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How To Find Sugar Lurking In Your Food


I am writing this article because lately I see in my practice that sophisticated clients from Danville, CA still do not realize how much sugar they are consuming in a day.

I want to tell you about my client Charles from Danville CA. (name changed) that was referred by his doctor for prediabetes. For breakfast every morning Charles enjoys his favorite Raisian Bran with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice that he thought was healthy for him. After our meeting he realized that he was eating 2 servings of cereal with almost 2 cups of milk. Let me tell you that he was consuming almost 40 grams of sugar from the cereal plus the naturally occurring lactose (milk sugar) in milk or 12 grams of sugar now times two for his 2 cups of milk or a total of 60 grams of sugar.

Then we take his orange juice for a total of 30 grams of sugar. Now I taught Charles and need to teach you that 1 teaspoon of sugar is equal to 4 grams. Charles was consuming 90 grams of sugar with his orange juice or about 20 teaspoons of sugar. Charles almost fell out of my chair from surprise. Now of course, that was only breakfast.

For snack Charles learned from his employees that Greek Yogurt is good and thus he purchased all the berry flavors for the office. Sorry to say his non fat blueberry Chobani Greek yogurt has 20 grams of sugar or 5 teaspoons of sugar. I told Charles that Chobani, Yoplait and other companies now offer Greek yogurt with about 10 grams of sugar or less which is acceptable.

Of course, once in a while Charles frequents Starbucks in Danville, CA. and gets a non fat vanilla soy late. I educated him that he would be surprised how many grams of sugar are in there. When you go to Starbucks you can have them use less pumps for caramel, chocolate or added vanilla. Remember now the milk has natural sugar.

Charles did mention at lunch he has his standard turkey sandwich with chips and will have a coke. Did you realize that an average Coke will have 30 grams of sugar or about 6 teaspoons of sugar? I know we have to wean off the Coke, so I say drink half over lots of ice or dilute. I introduced Charles to no sugar added Snapple and Sparkling Ice that is carbonated. He has now weaned himself off of Coke and is enjoying Raspberry Sparkling Ice. He told me after the fact when he walked into the Safeway supermarket in Danville, CA Coke was the first item he put in his cart, no more!!

Here are the ingredients in your food products that I taught Charles that mean added sugars. They are are:

White and brown sugar, confectioner’s sugar, corn syrup, dextrin, honey, invert sugar, maple syrup, raw and beet sugar, cane sugar, evaporated cane juice, high fructose corn syrup, malt, molasses and turbinado sugar. Please realize that when fruit juice is listed on bakery goods it is sugar.


Hidden Sugars in Foods


Serving Size

Added Sugar

Cakes and Cookies

Angel food cake

4 oz piece

7 tsp

Banana Cake

4 oz piece

2 tsp

Brownie, no icing

1 oz piece

4 tsp


4 oz piece

2 tsp

Chocolate cake, iced

4 oz piece

10 tsp

Chocolate chip cookie

1 cookie

2 tsp

Coffee cake

4 oz piece

5 tsp

Cupcake, iced

4 oz piece

6 tsp

Fig Newtons

2 cookies

2 tsp


1 cookie

3 tsp

Glazed doughnut

1 doughnut

4 tsp

Oatmeal cookie

1 cookie

2 tsp


Chocolate candy bar

1 bar

4.5 tsp

Chocolate mint

1 piece

2 tsp

Often clients will ask how does a high sugar intake affect them other than weight gain and possible diabetes? People don’t realize that sugar feeds yeast, fungi and detrimental bacteria in your gut which causes bloating and gas.

Symptoms such as joint pain, headaches, fatigue, inability to lose the weight and constant sugar cravings can often be decreased with a lower sugar intake.

If you feel that you are having a difficult time controlling your cravings for sugar which is not helping your weight loss efforts help your yourself by allowing me to set up a food plan that will work with your life. It is perfectly fine to have sugar in your day as long as it is eaten in a balanced way.

I am glad to inform you that nutritional counseling is covered by many health insurances such as Aetna, ABMG, Hill Physicians, Health Net, Sutter Select and Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation. Please feel free to call me at (925) 855-0150 or email me at and tell me about your nutrition concerns. Please refer to my website for past articles and info about services.