Top 10 Foods Highest in Sugar (To Limit or Avoid)

Written by Daisy Whitbread, MScN
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Top 10 Foods Highest in Sugar (To Limit or Avoid)

Sugars are a form of carbohydrate found in a variety of foods, including fruits and vegetables. Since the dawn of agriculture and the industrial age consumption of sugar has increased rapidly, leading to an epidemic of obesity and other illnesses.

Like carbohydrates, excessive consumption of sugars can lead to type II diabetes, and cancer.

High sugar foods to limit or avoid include puddings, milkshakes, ice-cream, fruit juices, sugary soda drinks, cakes (especially with frosting), candies, fruit yogurts, fast foods, cereal bars, and commercial cereals. (1) In this list, both the grams of sugar and teaspoons of sugar are given. 1 teaspoon is equal to 4 grams of sugar.

For more information see the article of high carb foods to limit or avoid, or see the nutrient ranking of 200 foods high in sugar.

List of Foods High in Sugar

Dulce De Leche

#1: Dulce De Leche

Up to 50% Sugar
Sugar per CupSugar per 100g
151g (37.8 tsp)50g (12.4 tsp)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Dulce De Leche
-Tapioca Pudding contains 67g of sugar per cup.
-Rice Pudding (Arroz Con Leche) contains 43g per serving (~1 cup)
-Chocolate Mouse contains 30g per 1/2 cup
An ice-cream sunday

#2: Milkshakes (Blended with Candy)

Up to 24% Sugar
Sugar per 12oz CupSugar per 100g
85g (21.2 tsp)24g (6.1 tsp)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Mcdonalds Mcflurry With M&ms Candies
-McDonald's McFlurry with Oreos contains 71g sugar per 12oz cup.
-A medium ice-cream with chocolate topping contains 58g of sugar.
-Vanilla ice cream contains 22g per 1/2 cup.
A glass of juice

#3: Grape Juice

Up to 14% Sugar
Sugar per 16oz GlassSugar per 100g
72g (18 tsp)14g (3.6 tsp)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Grape Juice

Other Fruit Juices High in Sugar per 16oz Serving

-Pomegranate Juice (63g)
-Naked Mighty Mango (62g)
-Pineapple Juice (62g), and Apple Juice (48g).
A can of soda

#4: Sugary Drinks (Cream Soda)

Up to 13% Sugar
Sugar per 16oz BottleSugar per 100g
66g (16.4 tsp)13g (3.3 tsp)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Cream Soda

Other Sodas and Sugar Drinks High in Sugar

-Kiwi-Strawberry Drink (55g)
-Root Beer (52g)
-Cola (50g)
-Sprite (44g)
-Ginger Ale (43g)
-Tonic Water (43g)
A slice of coconut cake

#5: Cake with Coconut Frosting

Up to 57% Sugar
Sugar per SliceSugar per 100g
64g (16.1 tsp)57g (14.3 tsp)
Source: Nutrition Facts for White Cake With Coconut Frosting
Cakes, cookies, and pies can vary from 10-65g of sugar per serving, depending on how they are made, and how much sugar is added.

See the complete ranking of 200 baked foods high in sugar.
Colorful candies

#6: Commercial Candies (Skittles)

Up to 76% Sugar
Sugar per 2.1oz BagSugar per 100g
47g (11.8 tsp)76g (19 tsp)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Mars Snackfood Us Skittles Wild Berry Bite Size
-A small 3oz bar of white chocolate contains 50g of sugar.
-A 2oz pack of Starburst sour fruit chews contains 33g.
-A 2oz Baby Ruth bar contains 32g.

See the full list of high sugar candies and sweets.
Plain yogurt with a raspberry

#7: Fortified Yogurt

Up to 19% Sugar
Sugar per CupSugar per 100g
47g (11.7 tsp)19g (4.8 tsp)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Low Fat Fruit Yogurt (With Vitamin D)
Plain yogurt contains 19g of sugar per cup.
Pancakes

#8: Fast Foods (Hot Cakes with Syrup)

Up to 21% Sugar
Sugar per 3 PancakesSugar per 100g
45g (11.4 tsp)21g (5.1 tsp)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Mcdonalds Pancakes

More Fast Foods High in Sugar

-1 cup of coleslaw contains 23g of sugar
-A egg, cheese, and bacon griddle cake contains 17g
-A Burger King Double Whopper contains 14g

See all fast foods high in sugar.
Granola bars

#9: Cereal Bars (Nutri-Grain)

Up to 34% Sugar
Sugar per BarSugar per 100g
39g (9.7 tsp)34g (8.4 tsp)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Nutrigrain Mixed Berry Cereal Bar
A bowl granola

#10: Ready to Eat Cereals (Familia)

Up to 23% Sugar
Sugar per CupSugar per 100g
28g (7.1 tsp)23g (5.8 tsp)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Familia
See all breakfast cereals high in sugar, or lowest in sugar.

See All 200 Foods High in Sugar

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Printable list of foods high in sugar.

What fruits and vegetables are high in sugar?

Fruits high in sugar include:

  • Litchis
  • Passion Fruit
  • Pomegranates
  • Mangoes
  • Cherries
For more see the article on high sugar fruits.

Fruits low in sugar include:

  • Olives
  • Avocados
  • Starfruit
  • Cranberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Strawberries
For more, see the article on low sugar fruits.

Vegetables high in sugar include:

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Beets
  • Onions
  • Green Peas
  • Sweet Corn
For more, see the article on high sugar vegetables.

Vegetables low in sugar include:

  • Button (Crimini) Mushrooms
  • Watercress
  • Dark Leafy Greens
  • Lettuce
  • Soybean Sprouts
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers
  • Broccoli
For more see the article on low sugar vegetables.

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Data Sources and References

  1. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28.