5 Sneaky Places Sugar Hides


A little sugar can be a good thing, especially when it comes to a little energy boost for runners. Although I like to get my sugar boost from honey (aka Honeystinger). Too much of anything, of course, is never good.


I’m linking up with My First 5K and MoreRunning With Attitude, Runs with PugsZenaida and Run Laugh Eat Pie for Fit Five Friday. Today I’m sharing 5 sneaky places sugar gets out of hand.

Protein Bars
Who doesn’t love a nice chocolate covered protein bar that promises to help you start recovery off the right way? They sure taste good after a run, amiright or amiright? Sometimes those protein bars are just glorified candy bars. There’s debate on how much protein we need, and how much we can use at one time, but you can read this article for a little more information on that, if you want.

What should you look for in a protein bar?

  • Ingredients you can pronounce
  • Roughly 140 – 200 calories (higher and it’s more of a meal replacement)
  • Around 10 gm of protein
  • Around 7 gm of sugar (hopefully from real sources like honey)
  • Around 4 gm saturated fat
  • A ration of 3 or 4 to 1 protein to carbs

The above is a very rough guide. It depends on so many factors! It isn’t easy to find protein bars that are satisfying, not a gazillion calories or packed with way too much sugar. Just be a smart consumer and read labels.

Yogurt will always have sugar in it because of lactose, the sugar in milk. Plain or vanilla flavors typically have less sugar then other flavors or yogurt with added fruit. Women should have roughly 25 gm of sugar a day; (no, I don’t count sugar gms). There are flavored yogurts out there that have almost that much sugar in them!

Salad Dressing
Love your honey mustard dressing? Me too! A little sugar in your salad dressing isn’t going to kill you. Some dressings can way overboard on the sugar, though — because it’s addictive. Most of the time it isn’t even real sugar. Just read labels and choose wisely (around 2 gm per serving or lower).


Store bought bread is another sneaky spot sugar hides. It can easily be 3 gm or more per slice. Have a sandwich and you’re actually getting more than a teaspoon of sugar with that sandwich. Hey, the more you know!

Pasta Sauce
Tomato sauce is healthy, right? It definitely can be, but it’s another place that sugar can sneak into. Sure tomato sauce is very acidic and a little sugar helps ease that acidity.

Final Thoughts
Manufacturers spend a lot of time finding out what will get you eating their products — and what will keep you coming back for more. Restaurants, too. Usually it comes down to adding too much sugar and fat. We’re just hard wired to love sweet and fatty things.

It’s never about just one thing that you eat. Think about a day’s worth of eats: have some yogurt for breakfast (or a snack), a sandwich for lunch, a protein bar after a run, spaghetti and salad for dinner — and you could easily overdose on sugar despite having what looks like a pretty healthy day of eating.

I want my sugar in cookies or ice cream, not in the “healthy” foods I eat all the time.

Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or medical professional.

Do you ever read labels?

Were you aware of how much sugar was in some of these foods we think are healthy?

Any great protein bars with real ingredients that you love?

20 thoughts on “5 Sneaky Places Sugar Hides

    1. Unfortunately it runs in my family too. My mom flirted with it for many years & had to go on meds a few years ago. And her diet is definitely still not great, but at this point we’re just trying to get her to eat.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I have made a concerted effort to reduce sugar in my diet the past year. It has made a huge difference for me! “bars” can be the worst followed by yogurt. These are some of the lessons I am teaching my nutrition clients right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I stopped eating sugar, about five years ago, i started reading every single label and couldn’t believe how many things, i.e. almost everything, have sugar in them. All the things you mentioned and more! Vegetable broth is another culprit. A little sugar is okay, but you’re right- if you just consume a little here and there (without realizing it) you can easily pass your limit for the day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. …and I’m the one who thought I was being clever adding a tiny bit of sugar to my chili to give it a flavor twist LOL Apparently, there may have already been some there from the “plain” tomato sauce.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It really can be so sneaky! I try to be aware of how much sugar is in things, but I tend to slack off sometimes just for convenience. I don’t eat much bread, and when I buy yogurt I try to get it plain and then add some fruit and a drop of honey.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I do look out for sugar but have to admit that when I choose for it, it’s in the form of dark chocolate or a donut! Since those are occasion food items I think I’m doing ok. But now I wonder just how many grams I get a day. I do eat a bit of bread (max 4 slices) and I do eat yoghurt (plain, but yes with lactose) we make our own pasta sauce and I use just oil and vinegar as salad dressing… but I wonder if there is sugar grams hiding in the vinegar??? I also eat quite some fruit. I’m going to have a look this week and see what I’m actually taking in!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I keep an eye out for sugar, but I don’t worry too much. I don’t eat protein bars or yogurt. I will make our own pasta sauce most of the time (and yes, I do add sugar to cut the acid of the tomatoes). And we don’t have a lot of bread.

    In our house, we have to keep an eye out for salt. Mr PugRunner struggles with his blood pressure, so low sodium is the way to go.

    Liked by 1 person

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