oatmeal with fresh berries and nuts. If you need something quick, select the plain instant oatmeal and top it with a few apple slices.

Pasta Sauce

This one is sneaky, as our pasta sauce should just be tomatoes right? Unfortunately not. Many popular pasta sauces can include up to 12 grams of sugar per serving. This can be avoided by making your own or reading ingredient labels before buying.

Learn to Read Ingredient Labels

Hidden sugars can be avoided by learning to read the ingredient labels before buying products. These labels are on all packaged foods and beverages. On your packaged items you will find a Nutrition Facts label that lists the nutritional contents of the item. Somewhere near this you also see an Ingredients List which lists everything in that product.

Tips for Reading the Labels:

Check how big a serving is or how many servings are in the package – as much of the time we tend to eat more than one serving.

Find the grams of sugar per serving – especially note if it states how many grams of added sugar are in that product (shown in the image above). Not all products will list added sugars, but it’s important to try and select foods with very little added sugar.

On the Ingredient List be mindful of the first three ingredients – these are generally the highest content in that item. For example, if sugar is listed in the first three ingredients you should probably leave it on the shelf.