We live in a world where every time you turn on the TV or flip through a magazine there is another superfood you need to be eating 20 times a day. We come across headlines where doctors say that the milk you have been drinking your whole life is actually terrible for you. In a culture like this how are we expected to know what truly is healthy and what is not?

What is certain is that foods are being packed with more sugar than ever before, and is being pumped into food that used to be healthy. According to the American Heart Association (AHA) women are only supposed to have 25 grams of added sugar and men are only supposed to have 37.5 grams.

I recruited a couple fellow students to see if they thought the foods item would have a high or low amount of sugar, and below each picture is the number of people who thought the food would have high or low amount of sugar. Their minds were blown so read no further unless you are prepared for the same.

 1. Granola


Photo by Amy Miller

Sugar Vote – High Sugar: 8, Low Sugar: 2

Not all granola is bad for you, but the majority has tons of added sugar. A serving of Trader Joe’s Lowfat Granola with Almonds checks out at 15 grams. Yikes. Try healthy granola alternatives here so that you can justify a sugar binge later in the day

2. Instant Oatmeal Packets


Photo by Saige Hooker

Sugar Vote – High Sugar: 3, Low Sugar: 7

These are basically sugar bombs to begin with, and adding in all the processed stuff just makes it even worse for you. These little packets can be filled with up to 20 grams of sugar, so try swapping them out for some yummy overnight oats.

3. Yogurt


Photo by Bari Blanga

Sugar Vote – High Sugar: 4, Low Sugar: 6

Brands like Yoplait and Danon pack a lot of sugar and basically no nutrition, one cup has around 26 grams of sugar. So if you crave the creamy goodness of yogurt on the daily grab some of the Greek stuff.

4. Orange Juice


Photo by Amy Miller

Sugar Vote – High Sugar: 7, Low Sugar: 3

This one should not be surprising to any of you. Orange juice takes out all the fiber from the fruit, which is the main reason why you are supposed to eat fruit in the first place. It has one of the highest sugar contents in this list with an average of 30 grams per 8-oz.

6. Raisin Bran


Photo by Kirby Barth

Sugar Vote – High Sugar: 1, Low Sugar: 9

This one caught me off guard, clocking in at 19 grams in a cup. This is supposed to be a “healthy” cereal, and I have vivid memories of my parents putting it in grocery carts while simultaneously taking out the Lucky Charms I had snuck in. Jokes on them now because with 6 fewer grams of sugar, Lucky Charms is basically a health food in comparison.

7. Vitamin Water


Photo courtesy of EatDrinkBetter

Sugar Vote – High Sugar: 8, Low Sugar: 2

It’s just sugar and water. Stop kidding yourself. P.S. each bottle has around 30 grams of sugar, so set it down quick and walk away.

8. Luna Bars


Photo by Nicola Brooks

Sugar Vote – High Sugar: 5, Low Sugar: 5

I love Luna bars, like a lot. They aren’t as bad as some of the other items on this list, with only 13 grams of sugar, but a legit health food it isn’t.  You really shouldn’t be eating processed bars anyways, so check out these energy packed snacks you can make at home.

9. Trail Mix


Photo by Jay Malone

Sugar Vote – High Sugar: 6, Low Sugar: 4

Anything with candy in it is probs not good for you, and trail mix is no different. One 1/4 cup serving had anywhere between 10 and 20 grams of sugar, and let’s be honest you are not going to eat only one serving. There are combos you could make yourself that would be fairly nutritious, but if it’s packaged there is a strong chance it is packed with sugar and salt.

Sorry to crush your hopes and dreams about the snacks we all love so dearly. However depressing this list is, keep in mind that you may need to read labels a little more carefully. Just remember that “healthy” food is not always great, and that if you put in a little effort you can almost always a find a healthier, and equally tasty, alternative.

For more shocking food facts check out these links: