Top 10 Foods Highest in Sugar (To Limit or Avoid)

Top 10 Foods Highest in Sugar (To Limit or Avoid)

Sugars are simple carbohydrates naturally occurring in a variety of foods, including, fruits, vegetables, and milk. Sugar is also used as a food ingredient, added to processed foods for its sweet taste. It is these added sugars that cause health problems, not the sugars naturally occurring in foods.

Consumption of added sugar has increased rapidly over recent years and is believed to contribute to rising rates of obesity, type II diabetes, and heart disease.

High sugar foods to limit or avoid include puddings, milkshakes, ice-cream, fruit juices, sugary soda drinks, cakes (especially with frosting), candies, fruit yogurts, fast foods, cereal bars, and commercial cereals. In this list, both the grams of sugar and teaspoons of sugar is given. 1 teaspoon is equal to 4 grams of sugar.

For more information see the article of high carb foods to limit or avoid, or see the nutrient ranking of 200 foods high in sugar.

List of Foods High in Sugar

Dulce De Leche

#1: Dulce De Leche

Up to 50% Sugar
Sugar per CupSugar per 100g
151g (38 tsp)50g (12 tsp)

More Desserts High in Sugar

  • 67g per cup of tapioca pudding
  • 43g per cup of rice pudding (arroz con leche)
  • 30g per 1/2 cup of chocolate mousse
An ice-cream sunday

#2: Milkshakes (Blended with Candy)

Up to 24% Sugar
Sugar per 12oz CupSugar per 100g
85g (21 tsp)24g (6 tsp)

More Dairy High in Sugar

  • 71g per 12oz McDonald's McFlurry with Oreos
  • 58g in a medium ice-cream with chocolate topping
  • 22g per 1/2cup of vanilla ice-cream
A glass of juice

#3: Grape Juice

Up to 14% Sugar
Sugar per 16oz GlassSugar per 100g
72g (18 tsp)14g (3.6 tsp)

Other Fruit Juices High in Sugar

  • 63g per 16oz of Pomegranate Juice
  • 62g per 16oz Naked Mighty Mango Juice
  • 62g per 16 oz of Pineapple Juice
  • 48g per 16oz of Apple Juice
A can of soda

#4: Sugary Drinks (Cream Soda)

Up to 13% Sugar
Sugar per 16oz BottleSugar per 100g
66g (16 tsp)13g (3.3 tsp)

Other Sodas and Drinks High in Sugar

  • 55g per 16oz Kiwi-Strawberry Drink
  • 52g per 16oz Root Beer
  • 50g per 16oz Cola
  • 44g per 16oz Sprite
  • 43g per 16oz Ginger Ale
  • 43g per 16oz Tonic Water
A slice of coconut cake

#5: Cake with Coconut Frosting

Up to 57% Sugar
Sugar per SliceSugar per 100g
64g (16 tsp)57g (14 tsp)

Cakes, cookies, and pies can vary from 10-65g of sugar per serving, depending on how they are made, and how much sugar is added.

See the complete ranking of 200 baked foods high in sugar.

Colorful candies

#6: Commercial Candies (Skittles)

Up to 76% Sugar
Sugar per 2.1oz BagSugar per 100g
47g (12 tsp)76g (19 tsp)

More Candies High in Sugar

  • 50g in a small 3oz bar of white chocolate
  • 33g per 2oz pack of Starburst sour fruit chews
  • 32g per 2oz Baby Ruth bar

See the full list of high sugar candies and sweets.

Plain yogurt with a raspberry

#7: Fortified Yogurt

Up to 19% Sugar
Sugar per CupSugar per 100g
47g (12 tsp)19g (5 tsp)

Plain yogurt contains 19g of sugar per cup.


#8: Fast Foods (Hot Cakes with Syrup)

Up to 21% Sugar
Sugar per 3 PancakesSugar per 100g
45g (11 tsp)21g (5 tsp)

More Fast Foods High in Sugar

  • 23g per cup of coleslaw
  • 17g per egg, cheese, and bacon griddle cake
  • 14g per Burger King Double Whopper

See all fast foods high in sugar.

Granola bars

#9: Cereal Bars (Nutri-Grain)

Up to 34% Sugar
Sugar per BarSugar per 100g
39g (10 tsp)34g (8 tsp)

Note: There are some healthy cereal bars available if you check the ingredients and choose wisely. Look for bars made of whole grains such as oats, containing nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and without added sugar, sweeteners, or chemical additives.

A bowl granola

#10: Ready to Eat Cereals (Familia)

Up to 23% Sugar
Sugar per CupSugar per 100g
28g (7 tsp)23g (6 tsp)

See breakfast cereals highest in sugar, or lowest in sugar.

See All 200 Foods High in Sugar

Printable One Page Sheet

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Printable list of foods high in sugar.

About the Data

Data for the curated food lists comes from the USDA Food Data Central Repository.

You can check our data against the USDA by clicking the (Source) link at the bottom of each food listing.

Note: When checking data please be sure the serving sizes are the same. In the rare case you find any difference, please contact us and we will fix it right away.

View more food groups with the nutrient ranking tool, or see ratios with the nutrient ratio tool.

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Data Sources and References

  1. U.S. Agricultural Research Service Food Data Central