8 Healthy Foods With Surprising Amounts of Sugar

Sugar has replaced fat as public enemy number one in recent years. Our search has revealed that many healthy products still can contain quite a bit of the sweet stuff.

To begin with, we would like to say that we are not telling you to stop consuming any of the products mentioned in this article. We are using this list as an example for you to be aware of what you are consuming and how much you are consuming.

First, some facts.

Did you know

Sugar IS a carbohydrate? Yes, it technically the same as rice, potato and pasta at the end of the day. Carbohydrates are converted to energy for the body to use. While sugar is NOT evil, excess energy is converted to fat and stored in the body.

Health Effects

Excess sugar consumption can lead to so many issues.  We’re not going into the details but we’ve listed most of them here

  • Diabetes
  • Acne
  • Weight gain
  • Heart Disease
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Accelerate Skin Aging
  • Increase Cellular Aging
  • Fatty Liver
  • Bad Dental Health
What do the experts recommend?

Singapore Health Promotion Board recommends 12 teaspoons or 55 grams of sugar per day. That breaks down to 6.5 teaspoons from drinks and 5.5 teaspoons from food.

Many times, we look at the nutritional properties of products in isolation. But man cannot live on bread alone. In general we eat 3 different meals every day, we drink different beverages during the day. Unfortunately it would be impossible to show you sugar levels by combination of foods and drinks.

Instead, we’ve tried to show you the amounts of sugar in comparison to the daily 55 gram recommendation both per serving and if you finish the entire packet by percentage.

Our list is in no way exhaustive, but it’s to start you off to read the ingredients labels more carefully and not just rely on marketing alone. All the information in the list and table below are taken straight from the package itself.

Hot Chocolate

Brand Package      Size                ( g / ml ) Service Size (g) Sugar Per Serving (g) Sugar % Per Serving Recommended Daily Consumption ( 55g )
% per serving % per Packet
Milo Chocolate Malt UHT Packet Drink 200 200 16 8% 29.09% 29%
Ovaltine Malted Chocolate Packet Drink 236 236 30 13% 54.55% 55%

The perennial breakfast drink or something that mom would give you if you skipped a meal or even before bed!

This does not even count the additional sugars you add with wither sugar or condensed milk.

2 to 3 packets maxes out your daily recommended amount.

Coconut Water

Brand Package      Size                ( g / ml ) Service Size (g) Sugar Per Serving (g) Sugar % Per Serving Recommended Daily Consumption ( 55g )
% per serving % per Packet
UFC Refresh 100% Natural Coconut Water 1000 250 8.63 3% 15.69% 63%
FairPrice 100% Coconut Water 1000 250 9.3 4% 16.91% 68%
Coco Life Coconut Packet Water 1000 250 9.8 4% 17.82% 71%

In our hot tropical climate, it’s not difficult to finish a whole litre of anything when it’s cold and refreshing. What’s thought to be one of the most healthy drinks out there actually still contains sugar. Polishing off a litre is two thirds of your daily sugar consumption.

Low Fat Milk

Brand Package      Size                ( g / ml ) Service Size (g) Sugar Per Serving (g) Sugar % Per Serving Recommended Daily Consumption ( 55g )
% per serving % per Packet
Paul’s Zymil UHT Milk – Low Fat 1000 250 12.5 5% 22.73% 91%
Farmhouse UHT Milk – Low Fat 1000 200 9.6 5% 17.45% 87%
Meadow Fresh UHT Pure Milk- Low Fat 1000 200 10 5% 18.18% 91%

In your efforts to consume lower fat milk you end up consuming nearly a quarter of your daily sugars. Which in turn will turn into fat if you don’t work it off. Viscous circle right? Finishing a whole litre is almost the limits of your recommended daily consumption.

Bottled Green Tea

Brand Package      Size                ( g / ml ) Service Size (g) Sugar Per Serving (g) Sugar % Per Serving Recommended Daily Consumption ( 55g )
% per serving % per Packet
Pokka Jasmine Green Tea 1500 250 15 6% 27.27% 164%
Heaven & Earth Ayutaka 1500 200 0 0% 0.00% 0%
Heaven & Earth Jasmine Green Tea 1500 100 5.5 6% 10.00% 150%

Just one of those drinks we give our kids thinking it’s the healthier option. As you can see a hole 1.5 litre bottle contains about 1.5 times what’s recommended daily. There is hope, you can still look for Ayutaka if you can convince your kids or yourself even to drink a cold unsweetened drink.

Probiotics

Brand Package      Size                ( g / ml ) Service Size (g) Sugar Per Serving (g) Sugar % Per Serving Recommended Daily Consumption ( 55g )
% per serving % per Packet
Yakult ( 5 bottle pack ) based on US bottles 500 80 10 13% 18.18% 114%
Vitagen Cultured Milk – Less Sugar (5 bottle pack) 625 125 11.8 9% 21.45% 107%

Small convenient packets of deliciousness and it’s good for your gut health. But finish the entire 5 bottles in a day and you’ve exceeded our daily sugar limits.

Unfortunately, we could not find the nutrition label on the local Yakult bottles. But we found them in the US packaging. They sell 80ml bottles there but here they sell 100ml bottles.

Packet Juices

Brand Package      Size                ( g / ml ) Service Size (g) Sugar Per Serving (g) Sugar % Per Serving Recommended Daily Consumption ( 55g )
% per serving % per Packet
Ceres 100% Juice Blend 1000 200 22 11% 40.00% 200%
Ripe Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice 1000 250 21.7 9% 39.45% 158%
Sunkist Pure Premiun 100% Juice – Orange 1000 250 22.5 9% 40.91% 164%

It’s great to have these convenient natural juices available. However, from a sugar perspective the new isn’t as sweet. They do contain about 40% of your recommended daily sugar amount PER SERVING.

Instant 3 in 1 Coffee

Brand Package      Size                ( g / ml ) Service Size (g) Sugar Per Serving (g) Sugar % Per Serving Recommended Daily Consumption ( 55g )
% per serving % per Packet
Nescafe Original Less Sugar 35x15g 180 180 54 30% 98.18% 30%
Old Town White Coffee Less Sugar 15x35g 150 150 10.2 7% 18.55% 19%
Super 3 in 1 Instant Coffee – Low Fat (30% Less Sugar) 40x16g 150 150 7.7 5% 14.00% 14%
Owl Brand 3 in 1 Instant White Coffee Tarik – Less Sugar 15x30g 180 180 10.7 6% 19.45% 19%

If you’re a coffee drinker, how many cups do you have a day? Our numbers are just for 1 serving. Depending on which brand you buy, the sugars can be up to the entire daily recommended limit.

Muesli Bars

Brand Package      Size                ( g / ml ) Service Size (g) Sugar Per Serving (g) Sugar % Per Serving Recommended Daily Consumption ( 55g )
% per serving % per Packet
Uncle Toby’s Wholegrain Muesli Bars – Forrest Fruits 6×31.3g 185 31.3 7.9 25% 14.36% 85%
Yogood Yoghurt Coated Mueli Bars – Blueberry & Cranberry 6x23g 138 23 7 30% 12.73% 76%
Carman’s Muesli Bars – Super Berry 6x45g 270 45 6.6 15% 12.00% 72%

These are packed with lots of natural goodness. Take 2 bars and you’ve exceeded your recommended daily limits. Furthermore, these bars are packed with calories from all the other ingredients. If you don’t burn it, you’ll gain it.

In Conclusion

Don’t take this information in a negative way, be aware of how much you’re eating.

  • In dieting there’s only 2 ways to manage weight. Consume less calories or expand more calories. In other words eat less or exercise more.
  • Some of these items you can use a reward or a treat to yourself, you don’t have to finish the whole packet in one sitting
  • Learning to consume less sugar also helps you to taste the actual product and appreciate their natural flavours

Below is the whole range of items we’ve checked out for this article. We think some other special mentions are: low fat yoghurt, kaya, peanut butter and breakfast cereals. Links are all attached to the brand names.

 

Brand Package      Size                ( g / ml ) Service Size (g) Sugar Per Serving (g) Sugar % Per Serving Recommended Daily Consumption ( 55g )
% per serving % per Packet
Low Fat Yoghurt Plain
Emmi Swiss Premium Low Fat Yoghurt – Plain 1000 100 5.8 6% 10.55% 105%
Farmers Union Greek Style Yoghurt – Natural 1000 100 5.2 5% 9.45% 95%
Yoplait Yoplus Yoghurt – Natural 1000 200 15.4 8% 28.00% 140%
Emmi Swiss Premium Yoghurt – Blueberry & Forest Fruits 450 100 12.8 13% 23.27% 105%
 

 

Hot Chocolate
Milo Chocolate Malt UHT Packet Drink 200 200 16 8% 29.09% 29%
Ovaltine Malted Chocolate Packet Drink 236 236 30 13% 54.55% 55%
Coconut Water
UFC Refresh 100% Natural Coconut Water 1000 250 8.63 3% 15.69% 63%
FairPrice 100% Coconut Water 1000 250 9.3 4% 16.91% 68%
Coco Life Coconut Packet Water 1000 250 9.8 4% 17.82% 71%
 

 

Low Fat Milk
Meadow Fresh UHT Pure Milk- Low Fat 1000 250 12.5 5% 22.73% 91%
Farmhouse UHT Milk – Low Fat 1000 200 9.6 5% 17.45% 87%
Meadow Fresh UHT Pure Milk- Low Fat 1000 200 9.6 5% 17.45% 87%
 

 

Bottled Green Tea
Pokka Jasmine Green Tea 1500 250 15 6% 27.27% 164%
Heaven & Earth Ayutaka 1500 200 0 0% 0.00% 0%
Heaven & Earth Jasmine Green Tea 1500 100 5.5 6% 10.00% 150%
 

 

Isotonic Drinks
100 Plus 1500 250 15 6% 27.27% 164%
Pocari Sweat 2000 500 29.5 6% 53.64% 215%
Probiotics
Yakult ( 5 bottle pack ) based on US bottles 500 80 11 14% 20.00% 125%
Vitagen Cultured Milk – Less Sugar (5 bottle pack) 625 125 11.8 9% 21.45% 107%
 

 

Cordials
Ribina Blackcurrant Cordial – Regular 2 litre (1:5 ratio) 200 200 26.9 13% 48.91% 49%
Ribina Blackcurrant Cordial – Less Sweet 1 litre (1:5 ratio) 200 200 27.8 14% 50.55% 51%
FairPrice Juice Cordial – Blackcurrant 2 litre (1:4 ratio) 200 200 29.2 15% 53.09% 53%
 

 

Packet Orange Juice
Ceres 100% Juice Blend 1000 200 22 11% 40.00% 200%
Ripe Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice 1000 250 21.7 9% 39.45% 158%
Sunkist Pure Premiun 100% Juice – Orange 1000 250 22.5 9% 40.91% 164%
 

 

Instant 3in1 Coffee Sachets
Nescafe Original Less Sugar 35x15g 180 180 54 30% 98.18% 30%
Old Town White Coffee Less Sugar 15x35g 150 150 10.2 7% 18.55% 19%
Super 3 in 1 Instant Coffee – Low Fat (30% Less Sugar) 40x16g 150 150 7.7 5% 14.00% 14%
Owl Brand 3 in 1 Instant White Coffee Tarik – Less Sugar 15x30g 180 180 10.7 6% 19.45% 19%
 

 

Breakfast Cereal
Koko Krunch 500 30 8 27% 14.55% 242%
Kellogg’s Frosties 300 100 9 9% 16.36% 49%
Nestle Corn Flakes 275 100 10 10% 18.18% 50%
 

 

Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce
Ayam Brand 425 100 7.3 7% 13.27% 56%
Heinz Original 415 100 5 5% 9.09% 38%
Mili 425 127 2 2% 3.64% 12%
 

 

Instant Cereal Milk
Nestum 3 in 1 Ceareal Milk 28 200 12.6 6% 22.91% 3%
Super NutreMill 3 in 1 Reduced Sugar 20 200 10.2 5% 18.55% 2%
Unisoy 35 200 12.9 6% 23.45% 4%
 

 

Kaya
Golden Light Nonya Kaya 425 16 7.04 44% 12.80% 340%
Glory Nonya Kaya Less Sugar 250 16 5 31% 9.09% 142%
Wang Kaya 270 18 7 39% 12.73% 191%
 

 

Peanut Butter
Skippy Reduced Fat Super Chunk 462 34 4 12% 7.27% 99%
Jif Reduced Fat Creamy Peanut Butter 453 16 4 25% 7.27% 206%
Skippy Super Chunky Extra Crunchy 793 32 3 9% 5.45% 135%
 

 

Muesli Bars
Uncle Toby’s Wholegrain Muesli Bars – Forrest Fruits 6×31.3g 185 31.3 7.9 25% 14.36% 85%
Yogood Yoghurt Coated Mueli Bars – Blueberry & Cranberry 6x23g 138 23 7 30% 12.73% 76%
Carman’s Muesli Bars – Super Berry 6x45g 270 45 6.6 15% 12.00% 72%
 

 

Nuts
Nature’s Wonders Baked Nuts – Pistachios 380 30 1.6 5% 2.91% 37%
FairPrice Party Snacks – Roasted Almonds (unsalted) 400 50 1.3 3% 1.36% 19%
Tong Garden NutriOne Baked Cashew Nuts 330 30 2.5 8% 4.55% 50%
Tong Garden Salted Nuts – Peanuts 400 40 2 5% 3.64% 36%

 

Leave us a comment to let us know how we’re doing to help you on your journey.

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