Those Sneaky Sugars, Unhidden

You know Chips Ahoy, Dunkin’ Donuts, Coca-Cola and Haagen Dazs. You also know the foods these brands represent have countless grams of sugar that contribute to weight gain.

Now that we have that down, let’s discuss the sneakiness of sugar past the bakeries, ice-cream shops, and into the foods we have conceptually labeled as “healthy.” Whether you are beginning your weight loss journey, are several months or years post weight loss surgery, these foods may give you additional insight into what you may need to toss from the cupboards and your fridge.

Pasta Sauces

You know eating bowls of pasta is not the ticket to long-term weight loss. However, you can get creative by replacing the starchy carb with spaghetti squash and zucchini spirals. However, chances are that the added tomato sauce isn’t doing you any favors. If you look at the nutrition facts, some tomato sauces can have as much as 12 grams of sugar per serving, which is only ½ cup. You can get the same amount of sugar from a chocolate chip cookie. Be sure to check the labels and look for sauces that have 5-6 grams of added sugars per serving.

Granola Bars

Rolled oats, walnuts, cranberries, what’s wrong with that? When you add sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup, honey, and brown sugar for taste, this can be a caloric issue. Especially if you decide one isn’t enough. With little protein, these bars aren’t very satiating. Stick to whole foods such as an apple or carrots with hummus for a satisfying snack.


Yes, yogurt has calcium, protein, and healthy probiotics for your gut. However, the added sugar content pretty much negates any of the benefits the probiotics would provide. An 8-oz. serving of low-fat yogurt can contain as many as 47 grams of sugar! Skip the low-fat yogurt for fat-free plain yogurt, or for a protein packed option, Greek yogurt with fresh berries and a packet of a natural sweetener such as stevia.

Instant Oatmeal

The seemingly innocent breakfast can have up to 12 grams of sugar per packet. Old fashioned oats can still be cooked in the microwave and topped with fresh berries for added sweetness and fiber.

Condiments / Salad Dressings 

Just like pasta sauces, ketchup is a hugely hidden source of sugars. Those “fat free” asian-inspired dressings? They can have a minimum of 6 grams of sugars per serving – and most of us use more than one serving of dressing if we’re eating a salad as an entree. Stick to a healthy fat like olive oil mixed with balsamic vinegar and seasonings for a healthy salad dressing.

Canned & Dried Fruit

You live in California, get the real stuff. You’ll consume a fraction of the sugar compared to the canned peaches and dried mango. It also just tastes better. However, you can opt for frozen fruit, just make sure the packaging explicitly says “no sugar added.” Stick to fruits that are on the low end of the glycemic index such as berries and peaches.

Protein Bars

Originally marketed to body builders to refuel after a grueling weight-lifting session, protein bars are now hitting shelves even in gas stations. However, some of these bars have more grams of sugar than a Snickers bar. Check for bars that have less than 5 grams of sugar.

If you have previously had weight loss surgery, including a sleeve gastrectomy or a gastric bypass and have regained weight or are considering a weight loss procedure, Dr. Nguyen can provide both surgical and non-surgical solutions. Call our office for your initial consultation: 408-358-1855