Do you know which of these foods has more sugar?

By: Maria Trimarchi
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

What would sushi rice be without the added sugar? Not sushi rice, that's what. Even if you want to cut back on your sugar intake, it can be hidden in all sorts of unexpected places. See if you know which items aren't as healthy as you think.

A salad topped with chicken and a vinaigrette sounds like a healthy lunch. But adding which topping gives it more sugar than most candy bars?

You might be surprised how many salad offerings are less healthy than ordering a burger. Some topping can make a simple salad worse than a cheeseburger with everything. Dried cranberries aren't bad for you, but eat them in moderation -- just 2 ounces (1/4 cup) has 34 grams of sugar (that's 8 1/2 teaspoons!).

Your host won't take no for an answer, but you're watching your sugars. What slice of cake should you have?

Whatever you do, skip the white cake with coconut frosting, which is more than half sugar. Best bet? The sponge cake.

Which one has the least amount of sugar Iced tea, or lemonade?

Sweetened tea and lemonade have good and bad options, but if you didn't make it yourself, skip it. Some of the worst offenders contain as much sugar as if you ate 15 store-bought chocolate chip cookies. And, watch out for the sugars in an Arnold Palmer, a mix of sweetened tea and lemonade. Stick with unsweetened tea -- or water.

Which of these 40-ounce "fitness" smoothies has the most amount of sugar?

A 40-ounce strawberry-banana smoothie that contains butter pecan ice cream and a protein powder can have as many as 62 1/2 teaspoons of sugar (that's 250 grams). The closest No. 2 on this list is the strawberry-peanut butter smoothie, with 47 teaspoons (188 grams), is close.

A 16-ounce strawberry banana yogurt smoothie from one of the popular smoothie chains can contain more sugar than which of the following items?

A strawberry banana yogurt smoothie can have as much as 57 grams of sugar (or more!) in a 16-ounce serving, which is more sugar than what's in most half-pints of ice cream.

Which cocktail has more sugar than a candy bar?

All of these drinks contain more than a candy bar -- and when it comes to some cocktails, it's like eating more than one candy bar.

Forget about what you want on your toast. What jam or spread is the best option if you're cutting back on sugar?

While you may want a spoonful of chocolate-hazelnut spread, your best option is a peanut butter -- smooth, please.

Which popular juice has almost as much sugar as soda?

One glass of orange juice, can have almost as much sugar as drinking a glass of soda. Grape and cranberry juices may contain more sugar than some sodas. When you can, it's best to choose whole fruits instead of fruit juices because you also get the dietary fiber benefits.

What coffee order has the least amount of sugar, in a 16-ounce cup?

A café au lait, made with steamed 2 percent milk, foam and coffee has seven grams of sugar, by far the least amount of sugars in any of these items. While the vanilla latte, white chocolate mocha and caramel blended coffee are all sugar offenders, the flavored blended coffee contains 66 grams of sugar, which is the equivalent of eating 16 1/2 teaspoons of table sugar.

Which has more sugar per pint?

Be smart about which pint you pour. When it comes to sugar content, a pint of beer has less than a gram per pint, whereas a cider will typically have about 20 grams per pint.

Which of these protein bars has more sugar per serving than a candy bar?

They all do. Compared to the 20 or so grams of sugar in popular candy bars, while a chunky peanut butter fudge protein bar has about 22 grams, a peanut butter performance energy bar has about 26 grams, and that banana cranberry bar can have as much as a whopping 32 grams per serving.

Which canned mixed fruit has the least sugar: those in 100 percent juice, those in light syrup or those in heavy syrup?

Choosing fruits preserved in juice, rather than syrup, will help you eat fewer sugars. Mixed fruit in 100% juice, for example, contains 11 grams of sugar, whereas the "lite" version in a light syrup contains 13 grams, and the original, in a heavy syrup, contains 20 grams.

Yogurt isn't always the health food we think it is. Which type of yogurt can contain almost as much sugar as a candy bar?

Fruit on the bottom yogurts often contain more sugar than you think you're getting -- some brands measuring as much as 19 grams (equal to almost five teaspoons) per cup. Watch out for low-fat versions, too. To compensate for the lack of fats, some brands add as much as 47 grams (equal to nine teaspoons) of sugar per cup.

Which group of fruit has the highest sugar content?

Tropical fruits such as bananas, mangoes and pineapples contain the highest sugar content of all fruits. Stick with berries for the least amount of sugars, as well as stone fruits and melons (which have a bit more sugar than the berries).

Generally, bread has a pretty low sugar content when you make it yourself. How much sugar will you find in some brands of store-bought white sandwich bread?

How much sugar is in the average slice of processed sandwich bread varies among brands, but can be as high three grams. That's per slice, so when you make a sandwich you're starting off with six grams of sugar before you add anything to it.

Which condiment is the worst sugar offender?

Both ketchup and barbecue sauce are big sugar offenders. Just two tablespoons of ketchup have eight grams of sugar, but barbecue sauce typically has even more, as much as 10 grams of sugar in two tablespoons. Yellow mustard and salsa, on the other hand, have no sugar.

You know canned soups can contain a lot of sodium, but how much sugar could be in 1 1/2 cups of some popular flavors?

Be sure to read labels before you buy canned soups -- and not just for the sodium level. Look out for sugar, too. Many brands use sugar to extend the shelf life of their soups, and that means some contain as much as 15 grams of sugar (the equivalent of stirring about four teaspoons of sugar into your chicken noodle) in a serving.

How much added sugar should you eat in a day, tops?

According to the USDA's guidelines, it's okay to eat up to about 45 grams of sugar a day, which is about 11 teaspoons. But many experts think that's still too high. The World Health Organization and the American Heart Association both advocate keeping the amount of sugar you eat to no more than 25 grams, which is about six teaspoons of table sugar.

Dried fruits are notorious sugar-bombs. Which one has the highest sugar content?

Of these, prunes have the least. The most? Dates are 67 percent sugar, which puts them pretty high on the sugar-packed dried fruit list.

Which popular restaurant chain dish, while not even close to health food, contains the most sugar?

Both the Teriyaki Chicken and Sesame Chicken dishes have really high amounts of sugar. But it's the Teriyaki Chicken, with an astonishing 96 grams of sugar (which is the equivalent of 3 1/2 candy bars or 24 teaspoons of sugar), that beats this bunch.

Which fish-friendly sauce has the lowest sugar content?

While cocktail sauce is a go-to for any shrimp cocktail-lover, the sauce with the lowest sugar content isn't tomato-based -- it's tartar sauce.

Which food is the equivalent of eating three glazed doughnuts?

A glazed doughnut has 10 grams of sugar. Eating one container of Greek yogurt parfait with honey gives you 30 grams, eight ounces of a vitamin-infused drink has less than 10 grams, and 1 3/4-ounces of dried cranberries contains as much as 34 grams of sugar.

How many glazed doughnuts would you need to eat to match the sugar content in a fat-free blackberry blended yogurt?

To match the sugar content in a container of fat-free blackberry blended yogurt, 28 grams of sugar, you'd need to eat three glazed doughnuts.

Which wine tends to have less sugar than others?

An Italian pinot grigio, known as a bone-dry wine, has a residual sugar of less than one gram in a five-ounce serving. "Dry" wines are less sweet and usually contain about 1.5 grams of sugar a glass. Compare that to the six grams you'll drink in just one glass of a sweet wine, like a Riesling.

Which citrus fruit has the lowest amount of sugar?

Grapefruit has the most, at 16 grams, followed by sweet oranges, with 12 grams of sugar. Lemon, with 1.5 grams, and limes, with 1.1 grams, are the lowest. But as most people don't peel and eat lemons or limes as they would an orange, don't be shy adding them to your water or squirting them on food for flavor.

Which has more sugar, 11 sugar glaed doughnuts or three Thai chicken spring rolls with satay (peanut) sauce?

If you ate nearly a dozen sugar raised doughnuts, you'd eat the equivalent amount of sugar of a Thai chicken spring roll dish.

How many teaspoons of sugar does your average 1/2-cup serving of granola have in it?

Oats, the main ingredient in granola, are good for you. So, then, why isn't granola? Three words: too much sugar -- about four teaspoons of it, or more, in just 1/2 cup of cereal. If you just gotta have it, don't eat more than a quarter of a cup.

Sauces can be high in sugar, and tomato-based pasta sauces are no exception. How many teaspoons of sugar can you expect in a serving of many store-bought brands?

One serving of tomato-based pasta sauce is typically 1/2 cup, and in that serving many store-bought sauces pack in between 1 1/2 to 3 teaspoons (between six grams and 12 grams) of sugar.

Which alternative to table sugar has the most sugars?

Among these sweet syrups, it's honey that's the highest in sugar (it's 82 percenet sugar). High-fructose corn syrup and molasses are close, and maple syrup, still with a high (68 percent) sugar content, is the lowest sugar item on this list.

Can you pick which cookie has the highest percentage of sugar?

Despite their name, sugar cookies aren't the worst offender here. In fact, it's the cookie labelled "diet" that has the greatest percentage of sugar per cookie, at 40 percent.

Gummi worms are made with sugar and coated in it, so you expect it to be sugary. But how much sugar is in just 10 Gummi worms?

That handful of Gummi worms has 44 grams of sugar. Forty-four grams of sugar is equal to 11 teaspoons of granulated sugar -- way more than anyone should eat in a single day, not just in a snack. In comparison, some of American's favorite candy bar can contain 27 grams of sugar (or more), which is equal to seven teaspoons.

Which is the least sugar-sensible sauce of the bunch?

Sweet & Sour and peanut sauces aren't low-sugar options at all, but Hoisin sauce tops them both when it comes to sugar content.

Which breakfast cereal takes the No. 1 spot when it comes to the most sugar per serving?

Annnd, it's sweetened puffed wheat breakfast cereals that hit No. 1 among the otherwise also-sugary cereals on this list, containing as much as 56 percent sugar per bowl.

Which sweetener contains the most sugar?

Of these popular sweeteners, it's sucralose that contains the least, and saccharin, the most. (But it's a tight race.)

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!

Explore More Quizzes