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Secret Sugars You Might Not Even Know You’re Eating

Secret sugars you might not know you're eating (and the foods that hide it)

What is the deal with sugar? Not only is it super easy to get hooked on, but it also seems to be in everything. It’s one of those things you don’t really notice until you’re trying to steer clear of the sweet stuff. Once you start reading labels, you realize that sugar is hiding in just about everything. 

One ingredient with many aliases

All too often, sugar gets away with flying under the radar. There are so many different names for sugar, it’s a serious undertaking to keep track of them. In fact, the sweet stuff goes by over 50 different names. 
You probably already know some of them — like sucrose and high fructose corn syrup — but some of them are pretty wild (looking at you, galactose). Here are just a few to watch:
  • Demerara
  • Sucanat
  • Maltose
  • Molasses
  • Dextrin
  • Muscovado
  • Sorghum
  • Lactose (yes, that lactose)
  • Maltodextrin

Reading labels gets old quickly, though. If you’re looking for an easier way to keep secret sugars off your plate, choose to pay extra attention to these common culprits:

Salad dressings

It’s not uncommon for just a couple of tablespoons of salad dressing to have as much as seven grams of sugar. To keep your salad from becoming an insulin nightmare, check the labels or make your own. The classic combo of oil and vinegar delivers a flavor upgrade without sugar you don’t want or need. 

Pasta sauces

Weird but true. These savory sauces often pack a hefty sugar punch (think: 10 grams per cup). Check labels or opt to make your own so you’re not accidentally eating dessert with your dinner. 


A single cup of coleslaw has a whopping 20+ grams of sugar in it. That’s more than most chocolate chip cookies. Opt for a different side when you have the choice. Or, if you’re really crazy for the slaw, make your own at home so you can control how much sugar you add.


Ketchup and barbecue, teriyaki, and hoisin sauce are all super sugary. Try a little on its own and you won’t be surprised; these sauces are sweet. Moderate the amount you use or look for low-sugar options. 


Most people assume yogurt is a better-for you breakfast choice, but just because it's a healthier alternative to eating sugary cereal doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right health choice. Many brands have between 12-18G of sugar per serving! If yogurt is your go-to breakfast choice, make sure you reach for unsweetened yogurt & top with JOJO's Chocolate, fresh berries or a little honey.

Because the American Heart Association recommends no more than 36 grams of sugar each day for men and 25 grams per day for women, these sneaky sugars can really get you. Keep an eye out and keep your sugar intake under control. 

Don’t forget that you can make healthy swaps. Dress your salads with oil and vinegar, make your own sauces at home, treat yourself to low-sugar chocolate, (JOJO's Chocolate of course)and swap your juice for iced tea to keep your glucose levels balanced.