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Sugar In Surprising Places

Updated on March 20, 2013
Refined Sugar
Refined Sugar | Source

Refined Sugar or Natural Sugar

All sugar comes from the sugar cane plant. The difference between natural and refined sugar is the addition of certain chemicals such as, phosphoric acid, sulfur dioxide, and calcium hydroxide. It is the chemically laden refined sugar that is added to most of the foods that are packaged or prepared for us.

Refined Sugar Has Many Different Names:

  • Sugar
  • Syrup (corn syrup, malt syrup, high-fructose corn syrup)
  • Fruit juice
  • Sucrose, sucralose, dextrose, fructose, gluclose (anything that rhymes with gross)
  • Maltodextrin

Natural Sugar Also Has a Few Different Names:

  • Raw sugar
  • Honey
  • Molasses
  • Agave Nectar
  • Stevia

Raw Sugar, Agave Nectar and Honey
Raw Sugar, Agave Nectar and Honey | Source

I Eat How Much Sugar?

Adults and children alike consume approximately ½ pound of refined sugar every day.

That is about 22-24 teaspoons!

Many parents take pride in the fact that they limit the amount of sugar they allow their children to have.

Unfortunately sugar is added to many different foods and condiments that people typically assume wouldn’t contain any.

Most people expect to find sugar in certain cereals, cakes, cookies, sodas and candies. It's no shame that we all enjoy a sweet treat now and then, what few realize is how often we are getting our sweet fix without knowing it.

There Are Many Surprising Places That Sugar Can Be Found:


  • Rice Chex, Kix and Rice Krispy cereals are just a few
  • Bagels
  • Bacon and Sausage meats
  • Pancake mix
  • 100% Natural Granola
  • Yogurt

Snack Foods:

  • Granola Bars
  • Pretzels
  • Fruit snacks
  • Fruit cups
  • Graham crackers
  • Certain Salsa brands
  • 100% natural granola bars, crunchy or chewy
  • Vanilla wafers
  • Animal crackers
  • Wheat thins
  • Club crackers
  • Baked natural crackers
  • Kettle corn
  • Beef jerky
  • Ranch and BBQ flavored potato or corn chips
  • Apple Sauce that says No Sugar Added

Possible Lunch or Dinner Choices:

  • Whole grain bread
  • Lunchables
  • Beef, pork and chicken hot dogs
  • Bologna and other lunch meat, including the premium, deli style ones
  • Natural Cornbread mix
  • 100% natural spaghetti sauce
  • Canned and packaged pizza sauce
  • Pre-made Pizza crust
  • Boxed stuffing mix
  • Boxed mashed potatoes
  • Sloppy Joe mixes
  • Fajita and taco seasoning packets
  • Baked beans
  • Canned chili
  • Spaghetti O’s
  • Canned ravioli’s
  • Hamburger Helper mixes
  • Spam
  • Packaged pasta mixes
  • Chunky canned soups and chowder
  • Vegetable, chicken and beef broth
  • Packaged ramen instant meals


  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Mayonnaise
  • Ketchup
  • Salad dressing
  • Teriyaki and soy sauce
  • Steak sauces
  • Barbeque Sauce
  • Seasoning blends for flavoring meats or vegetables
  • Seasoned salt


  • Fruit Juice
  • All natural bottled Ice Tea
  • Sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade
  • V8 vegetable juice drinks

Removing or Reducing Sugar

Removing sugar is not necessary for those who don’t have a medical condition that requires them to do so. Reducing our sugar intake certainly is a good goal idea however.

Our bodies can handle and process a certain amount of sugar just fine but an average of ½ pound per day is a little scary.

Knowlege Is Scary But Powerful

It is important that consumers are aware of exactly what they are purchasing and putting into their bodies on a regular or semi-regular basis.

Sometimes the knowledge is unsettling but there may be an upside to knowing that sugar seems to be everywhere.

The next time you start to feel guilty because your child or grandchild hasn’t been given any sugary treats in a while and they are giving you the cutest little sad face, you can confidently know that they have indeed eaten plenty of sweets. They have not been deprived in anyway.


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    • roxanne459 profile image

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      When certain circumstances made me look for sugar in food I was shocked to say the least! I just had to share :)

    • sarahshuihan profile image

      Sarah 5 years ago from USA

      Very useful hub! When I made more of an effort to reduce sugar in my diet, I was really surprised at some of the foods that had it. There were some on your list I never even knew!

    • roxanne459 profile image

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      Thank you mecheshier! ;)

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 5 years ago

      A great Hub. I don't think you left a stone unturned. Thank for the share. Voted up for useful and interesting.

    • roxanne459 profile image

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      You are and always have been inspirational! :)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      It is surprising where sugar appears in foods. Pregnant women who get gestational diabetes will attest to this fact. I try to get my sugar source from natural foods such as fruits. Great post, Roxanne and well done.

    • roxanne459 profile image

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      Marcy, that is a very good point! Soda is definitely a large contributor to childhood obesity and diabetes. It is seen by some as a right of childhood but I see soda as an enemy to my kids bodies for sure! Thank you so much for mentioning it!

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

      Very few people realize the amount of sugar in sweetened soft drinks. I know they realize there's sugar, but if you read the label, there can be 10-13 teaspoons or more in one 12-ounce can. The conversion is 3 grams for one teaspoon, so a simple division of the grams tells you the equivalent of spoons. And we wonder why our kids are getting chubbier . . .

      Voted up and up!

    • roxanne459 profile image

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      That is interesting! Unfortunately I've never been out of the states so I don't know much about how others do things but I love learning about different places and ideas! Thank you :)

    • Nettlemere profile image

      Nettlemere 5 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      You might be interested to know that in the UK a lot of our processed sugar comes from sugar beet rather than sugar cane. I used to live downwind of a sugar beet factory - it had a distinctive smell and there were always enormous farm trailers full of beet on the roads nearby to slow your journeys down.

    • roxanne459 profile image

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      You are so right! Salt is in everything too! This has got to be one of the major reasons that people get frustrated when they try to loose weight or just feel better. I can't count how many people have told me that they eat right but can't seem to see or feel any difference. Sometimes it feels like the only real option is to eat fresh foods all the time which is pretty hard to do!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Isn't THIS the truth! We really need to read labels, don't we. Like, sugar, it can be an education to know how much of many ingredients are actually in a product that we may not suspect......salt & sodium are good ones for this too! Very helpful, Roxanne....UP+++