Skip to main content UVA Health logo of UVA Health
Healthy Balance

Infographic: Hidden Sugars – Unexpected Sugars in What You Eat and Drink

Did you know sugars are lurking in “healthy” food? Food labels don’t currently distinguish between added sugar and natural sugar, plus sugar can be listed with 50 different names. Because of this, it takes more work for people to read labels and find these hidden sugars.

Some sneaky names for sugar can be:

  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Barley malt
  • Dextrose
  • Maltodextrin

Dietician Mary Lou Perry shares a great example with skim milk. Skim milk is a nutritious food, low in fat, high in calcium, but has 12 grams of sugar listed on the label. Confusing, because some may avoid this choice based on the “sugars label”. This is not added sugar since milk sugar occurs naturally. She hopes in the next year or two, food labels and ingredient lists will make it easier to spot hidden sugars.

Most Americans consume almost 67 pounds of added sugar in one year!

hidden sugars infographic

Infographic Text: Hidden Sugars

Unexpected sugars in what you eat and drink.

  • Ketchup: 2 tsp. sugar per serving
  • Ragu traditional spaghetti sauce: 3 tsp. sugar per serving
  • NutriGrain Harvest bar: 4 tsp. sugar per serving
  • Dannon fruit on the bottom yogurt: 6 tsp. sugar per serving
  • Starbucks vanilla frappuccino, grande, 16 oz:14 1/2 sugar per serving
  • Dr. Pepper Slurpee, extra-large, 32 oz: 34 tsp. sugar per serving
  • The American Heart Association recommends:
    • 6 tsp. a day for women, 9 tsp. for men
    • On average, Americans consume 22 tsp. a day. That adds about 67 lbs of added sugar a year!

Reply & View Comments Search Submit

Subscribe for Updates

Get stories & health tips every week