Seven “healthy” snacks that are actually filling you up with sugar

Nujjer can help you by providing useful tips and hints about healthier living, whether you know that you’re at high risk of type 2 diabetes (don’t know? Try our test), already living with the condition or if you just want to live a healthier lifestyle.

This post focuses on having a sugar-conscious approach to eating and talks about some foods which aren’t quite as healthy as you might think:

(1) Bananas

Did you know that a medium-sized banana can contain around 14g of sugar? That’s over three teaspoons in a few mouthfuls. Think about switching to less-sugary fruit for a sweet hit, such as blueberries, raspberries and kiwi.

(2) Cereals

Some brands of cereal contain 10 – 15g sugar in a 30g serving, that’s as much as three teaspoons, the equivalent of two and a half chocolate biscuits! Even “healthier” brands can contain a high amount of sugar, so be sure to check the label when you are out shopping.

(3) Pineapple

The most popular plant in the Bromeliaceae family (try saying that three times quickly!). Whilst low in fat, an average cup of pineapple chunks contains 15 – 20g sugar.

(4) Canned soup

Sugar has been used as a preservative for centuries, especially in climates where there simply wasn’t enough sun to reliably dry food. Canned soups may often contain high amounts of sugar for the purpose of lengthening overall shelf life, so be sure to check the label before you buy!

(5) Protein bars

Protein bars are increasingly popular as a between meal “healthy” filler, but many contain high levels of sugar. Certain brands have as much as 30g of added sugar, which is actually more than some chocolate bars are made with. Next time you’re looking for a snack to fill you up, pick up the (unsalted!) nuts.

(6) Bread

Most bread, even “healthy” wholemeal, has a high glycaemic index (GI). This is a measure of how quickly a food increases blood glucose levels and is measured on a scale of 1-100 (where 100 is the effect of glucose). Low-GI foods provide natural, slowly released energy. Generally choosing brown versions of food will help you lower your GI. However, bear in mind that a wholemeal slice of bread still has a GI value of 74, which is equivalent to three teaspoons of sugar.

(7) Tomato sauce

Tomato sauce is commonly filled with large amounts of sugar to curb the acidic taste of tomatoes and to extend the shelf life. Be careful when you’re looking for something tasty to eat with to your (wholegrain!) pasta – you maybe unknowingly adding in a few teaspoons of sugar to your meal.


So, that’s our list, we hope you’ve enjoyed reading and can use this tips to take steps towards improving your lifestyle – and perhaps even sharing it with others!

November marks this year’s annual Diabetes Awareness Month. Together we can change the record, and prevent type 2 diabetes in the future. If you’re at a higher risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, a gentle nuj in the right direction may be all you need! Small changes can make a big impact on your health.