Food Sugar Content Chart in Teaspoons, Cereals, Snacks, Fruit, Foods

A spoon full of sugar may make the medicine go down, but it certainly doesn’t help weight loss and blood sugar levels.

As people try to cut down on sugar and beat the cravings for sugar and addition for sugar and corn syrup they face a dilemma – How much sugar is in various types of food?

Seeing it in grams on the food labels does not help very much, as it is hard to visualize what are high, low or moderate levels.

There is strong evidence that processed foods, especially those with added sugar and fat are a major cause of the obesity epidemic that is raging throughout the world with no sign of abatement.

Most people don’t understand the concept of a daily allowance for calories sugar or fat. It is hard to visualize what this means and what various foods contain in terms of calories, food and fat.

This is why having ‘traffic lights’ systems and ‘Star’ ratings and other visual symbols on food labels is so important.

What helps to understand how much sugar is in foods of various types is to show it in teaspoons of sugar, granulated sugar.

This article has collected all the information on sugar contents of food are shows it in chart with teaspoons of sugar equivalents. For this project the glucose, fructose and other natural sugars have all been converted to equivalent amounts of sucrose.

Some of these sugars occur naturally in foods and some of them are added. This matters very little, it is the total count of sugar that matters. The amounts shown are equivalent to the total sugar content shown on food labels.

Total carbohydrate includes starch and lactose which are not readily available sugars like glucose and sucrose and fructose. The sugar content of foods is closely related to its Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load.

Brown Sugar Crystals
Brown Sugar Crystals | Source
A single dessert can contain more than your recommended daily allowance for added sugar in food.
A single dessert can contain more than your recommended daily allowance for added sugar in food. | Source
How many spoonfulls of sugar are in the food we eat?
How many spoonfulls of sugar are in the food we eat? | Source
Some foods are obviously high in sugar.
Some foods are obviously high in sugar. | Source

How Much Sugar Should We Eat in a Day? Why Does it Matter?

Sugar is a very simple form of carbohydrate, with three main types glucose, sucrose and fructose. Lactose found in milk products is also a relatively simple sugar. Sugars occur in the form of monosaccharides (one sugar unit) or disaccharides (two sugar units).

  • Glucose, Fructose and Galactose and are monosaccharides,
  • Sucrose, Lactose and Maltose are disaccharides. Sucrose, commonly known as table sugar, consists of one molecule of fructose and one of glucose.
  • Starches are polysaccharides, made from more than two sugar units.

The body can only directly absorb monosaccharides such as glucose and fructose, and not the more complex sugar. Sucrose processing in the body does not start until the sugar reaches the small intestine, where the bond between the glucose and fructose molecules is severed using the enzyme sucrase. Blood from the small intestine passes through the liver. The blood sugar, mostly in the form of glucose is supplied via the blood to all the cells in all the tissues in the body

Glucose not immediately used for energy is converted via glycogenesis into the molecule glycogen. This is the body’s temporary energy store, mostly in the liver and muscles. Glycogen can be quickly converted back into glucose as needed when there is extra demands for energy or the blood sugar levels drop.. When the glycogen stores are fully charged up to capacity any excess blood sugar is converted to fat and other molecules. Fructose, like glucose is not stored in the body.

In a sense pure sugar is the fuel that keeps the body functioning, and is the energy source for most activities such as walking and running. Eating sugar is like putting petrol into your car. It is all about energy. But consuming too much sugar can be bad for you as most excess is converted to fat after the glycogen stores ate topped up. Excess sugar consumption can lead to many health problems particularly becoming overweight or obese

How Much Added Sugar Should be Consumed Daily.

The American Heart Association (AHA) currently recommends that men consume no more than 150 calories from added sugar per day, and women 100 calories.

One teaspoon of sugar contains about 4.2 g of sugar which yields 16 calories.

So the recommendation translates to about:

  • 10 teaspoons of added sugar a day for men and
  • 7 teaspoons of sugar for women.
  • Other advice is not to consume more than 13 teaspoons of sugar a day.

Teaspoons of Sugar in Common Foods and Drinks

Listed below are the sugar contents in teaspoons of many common foods and beverages. The serving sizes are shown and the foods in the list are shown from lowest sugar at the top and highest at the bottom. Many of the results may surprise and even shock you. The lowest and highest four foods in each category are shown below:

Teaspoons of Sugar in Confectionery

Highest

  • Marshmallows (100g) - 14.5 teaspoons of sugar
  • Milk chocolate bar (44g) - 5.75 teaspoons of sugar
  • Snickers bar (57g) - 7 teaspoons of sugar
  • Milky Way bar (58g) - 8.5 teaspoons of sugar
  • Dove chocolate bar (37g) - 5 teaspoons of sugar
  • Starburst packet (45 grams) - 5.5 teaspoons of sugar

Lowest (note small servings)

  • Liquorice, 1 strip - 1 teaspoons of sugar
  • Caramel 1 piece (10g) - 1.7 teaspoons of sugar
  • Chocolate mint 1 piece - 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • Hard-boiled sweets, 3 sweets - 2 teaspoons of sugar

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Teaspoons of Sugar in Beverages

Highest

  • Fruit juice drink, orange, 1 glass – 7 teaspoons of sugar
  • Red Bull (one can) - 7.5 teaspoons of sugar
  • Cola, 11 fl. oz. – 9 teaspoons of sugar
  • Soft drink, 1 can – 10 teaspoons of sugar
  • Flavoured milk, 300 ml carton – 5.5 teaspoons of sugar

Lowest

  • Milk, plain, 1 cup – 0 teaspoons of sugar
  • Lemonade (Diet); 100g Serve - 0.8 teaspoons of sugar
  • Lucozade Sport; 100g Serve – 0.8 teaspoons of sugar
  • Cranberry Juice; 100g Serve - 2.8 teaspoons of sugar
  • Orange squash (one glass) – 2.3 teaspoons of sugar

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Teaspoons of Sugar in Breakfast Cereals

Highest (1 bowl)

  • Frosted Flakes - 8.9 teaspoons of sugar
  • Lucky Charms – 9 teaspoons of sugar
  • Cocoa Puffs - 9.3 teaspoons of sugar
  • Cocoa Krispies - 9.6 teaspoons of sugar
  • Froot Loops - 10.6 teaspoons of sugar
  • Honey Smacks – 14 teaspoons of sugar

Lowest (1 bowl)

  • Corn Flakes – 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • Cheerios - 1.1 teaspoon of sugar
  • Rice Chex - 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • Rice Krispies - 2.5 teaspoons of sugar
  • Sultana Bran - 2.5 teaspoons of sugar

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Teaspoons of Sugar in Cookies, Cakes, Desserts

Highest

  • Cake, frosted, 1/16 average - 6 teaspoons of sugar
  • Angel food cake 4 oz piece - 7 teaspoons of sugar
  • Chocolate cake, iced 4 oz piece - 10 teaspoons of sugar
  • Scones - Fruit; 100g Serve – 5.3 teaspoons of sugar
  • Chocolate Fudge Cake; 100g Serve - 7.2 teaspoons of sugar
  • Madeira Cake; 100g Serve – 7.3 teaspoons of sugar
  • Sponge Cake; 100g Serve - 8.6 teaspoons of sugar
  • Country Slice; 100g Serve – 9.9 teaspoons of sugar
  • Ice Cream Sauce; 100g Serve – 15.9 teaspoons of sugar

Lowest

  • Bread, 1 slice – 0 teaspoon of sugar
  • Muffin, 1 medium - 0 teaspoon of sugar
  • Banana Cake 4 oz piece - 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • Doughnut, 1 medium - 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • Brownie, no icing 1 oz piece - 4 teaspoons of sugar
  • Pound cake, 1 slice – 4 teaspoons of sugar
  • Danish pastry, 1 slice - 4 teaspoons of sugar
  • Milk Arrowroot, 2 biscuits - 0.5 teaspoons of sugar
  • Savoury Biscuit; 100g Serve - 1.3 teaspoons of sugar
  • Oatmeal cookie 1 cookie - 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • Fig Newtons Biscuit 2 cookies - 3 teaspoons of sugar
  • Gingersnaps Biscuit 1 cookie - 4 teaspoons of sugar

Teaspoons of Sugar in One Bowl of Common Breakfast Cereals

Type
Food (1 bowl)
Equivalent Spoonfuls of Sugar (4.2 g per spoonful white granular sugar)
Breakfast Cereal
Shredded Wheat
0.1
Breakfast Cereal
Corn Flakes, 1 bowl
0.5
Breakfast Cereal
Cheerios
1.1
Breakfast Cereal
Rice Chex
2
Breakfast Cereal
Corn Flakes
2.4
Breakfast Cereal
Rice Krispies
2.5
Breakfast Cereal
Sultana Bran, 1 bowl
2.5
Breakfast Cereal
Wheat Chex
2.6
Breakfast Cereal
Corn Chex
2.8
Breakfast Cereal
Fruit Loops, 1 bowl
3
Breakfast Cereal
Special K
3
Breakfast Cereal
Muesli, 1 bowl
3
Breakfast Cereal
Wheaties
3.8
Breakfast Cereal
Banana Nut Crunch
4.7
Breakfast Cereal
Alpen
5
Breakfast Cereal
Raisin Bran
7.8
Breakfast Cereal
Trix
8
Breakfast Cereal
Honey Nut Cheerios
8.3
Breakfast Cereal
Cocoa Pebbles
8.6
Breakfast Cereal
Cookie Crisp
8.7
Breakfast Cereal
Golden Grahams
8.8
Breakfast Cereal
Frosted Flakes
8.9
Breakfast Cereal
Reese's Puffs
8.9
Breakfast Cereal
Lucky Charms
9
Breakfast Cereal
Cocoa Puffs
9.3
Breakfast Cereal
Cocoa Krispies
9.6
Breakfast Cereal
Froot Loops
10.6
Breakfast Cereal
Honey Smacks
14

Teaspoons of Sugar in Baked Goods, Dairy, Biscuits (Cookies) and Desserts

Type
Food (serving)
Equivalent Spoonfuls of Sugar (4.2 g per spoonful white granular sugar)
Baked Goods
Bread, 1 slice
0
Baked Goods
Muffin, 1 medium
1
Baked Goods
Danish pasty, 1 medium
1
Baked Goods
Doughnut, 1
1.5
Baked Goods
Muesli bar, fruit, 1 bar
1.5
Baked Goods
Banana Cake 4 oz piece
2
Baked Goods
Cheesecake 4 oz piece
2
Baked Goods
Chocolate chip cookie 1 cookie
2
Baked Goods
Kaya bun, 1 medium
2
Baked Goods
Doughnut, 1 medium
2
Baked Goods
Muffin, 1
3
Baked Goods
Brownie, no icing 1 oz piece
4
Baked Goods
Pound cake, 1 slice
4
Baked Goods
Danish pastry, 1
4
Baked Goods
Glazed doughnut 1 doughnut
4.5
Baked Goods
Coffee cake 4 oz piece
5
Baked Goods
Cupcake, iced 4 oz piece
6
Baked Goods
Cake, frosted, 1/16 average
6
Baked Goods
Angel food cake 4 oz piece
7
Baked Goods
Chocolate cake, iced 4 oz piece
10
Biscuits
Milk Arrowroot, 2 biscuits
0.5
Biscuits
Savoury; 100g Serve
1.3
Biscuits
Oatmeal cookie 1 cookie
2
Biscuits
Fig Newtons 2 cookies
2
Biscuits
Gingersnaps 1 cookie
3
Biscuits
Shortcake; 100g Serve
3.8
Biscuits
Rich Tea Biscuits; 100g Serve
4.8
Biscuits
Chocolate Digestive; 100g Serve
7
Biscuits
Custard Cream Biscuits; 100g Serve
7.1
Biscuits
Gingernuts; 100g Serve
7.4
Biscuits
Chocolate Wafer-Fully coated; 100g Serve
8.3
Biscuits
Jaffa Cakes; 100g Serve
12.4
Dairy
Lowfat yogurt, unsweetened, 6 oz.
0
Dairy
Yoghurt, fruit, 200g tub
6
Dairy
Lowfat yogurt, fruit, 6 oz.
7
Dairy
Bandong
8
Dairy
Chocolate shake, 10 fl. oz.
9
Dessert
Ice-cream, 1 scoop
2.5
Dessert
Swiss roll (1 roll)
2.5
Dessert
Mango pudding
3
Dessert
carrot cake (one slice)
3
Dessert
Carrot cake (1 medium slice)
3
Dessert
Chocolate mousse (1 medium portion)
3
Dessert
Cornetto (1 cone)
3
Dessert
Ice cream (1 scoop)
3
Dessert
Custard (1 medium portion)
3.25
Dessert
Donut (1 jam doughnut)
3.5
Dessert
Fruit pie (1 medium portion)
3.5
Dessert
Rice pudding (1 portion)
3.75
Dessert
Gelatin dessert, 1/2 cup
4
Dessert
Banoffee pie (1 medium portion)
4.25
Dessert
Muffin (one chocolate chip muffin)
4.75
Dessert
Fruit cake (1 medium slice)
5
Dessert
Paddle Pop, 1
5.5
Dessert
Sponge cake (1 medium slice)
5.5
Desserts
Instant Custard; 100g Serve
1.6
Desserts
Creamed Rice Pudding; 100g Serve
2.1
Desserts
Jelly; 100g Serve
3.6
Desserts
Ice Cream-vanilla; 100g Serve
5
Desserts
Scones - Fruit; 100g Serve
5.3
Desserts
Chocolate Fudge Cake; 100g Serve
7.2
Desserts
Madeira Cake; 100g Serve
7.3
Desserts
Sponge Cake; 100g Serve
8.6
Desserts
Country Slice; 100g Serve
9.9
Desserts
Instant Dessert Powder; 100g Serve
12.8
Desserts
Ice Cream Sauce; 100g Serve
15.9

Teaspoons of Sugar in Confectionery

Type
Food (serving)
Equivalent Spoonfuls of Sugar (4.2 g per spoonful white granular sugar)
Confectionery
Liquorice, 1 strip
1
Confectionery
Caramel piece (10g)
1.7
Confectionery
Chocolate mint 1 piece
2
Confectionery
Hard-boiled sweets, 3
2
Confectionery
Twix bar
2.8
Confectionery
Chocolate bar, 1 oz.
3
Confectionery
Tim Tarn, 2 biscuits
3.5
Confectionery
Milk chocolate, 6 squares
4
Confectionery
Dove chocolate bar (37g)
5
Confectionery
Starburst packet (45 grams)
5.5
Confectionery
Milk chocolate bar (44g)
5.8
Confectionery
M&Ms packet (45 grams)
5.8
Confectionery
Butterfinger bar (60g)
6.9
Confectionery
Snickers bar (57g)
7
Confectionery
Milky Way bar (58g)
8.5
Confectionery
Mars Bar, 1 bar
8.5
Confectionery
Toffees; 100g Serve
8.9
Confectionery
Plain Chocolate; 100g Serve
11.1
Confectionery
Kit Kat; 100g Serve
11.4
Confectionery
Boiled sweets bag (100 grams)
11.5
Confectionery
Milk Chocolate; 100g Serve
12.6
Confectionery
Snickers Bar; 100g Serve
13
Confectionery
Fruit Pastilles; 100g Serve
13.3
Confectionery
Boiled Sweets; 100g Serve
13.4
Confectionery
Pepper Mints; 100g Serve
13.5
Confectionery
Bounty 2 Bar Pack; 100g Serve
13.8
Confectionery
Marshmallows (100g)
14.5
Confectionery
Chrunchie; 100g Serve
14.7
Confectionery
Liquorice Allsorts; 100g Serve
14.7
Confectionery
Twix 2 Bar Pack; 100g Serve
15.4
Confectionery
Mars Bar; 100g Serve
16.2
Confectionery
Milky Way 2 Bar Pack; 100g Serve
17.2
Confectionery
Chocolate candy bar 1 bar
4.5

Teaspoons of Sugar in Common Beverages

Type
Food (serving)
Equivalent Spoonfuls of Sugar (4.2 g per spoonful white granular sugar)
Beverages
Milk, plain, 1 cup
0
Beverages
Lemonade; 100g Serve
0.8
Beverages
Lucozade Sport; 100g Serve
0.8
Beverages
Tonic Water; 100g Serve
1.2
Beverages
Blackcurrant; 100g Serve
2.3
Beverages
Orange squash (one glass)
2.5
Beverages
Cola drinks; 100g Serve
2.5
Beverages
Cranberry Juice; 100g Serve
2.8
Beverages
Chocolate milk, 1 cup
3
Beverages
Orange Squash; 100g Serve
3.1
Beverages
Fruit smoothie (one glass)
3.5
Beverages
Hot chocolate (one mug)
4.5
Beverages
Orange juice 1oo%, 1 glass
4.5
Beverages
Sports drink, 600 ml
5
Beverages
Lemonade (one glass)
5.5
Beverages
Cordial (made up), 1 glass
5.5
Beverages
Flavoured milk, 300 ml carton
6
Beverages
Cola Drinks (one can)
7
Beverages
Fruit juice drink, orange, 1 glass
7
Beverages
Red Bull (one can)
7.5
Beverages
Cola, 11 fl. oz.
9
Beverages
Water chestnut drink, 12 fl. oz.
9
Beverages
Soft drink, 1 can
10
Beverages
Ice kachang, 1 bowl
14

Teaspoons of Sugar in Common Fruits, Sauces, Spreads and Jams

Type
Food (serving)
Equivalent Spoonfuls of Sugar (4.2 g per spoonful white granular sugar)
Fruit
Fruit, canned in juice, 1/2 cup
0
Fruit
Strawberries 1 serving (147g)
1.7
Fruit
Fruit, canned in light syrup, 1/2 cup
2
Fruit
Pineapple 1 serving (112g)
2.1
Fruit
Cantaloupe 1 cup cubes (160g)
3.1
Fruit
Peach 1 large (184g)
3.6
Fruit
Fruit, canned in heavy syrup, 1/2 cup
4
Fruit
Banana 1 large (140g)
4
Fruit
Watermelon 1 slice (280g)
4.3
Fruit
Red Seedless Grapes 126g - 4% waste)
4.8
Fruit
Navel Orange 1 large orange (270g)
5.5
Fruit
Apple 1 large apple (223g)
5.5
Sauces
Salad Cream; 100g Serve
4.2
Sauces
Brown Sauce; 100g Serve
4.5
Sauces
Tomato Ketchup; 100g Serve
5.6
Sauces
Sweet Pickle; 100g Serve
5.7
Spreads / Jams
Sugar, jam, or jelly, 1 .
1
Spreads / Jams
Peanut Butter - smooth; 100g Serve
1.4
Spreads / Jams
Syrup or honey, 1 tbsp.
3
Spreads / Jams
Chocolate Spread; 100g Serve
11.9
Spreads / Jams
Jam; 100g Serve
12.5
Spreads / Jams
Lemon Curd; 100g Serve
12.8
Spreads / Jams
Treacle; 100g Serve
15.2
Spreads / Jams
Marmalade; 100g Serve
15.7
Spreads / Jams
Syrup; 100g Serve
19.2
Spreads / Jams
Honey; 100g Serve
20.2
Tinned food
Peas; 100g Serve
0.4
Tinned food
Sweetcorn-Kernels; 100g Serve
0.9
Tinned food
Baked Beans; 100g Serve
1.2

© 2013 Dr. John Anderson

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Comments 3 comments

ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

That's a lot of information---really helpful for everyone. Everyone is calorie conscious these days and thus they want to avoid too much of sugar in their diet. And you provided a ready reference. Very well done!

Thanks for sharing all the details!


Writer Fox profile image

Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

I find all of the information about sugar to be very confusing, but there does seem to be a big difference between natural sugars and processed white sugar. I would love to read more of what your thoughts are on that!

Voted up!


CatherineGiordano profile image

CatherineGiordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

Very complete explanation with lots of information.

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