We won’t sugarcoat it: Eating too many sweets can wreak havoc on our health. While it’s OK to treat yourself sometimes, overdoing it can cause weight gain, type 2 diabetes and other issues. Unfortunately, cutting back on sugar isn’t always cut and dry since it lurks in many foods that seem healthy. Here’s the inside scoop on seven secretly sugary foods — and seven healthier alternatives.

1. Pasta Sauce

Whole grain noodles are a healthier pasta option, but some premade sauces pack up to 12 grams of sugar per serving. That’s three sugar packs’ worth! For a healthier (and quick!) option, try our 5-Minute Tomato Sauce instead.

sugar in pasta sauce

2. BBQ Sauce

Store-bought sauce contains 4 to 6 grams of sugar on average — and lots of high-fructose corn syrup. Next time you shop, compare nutrition labels and opt for one that’s lower in sugar. Or scrap the sauce altogether and scratch your BBQ itch with a BBQ Turkey Burger!

sugar in bbq sauce

3. Ketchup

Just one tablespoon of bottled ketchup contains 4 grams of sugar! A better, lower-sugar option? Substitute a spoonful of our Fresh California Chunky Salsa!

sugar in ketchup

4. Granola & Breakfast Cereal

Granolas and cereals are sneaky … they don’t have to boast bright colors to brim with sugar! Take Raisin Bran. It seems healthy, but each serving packs 18 grams of sugar. For a healthy swap that’s still sweet, try Overnight Oats.

sugar in cereal

5. Yogurt

Is low fat yogurt a healthy choice? Not always. Many flavored yogurts contain up to 20 grams of sugar. Try topping plain yogurt with berries and/or unsalted nuts … or this Cottage Berry Crunch for a healthier pick.

sugar in yogurt

6. Protein Bars

These protein machines should set the bar high … but do they? It depends. While some bars have less than 5 grams of sugar, other popular options clock in at 25 — 2x as much as a donut! For a protein-rich choice that’s still convenient, mix up a batch of our Chocolate Chip Black Bean Muffins!

sugar in protein bars

7. Smoothies

Smoothies are healthy, right? Not always. Many store-bought smoothies try to “blend” in with healthy foods … when they’re really better suited for the soda aisle. Need proof? Some store-bought 15-oz. smoothies pack up to 53 grams of sugar, and many 16-oz. sodas have 55. For a more nutritious drink, make your own. Try our Freezer Smoothies!

sugar in smoothies

Although sugars sometimes hide in surprising places, it’s easy to spot when you know what to look for. If you want help making super-healthy choices at the supermarket, download our free Nutrition Facts Label Guide! Then, scope out the rest of our site for healthy recipes and other tools, including our Sugar Calculator and the convenient Low-Sugar Cheat Sheet.