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Dessert Wines are Better Than Halloween Candy

Dessert Wines are Better Than Halloween Candy

It’s almost Halloween, also known as the time of year when wine writers attempt to convince readers that pairing wine with Halloween candy is a good idea. We have to confess: it probably won’t be as good as you imagine. There’s a better way to satisfy your sweet tooth, and that’s by seeking out sugar inside the glass. Leave the candy bars to the trick-or-treaters and upgrade to an adult Halloween with some of our favorite dessert wines.

Yes, the argument can be made that pairing candy with fruity, low-tannin wines could lead to some successful combinations. But the beauty of wine and food pairing is that the pairing should enhance both the dish and the wine. In this case, the wine will make the candy seem lackluster, and the candy will make the wine seem harsh. Though the pairing may end up being “all right,” both the wine and the candy probably would have tasted better separately.

If you absolutely insist on trying candy-pairing experiments this year, dessert wines are still the way to go. When pairing, a good rule of thumb is to select a wine that is sweeter than the food, since sugar in food will make wine seem less sweet. To keep from being completely overwhelmed by sugar, look for dessert wines that have high acidity to balance the sweetness.

Below are five of our top picks for the upcoming holiday, so put down that Snickers bar! We guarantee that pouring one of these into your glass will make this Halloween even better than when you were a kid.

2012 Atwater Estate “Celsius” Ice Wine, Finger Lakes, N.Y. ($22.99 for 375mL) Like a liquid lemon drop, but better! Made from late-harvest vignoles grapes that are then frozen and pressed for increased concentration, this wine tastes like Meyer lemons and mouthwatering, juicy pineapple. Despite the sugar, it remains insanely refreshing and absolutely delicious.

2006 Weingut Heribert Boch “Trittenheimer Apotheke” Riesling Beerenauslese, Mosel, Germany ($30.99 for 375mL) It may sound crazy, but moldy grapes can make the most outstanding wine. That’s right — this rare wine is made from grapes affected by botrytis, a special type of mold, requiring pickers to select individual berries from late-harvested bunches. Often this also involves picking through the steep, chilly vineyards three or more times in a season, which may explain the high price tag. But trust us, it’s worth it. Concentrated flavors of candied peach, orange blossom, and bright purple flowers last long after the final sip. We could drink this forever.

NV Quinta da Alorna “Abafado 5 Years,” Tejo, Portugal ($15.99 for 750mL) Caramel lovers, meet your new best friend. This wine from central Portugal is fortified and aged for five years in old barrels, resulting in a rich, yet balanced, sweet wine tasting of caramelized nuts, dried apricot, and a bit of baking spice. An excellent budget alternative to tawny port.

NV Niepoort Ruby, Porto, Portugal ($16.99 for 750mL) This is one of the most classic versions of ruby port: juicy and vibrant, with flavors of sweet black cherry and chocolate. Though it’s powerful, this wine is quite easy-drinking as well. For fans of chocolate-covered fruit (cherry cordials, anyone?), the Niepoort Ruby Port is all you.

NV Bodegas Grant “La Garrocha” Amontillado, Jerez, Spain ($15.99 for 375mL) Some people just aren’t “candy people,” and for those people, Halloween probably isn’t the highlight of the year. But guess what? There’s a dessert wine for those unsweetened chocolate bar lovers, too! This amontillado has all of the nutty, rich caramel flavors that we love, but without the sugar, and plenty of acidity to keep it from being dull. It’s our go-to indulgence not just for Halloween, but for the entire cold-weather season as well. Stock up for winter now!


10 Healthy-Sounding Foods With More Sugar Than Candy

Because most packaged foods contain some kind of added sugar, the sweet stuff is nearly impossible to avoid.

In the short term, sugary foods can send you on an energy roller coaster that ultimately leaves you feeling sluggish and starving. Over time, a chronically high-sugar diet can trigger inflammation and related health issues ranging from weight gain to heart disease, dementia, diabetes, and cancer. It's why the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommends eating no more than 10 percent of your daily calories (i.e., 12 teaspoons or 48 grams of sugar) from added sugar each day.

But "sugar itself isn't an inherent evil," says Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, a San Diego-based registered dietitian and the author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet. Wholesome foods that contain natural sugars often contain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients (like protein and fiber) too. Those foods, while sweet, nourish your body and provide sustainable fuel.

The real problem comes when you eat those naturally sweet foods and overindulge in foods made with added sugars (like corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, and white table sugar). And candy's not the only culprit. Look out for added sugars in these seemingly healthy foods, which have even more sugar than some kinds of candy:

1. Enriched Waters

Fruit-flavored Vitamin Water (31 grams of sugar), some coconut waters (about 12 grams of sugar), and Gatorade (21 grams of sugar) may sound like better choices than soda (39 grams in a can of Coca Cola) when water doesn't cut it. Even though some drinks contain added vitamins, they don't contain the fiber found in real fruit and other foods, so they fill you up with calories that don't keep you full.

2. Cereal With Milk

It's no surprise that almost every cereal that tastes good is loaded with added sugars. (It's why you don't eat Lucky Charms &mdash which contain 10 grams of sugar per 3/4 cup serving &mdash three meals a day.) What's more surprising: Plain milk contains sugar. Granted, it's naturally occurring sugar (i.e., healthier than the refined stuff you find in candy), and packaged with the protein and nutrients found in milk, so it's the sugar you shouldn't cut out. Rather, opt for cereals with few or no added sugars for a lower-sugar breakfast, and just keep milk in mind if you're calculating your total sugar consumption.

3. Fat-Free Flavored Yogurt

When food makers take the fat out of food, they add other ingredients &mdash like sugar &mdash to compensate and improve the taste. And while it makes sense for flavored yogurts to contain added sugars (that fruit goo at the bottom doesn't sweeten itself!), vanilla yogurt can contain lots of added sugar too. (Don't let labels like "organic" fool you &mdash they can be just as sweet as conventional brands.) If you can't picture life without your favorite yogurt flavor, compare different brands of it. Choose the brand that has the most natural-sounding ingredients (i.e., actual fruit) and the fewest grams of sugar, suggests Bazilian, who favors Chobani and Siggi's.

4. Tomato Soup

In an ideal world, tomato soup should be made of stewed tomatoes that are sweet enough to slurp. But some recipes (like Amy's Organic Vegan Low-Fat Chunky Tomato Bisque) contain added sugars to enhance the flavor of tomatoes that aren't up to par. (The same goes for tomato sauce.) Avoid soups that list "sugar" as an ingredient, and consider broth-based options flavored with wholesome ingredients, spices, and herbs.

5. Dried Fruit

Of course fruit contains some natural sugars &mdash NBD. But when you dry fresh fruit, you lose the water, which concentrates the sugar and makes every bite sweeter &mdash with more sugar than marshmallows, cup for cup. This absolutely does not mean that marshmallows are healthier than raisins, as dried fruit still contains more fiber and nutrients than straight-up candy. The point is that fresh fruit is best.

6. Granola Bar

Most people eat granola bars because they're convenient and healthier than candy bars. (Or so you'd think.) But even healthy-sounding bars (i.e., the ones made without chocolate) can contain lots of added sugars. Look for ones sweetened with fruit or honey &mdash not corn syrup or cane sugar &mdash and fewer than 10 grams of sugar (the less the better!).

7. Soy Milk

Unfortunately for people who are lactose intolerant (or prefer the taste of soy or almond milk), milk alternatives tend to be much more processed than cow's milk and contain more added sugars &mdash especially when it comes to fancy flavors. Case in point: Silk Very Vanilla Soy Milk contains more added sugar (15 grams worth!) than protein (6 grams), which is advertised on the carton. Look for unsweetened flavors to lower your overall sugar intake.

8. Tonic Water

While soda water and tonic water are both clear and make tasty mixers, tonic is actually more similar to regular soda: It's loaded with sugar. Instead of ordering a vodka-tonic, you're better off with a vodka-orange juice: OJ has slightly less sugar (22 grams of sugar per cup) and gets extra credit for its vitamin C.

9. Green Juice

The sugars in this green juice come from its main ingredients: fruits and fruit juices. But 53 grams of sugar (270 calories!) is an awful lot to suck through a straw. Instead, go for a green juice that contains veggies as the first ingredients, or opt for water and a salad. Your brain will register it as a meal, unlike the same amount of liquid calories.

10. Instant Oatmeal

Opt for brown sugar and maple syrup oatmeal, and you should know what you're getting: breakfast for dessert. Instant oatmeal made flavored with apples and cinnamon sounds a whole lot better. Unfortunately, fruit-flavored options have just as much sugar as obviously sweetened varieties &mdash even more than oatmeal with chocolate chips (8 grams). Your best bet is unflavored oatmeal (zero sugar!) with fresh mix-ins (like berries, which tend to contain less sugar than other fruits).


10 Healthy-Sounding Foods With More Sugar Than Candy

Because most packaged foods contain some kind of added sugar, the sweet stuff is nearly impossible to avoid.

In the short term, sugary foods can send you on an energy roller coaster that ultimately leaves you feeling sluggish and starving. Over time, a chronically high-sugar diet can trigger inflammation and related health issues ranging from weight gain to heart disease, dementia, diabetes, and cancer. It's why the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommends eating no more than 10 percent of your daily calories (i.e., 12 teaspoons or 48 grams of sugar) from added sugar each day.

But "sugar itself isn't an inherent evil," says Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, a San Diego-based registered dietitian and the author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet. Wholesome foods that contain natural sugars often contain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients (like protein and fiber) too. Those foods, while sweet, nourish your body and provide sustainable fuel.

The real problem comes when you eat those naturally sweet foods and overindulge in foods made with added sugars (like corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, and white table sugar). And candy's not the only culprit. Look out for added sugars in these seemingly healthy foods, which have even more sugar than some kinds of candy:

1. Enriched Waters

Fruit-flavored Vitamin Water (31 grams of sugar), some coconut waters (about 12 grams of sugar), and Gatorade (21 grams of sugar) may sound like better choices than soda (39 grams in a can of Coca Cola) when water doesn't cut it. Even though some drinks contain added vitamins, they don't contain the fiber found in real fruit and other foods, so they fill you up with calories that don't keep you full.

2. Cereal With Milk

It's no surprise that almost every cereal that tastes good is loaded with added sugars. (It's why you don't eat Lucky Charms &mdash which contain 10 grams of sugar per 3/4 cup serving &mdash three meals a day.) What's more surprising: Plain milk contains sugar. Granted, it's naturally occurring sugar (i.e., healthier than the refined stuff you find in candy), and packaged with the protein and nutrients found in milk, so it's the sugar you shouldn't cut out. Rather, opt for cereals with few or no added sugars for a lower-sugar breakfast, and just keep milk in mind if you're calculating your total sugar consumption.

3. Fat-Free Flavored Yogurt

When food makers take the fat out of food, they add other ingredients &mdash like sugar &mdash to compensate and improve the taste. And while it makes sense for flavored yogurts to contain added sugars (that fruit goo at the bottom doesn't sweeten itself!), vanilla yogurt can contain lots of added sugar too. (Don't let labels like "organic" fool you &mdash they can be just as sweet as conventional brands.) If you can't picture life without your favorite yogurt flavor, compare different brands of it. Choose the brand that has the most natural-sounding ingredients (i.e., actual fruit) and the fewest grams of sugar, suggests Bazilian, who favors Chobani and Siggi's.

4. Tomato Soup

In an ideal world, tomato soup should be made of stewed tomatoes that are sweet enough to slurp. But some recipes (like Amy's Organic Vegan Low-Fat Chunky Tomato Bisque) contain added sugars to enhance the flavor of tomatoes that aren't up to par. (The same goes for tomato sauce.) Avoid soups that list "sugar" as an ingredient, and consider broth-based options flavored with wholesome ingredients, spices, and herbs.

5. Dried Fruit

Of course fruit contains some natural sugars &mdash NBD. But when you dry fresh fruit, you lose the water, which concentrates the sugar and makes every bite sweeter &mdash with more sugar than marshmallows, cup for cup. This absolutely does not mean that marshmallows are healthier than raisins, as dried fruit still contains more fiber and nutrients than straight-up candy. The point is that fresh fruit is best.

6. Granola Bar

Most people eat granola bars because they're convenient and healthier than candy bars. (Or so you'd think.) But even healthy-sounding bars (i.e., the ones made without chocolate) can contain lots of added sugars. Look for ones sweetened with fruit or honey &mdash not corn syrup or cane sugar &mdash and fewer than 10 grams of sugar (the less the better!).

7. Soy Milk

Unfortunately for people who are lactose intolerant (or prefer the taste of soy or almond milk), milk alternatives tend to be much more processed than cow's milk and contain more added sugars &mdash especially when it comes to fancy flavors. Case in point: Silk Very Vanilla Soy Milk contains more added sugar (15 grams worth!) than protein (6 grams), which is advertised on the carton. Look for unsweetened flavors to lower your overall sugar intake.

8. Tonic Water

While soda water and tonic water are both clear and make tasty mixers, tonic is actually more similar to regular soda: It's loaded with sugar. Instead of ordering a vodka-tonic, you're better off with a vodka-orange juice: OJ has slightly less sugar (22 grams of sugar per cup) and gets extra credit for its vitamin C.

9. Green Juice

The sugars in this green juice come from its main ingredients: fruits and fruit juices. But 53 grams of sugar (270 calories!) is an awful lot to suck through a straw. Instead, go for a green juice that contains veggies as the first ingredients, or opt for water and a salad. Your brain will register it as a meal, unlike the same amount of liquid calories.

10. Instant Oatmeal

Opt for brown sugar and maple syrup oatmeal, and you should know what you're getting: breakfast for dessert. Instant oatmeal made flavored with apples and cinnamon sounds a whole lot better. Unfortunately, fruit-flavored options have just as much sugar as obviously sweetened varieties &mdash even more than oatmeal with chocolate chips (8 grams). Your best bet is unflavored oatmeal (zero sugar!) with fresh mix-ins (like berries, which tend to contain less sugar than other fruits).


10 Healthy-Sounding Foods With More Sugar Than Candy

Because most packaged foods contain some kind of added sugar, the sweet stuff is nearly impossible to avoid.

In the short term, sugary foods can send you on an energy roller coaster that ultimately leaves you feeling sluggish and starving. Over time, a chronically high-sugar diet can trigger inflammation and related health issues ranging from weight gain to heart disease, dementia, diabetes, and cancer. It's why the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommends eating no more than 10 percent of your daily calories (i.e., 12 teaspoons or 48 grams of sugar) from added sugar each day.

But "sugar itself isn't an inherent evil," says Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, a San Diego-based registered dietitian and the author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet. Wholesome foods that contain natural sugars often contain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients (like protein and fiber) too. Those foods, while sweet, nourish your body and provide sustainable fuel.

The real problem comes when you eat those naturally sweet foods and overindulge in foods made with added sugars (like corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, and white table sugar). And candy's not the only culprit. Look out for added sugars in these seemingly healthy foods, which have even more sugar than some kinds of candy:

1. Enriched Waters

Fruit-flavored Vitamin Water (31 grams of sugar), some coconut waters (about 12 grams of sugar), and Gatorade (21 grams of sugar) may sound like better choices than soda (39 grams in a can of Coca Cola) when water doesn't cut it. Even though some drinks contain added vitamins, they don't contain the fiber found in real fruit and other foods, so they fill you up with calories that don't keep you full.

2. Cereal With Milk

It's no surprise that almost every cereal that tastes good is loaded with added sugars. (It's why you don't eat Lucky Charms &mdash which contain 10 grams of sugar per 3/4 cup serving &mdash three meals a day.) What's more surprising: Plain milk contains sugar. Granted, it's naturally occurring sugar (i.e., healthier than the refined stuff you find in candy), and packaged with the protein and nutrients found in milk, so it's the sugar you shouldn't cut out. Rather, opt for cereals with few or no added sugars for a lower-sugar breakfast, and just keep milk in mind if you're calculating your total sugar consumption.

3. Fat-Free Flavored Yogurt

When food makers take the fat out of food, they add other ingredients &mdash like sugar &mdash to compensate and improve the taste. And while it makes sense for flavored yogurts to contain added sugars (that fruit goo at the bottom doesn't sweeten itself!), vanilla yogurt can contain lots of added sugar too. (Don't let labels like "organic" fool you &mdash they can be just as sweet as conventional brands.) If you can't picture life without your favorite yogurt flavor, compare different brands of it. Choose the brand that has the most natural-sounding ingredients (i.e., actual fruit) and the fewest grams of sugar, suggests Bazilian, who favors Chobani and Siggi's.

4. Tomato Soup

In an ideal world, tomato soup should be made of stewed tomatoes that are sweet enough to slurp. But some recipes (like Amy's Organic Vegan Low-Fat Chunky Tomato Bisque) contain added sugars to enhance the flavor of tomatoes that aren't up to par. (The same goes for tomato sauce.) Avoid soups that list "sugar" as an ingredient, and consider broth-based options flavored with wholesome ingredients, spices, and herbs.

5. Dried Fruit

Of course fruit contains some natural sugars &mdash NBD. But when you dry fresh fruit, you lose the water, which concentrates the sugar and makes every bite sweeter &mdash with more sugar than marshmallows, cup for cup. This absolutely does not mean that marshmallows are healthier than raisins, as dried fruit still contains more fiber and nutrients than straight-up candy. The point is that fresh fruit is best.

6. Granola Bar

Most people eat granola bars because they're convenient and healthier than candy bars. (Or so you'd think.) But even healthy-sounding bars (i.e., the ones made without chocolate) can contain lots of added sugars. Look for ones sweetened with fruit or honey &mdash not corn syrup or cane sugar &mdash and fewer than 10 grams of sugar (the less the better!).

7. Soy Milk

Unfortunately for people who are lactose intolerant (or prefer the taste of soy or almond milk), milk alternatives tend to be much more processed than cow's milk and contain more added sugars &mdash especially when it comes to fancy flavors. Case in point: Silk Very Vanilla Soy Milk contains more added sugar (15 grams worth!) than protein (6 grams), which is advertised on the carton. Look for unsweetened flavors to lower your overall sugar intake.

8. Tonic Water

While soda water and tonic water are both clear and make tasty mixers, tonic is actually more similar to regular soda: It's loaded with sugar. Instead of ordering a vodka-tonic, you're better off with a vodka-orange juice: OJ has slightly less sugar (22 grams of sugar per cup) and gets extra credit for its vitamin C.

9. Green Juice

The sugars in this green juice come from its main ingredients: fruits and fruit juices. But 53 grams of sugar (270 calories!) is an awful lot to suck through a straw. Instead, go for a green juice that contains veggies as the first ingredients, or opt for water and a salad. Your brain will register it as a meal, unlike the same amount of liquid calories.

10. Instant Oatmeal

Opt for brown sugar and maple syrup oatmeal, and you should know what you're getting: breakfast for dessert. Instant oatmeal made flavored with apples and cinnamon sounds a whole lot better. Unfortunately, fruit-flavored options have just as much sugar as obviously sweetened varieties &mdash even more than oatmeal with chocolate chips (8 grams). Your best bet is unflavored oatmeal (zero sugar!) with fresh mix-ins (like berries, which tend to contain less sugar than other fruits).


10 Healthy-Sounding Foods With More Sugar Than Candy

Because most packaged foods contain some kind of added sugar, the sweet stuff is nearly impossible to avoid.

In the short term, sugary foods can send you on an energy roller coaster that ultimately leaves you feeling sluggish and starving. Over time, a chronically high-sugar diet can trigger inflammation and related health issues ranging from weight gain to heart disease, dementia, diabetes, and cancer. It's why the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommends eating no more than 10 percent of your daily calories (i.e., 12 teaspoons or 48 grams of sugar) from added sugar each day.

But "sugar itself isn't an inherent evil," says Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, a San Diego-based registered dietitian and the author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet. Wholesome foods that contain natural sugars often contain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients (like protein and fiber) too. Those foods, while sweet, nourish your body and provide sustainable fuel.

The real problem comes when you eat those naturally sweet foods and overindulge in foods made with added sugars (like corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, and white table sugar). And candy's not the only culprit. Look out for added sugars in these seemingly healthy foods, which have even more sugar than some kinds of candy:

1. Enriched Waters

Fruit-flavored Vitamin Water (31 grams of sugar), some coconut waters (about 12 grams of sugar), and Gatorade (21 grams of sugar) may sound like better choices than soda (39 grams in a can of Coca Cola) when water doesn't cut it. Even though some drinks contain added vitamins, they don't contain the fiber found in real fruit and other foods, so they fill you up with calories that don't keep you full.

2. Cereal With Milk

It's no surprise that almost every cereal that tastes good is loaded with added sugars. (It's why you don't eat Lucky Charms &mdash which contain 10 grams of sugar per 3/4 cup serving &mdash three meals a day.) What's more surprising: Plain milk contains sugar. Granted, it's naturally occurring sugar (i.e., healthier than the refined stuff you find in candy), and packaged with the protein and nutrients found in milk, so it's the sugar you shouldn't cut out. Rather, opt for cereals with few or no added sugars for a lower-sugar breakfast, and just keep milk in mind if you're calculating your total sugar consumption.

3. Fat-Free Flavored Yogurt

When food makers take the fat out of food, they add other ingredients &mdash like sugar &mdash to compensate and improve the taste. And while it makes sense for flavored yogurts to contain added sugars (that fruit goo at the bottom doesn't sweeten itself!), vanilla yogurt can contain lots of added sugar too. (Don't let labels like "organic" fool you &mdash they can be just as sweet as conventional brands.) If you can't picture life without your favorite yogurt flavor, compare different brands of it. Choose the brand that has the most natural-sounding ingredients (i.e., actual fruit) and the fewest grams of sugar, suggests Bazilian, who favors Chobani and Siggi's.

4. Tomato Soup

In an ideal world, tomato soup should be made of stewed tomatoes that are sweet enough to slurp. But some recipes (like Amy's Organic Vegan Low-Fat Chunky Tomato Bisque) contain added sugars to enhance the flavor of tomatoes that aren't up to par. (The same goes for tomato sauce.) Avoid soups that list "sugar" as an ingredient, and consider broth-based options flavored with wholesome ingredients, spices, and herbs.

5. Dried Fruit

Of course fruit contains some natural sugars &mdash NBD. But when you dry fresh fruit, you lose the water, which concentrates the sugar and makes every bite sweeter &mdash with more sugar than marshmallows, cup for cup. This absolutely does not mean that marshmallows are healthier than raisins, as dried fruit still contains more fiber and nutrients than straight-up candy. The point is that fresh fruit is best.

6. Granola Bar

Most people eat granola bars because they're convenient and healthier than candy bars. (Or so you'd think.) But even healthy-sounding bars (i.e., the ones made without chocolate) can contain lots of added sugars. Look for ones sweetened with fruit or honey &mdash not corn syrup or cane sugar &mdash and fewer than 10 grams of sugar (the less the better!).

7. Soy Milk

Unfortunately for people who are lactose intolerant (or prefer the taste of soy or almond milk), milk alternatives tend to be much more processed than cow's milk and contain more added sugars &mdash especially when it comes to fancy flavors. Case in point: Silk Very Vanilla Soy Milk contains more added sugar (15 grams worth!) than protein (6 grams), which is advertised on the carton. Look for unsweetened flavors to lower your overall sugar intake.

8. Tonic Water

While soda water and tonic water are both clear and make tasty mixers, tonic is actually more similar to regular soda: It's loaded with sugar. Instead of ordering a vodka-tonic, you're better off with a vodka-orange juice: OJ has slightly less sugar (22 grams of sugar per cup) and gets extra credit for its vitamin C.

9. Green Juice

The sugars in this green juice come from its main ingredients: fruits and fruit juices. But 53 grams of sugar (270 calories!) is an awful lot to suck through a straw. Instead, go for a green juice that contains veggies as the first ingredients, or opt for water and a salad. Your brain will register it as a meal, unlike the same amount of liquid calories.

10. Instant Oatmeal

Opt for brown sugar and maple syrup oatmeal, and you should know what you're getting: breakfast for dessert. Instant oatmeal made flavored with apples and cinnamon sounds a whole lot better. Unfortunately, fruit-flavored options have just as much sugar as obviously sweetened varieties &mdash even more than oatmeal with chocolate chips (8 grams). Your best bet is unflavored oatmeal (zero sugar!) with fresh mix-ins (like berries, which tend to contain less sugar than other fruits).


10 Healthy-Sounding Foods With More Sugar Than Candy

Because most packaged foods contain some kind of added sugar, the sweet stuff is nearly impossible to avoid.

In the short term, sugary foods can send you on an energy roller coaster that ultimately leaves you feeling sluggish and starving. Over time, a chronically high-sugar diet can trigger inflammation and related health issues ranging from weight gain to heart disease, dementia, diabetes, and cancer. It's why the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommends eating no more than 10 percent of your daily calories (i.e., 12 teaspoons or 48 grams of sugar) from added sugar each day.

But "sugar itself isn't an inherent evil," says Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, a San Diego-based registered dietitian and the author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet. Wholesome foods that contain natural sugars often contain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients (like protein and fiber) too. Those foods, while sweet, nourish your body and provide sustainable fuel.

The real problem comes when you eat those naturally sweet foods and overindulge in foods made with added sugars (like corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, and white table sugar). And candy's not the only culprit. Look out for added sugars in these seemingly healthy foods, which have even more sugar than some kinds of candy:

1. Enriched Waters

Fruit-flavored Vitamin Water (31 grams of sugar), some coconut waters (about 12 grams of sugar), and Gatorade (21 grams of sugar) may sound like better choices than soda (39 grams in a can of Coca Cola) when water doesn't cut it. Even though some drinks contain added vitamins, they don't contain the fiber found in real fruit and other foods, so they fill you up with calories that don't keep you full.

2. Cereal With Milk

It's no surprise that almost every cereal that tastes good is loaded with added sugars. (It's why you don't eat Lucky Charms &mdash which contain 10 grams of sugar per 3/4 cup serving &mdash three meals a day.) What's more surprising: Plain milk contains sugar. Granted, it's naturally occurring sugar (i.e., healthier than the refined stuff you find in candy), and packaged with the protein and nutrients found in milk, so it's the sugar you shouldn't cut out. Rather, opt for cereals with few or no added sugars for a lower-sugar breakfast, and just keep milk in mind if you're calculating your total sugar consumption.

3. Fat-Free Flavored Yogurt

When food makers take the fat out of food, they add other ingredients &mdash like sugar &mdash to compensate and improve the taste. And while it makes sense for flavored yogurts to contain added sugars (that fruit goo at the bottom doesn't sweeten itself!), vanilla yogurt can contain lots of added sugar too. (Don't let labels like "organic" fool you &mdash they can be just as sweet as conventional brands.) If you can't picture life without your favorite yogurt flavor, compare different brands of it. Choose the brand that has the most natural-sounding ingredients (i.e., actual fruit) and the fewest grams of sugar, suggests Bazilian, who favors Chobani and Siggi's.

4. Tomato Soup

In an ideal world, tomato soup should be made of stewed tomatoes that are sweet enough to slurp. But some recipes (like Amy's Organic Vegan Low-Fat Chunky Tomato Bisque) contain added sugars to enhance the flavor of tomatoes that aren't up to par. (The same goes for tomato sauce.) Avoid soups that list "sugar" as an ingredient, and consider broth-based options flavored with wholesome ingredients, spices, and herbs.

5. Dried Fruit

Of course fruit contains some natural sugars &mdash NBD. But when you dry fresh fruit, you lose the water, which concentrates the sugar and makes every bite sweeter &mdash with more sugar than marshmallows, cup for cup. This absolutely does not mean that marshmallows are healthier than raisins, as dried fruit still contains more fiber and nutrients than straight-up candy. The point is that fresh fruit is best.

6. Granola Bar

Most people eat granola bars because they're convenient and healthier than candy bars. (Or so you'd think.) But even healthy-sounding bars (i.e., the ones made without chocolate) can contain lots of added sugars. Look for ones sweetened with fruit or honey &mdash not corn syrup or cane sugar &mdash and fewer than 10 grams of sugar (the less the better!).

7. Soy Milk

Unfortunately for people who are lactose intolerant (or prefer the taste of soy or almond milk), milk alternatives tend to be much more processed than cow's milk and contain more added sugars &mdash especially when it comes to fancy flavors. Case in point: Silk Very Vanilla Soy Milk contains more added sugar (15 grams worth!) than protein (6 grams), which is advertised on the carton. Look for unsweetened flavors to lower your overall sugar intake.

8. Tonic Water

While soda water and tonic water are both clear and make tasty mixers, tonic is actually more similar to regular soda: It's loaded with sugar. Instead of ordering a vodka-tonic, you're better off with a vodka-orange juice: OJ has slightly less sugar (22 grams of sugar per cup) and gets extra credit for its vitamin C.

9. Green Juice

The sugars in this green juice come from its main ingredients: fruits and fruit juices. But 53 grams of sugar (270 calories!) is an awful lot to suck through a straw. Instead, go for a green juice that contains veggies as the first ingredients, or opt for water and a salad. Your brain will register it as a meal, unlike the same amount of liquid calories.

10. Instant Oatmeal

Opt for brown sugar and maple syrup oatmeal, and you should know what you're getting: breakfast for dessert. Instant oatmeal made flavored with apples and cinnamon sounds a whole lot better. Unfortunately, fruit-flavored options have just as much sugar as obviously sweetened varieties &mdash even more than oatmeal with chocolate chips (8 grams). Your best bet is unflavored oatmeal (zero sugar!) with fresh mix-ins (like berries, which tend to contain less sugar than other fruits).


10 Healthy-Sounding Foods With More Sugar Than Candy

Because most packaged foods contain some kind of added sugar, the sweet stuff is nearly impossible to avoid.

In the short term, sugary foods can send you on an energy roller coaster that ultimately leaves you feeling sluggish and starving. Over time, a chronically high-sugar diet can trigger inflammation and related health issues ranging from weight gain to heart disease, dementia, diabetes, and cancer. It's why the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommends eating no more than 10 percent of your daily calories (i.e., 12 teaspoons or 48 grams of sugar) from added sugar each day.

But "sugar itself isn't an inherent evil," says Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, a San Diego-based registered dietitian and the author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet. Wholesome foods that contain natural sugars often contain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients (like protein and fiber) too. Those foods, while sweet, nourish your body and provide sustainable fuel.

The real problem comes when you eat those naturally sweet foods and overindulge in foods made with added sugars (like corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, and white table sugar). And candy's not the only culprit. Look out for added sugars in these seemingly healthy foods, which have even more sugar than some kinds of candy:

1. Enriched Waters

Fruit-flavored Vitamin Water (31 grams of sugar), some coconut waters (about 12 grams of sugar), and Gatorade (21 grams of sugar) may sound like better choices than soda (39 grams in a can of Coca Cola) when water doesn't cut it. Even though some drinks contain added vitamins, they don't contain the fiber found in real fruit and other foods, so they fill you up with calories that don't keep you full.

2. Cereal With Milk

It's no surprise that almost every cereal that tastes good is loaded with added sugars. (It's why you don't eat Lucky Charms &mdash which contain 10 grams of sugar per 3/4 cup serving &mdash three meals a day.) What's more surprising: Plain milk contains sugar. Granted, it's naturally occurring sugar (i.e., healthier than the refined stuff you find in candy), and packaged with the protein and nutrients found in milk, so it's the sugar you shouldn't cut out. Rather, opt for cereals with few or no added sugars for a lower-sugar breakfast, and just keep milk in mind if you're calculating your total sugar consumption.

3. Fat-Free Flavored Yogurt

When food makers take the fat out of food, they add other ingredients &mdash like sugar &mdash to compensate and improve the taste. And while it makes sense for flavored yogurts to contain added sugars (that fruit goo at the bottom doesn't sweeten itself!), vanilla yogurt can contain lots of added sugar too. (Don't let labels like "organic" fool you &mdash they can be just as sweet as conventional brands.) If you can't picture life without your favorite yogurt flavor, compare different brands of it. Choose the brand that has the most natural-sounding ingredients (i.e., actual fruit) and the fewest grams of sugar, suggests Bazilian, who favors Chobani and Siggi's.

4. Tomato Soup

In an ideal world, tomato soup should be made of stewed tomatoes that are sweet enough to slurp. But some recipes (like Amy's Organic Vegan Low-Fat Chunky Tomato Bisque) contain added sugars to enhance the flavor of tomatoes that aren't up to par. (The same goes for tomato sauce.) Avoid soups that list "sugar" as an ingredient, and consider broth-based options flavored with wholesome ingredients, spices, and herbs.

5. Dried Fruit

Of course fruit contains some natural sugars &mdash NBD. But when you dry fresh fruit, you lose the water, which concentrates the sugar and makes every bite sweeter &mdash with more sugar than marshmallows, cup for cup. This absolutely does not mean that marshmallows are healthier than raisins, as dried fruit still contains more fiber and nutrients than straight-up candy. The point is that fresh fruit is best.

6. Granola Bar

Most people eat granola bars because they're convenient and healthier than candy bars. (Or so you'd think.) But even healthy-sounding bars (i.e., the ones made without chocolate) can contain lots of added sugars. Look for ones sweetened with fruit or honey &mdash not corn syrup or cane sugar &mdash and fewer than 10 grams of sugar (the less the better!).

7. Soy Milk

Unfortunately for people who are lactose intolerant (or prefer the taste of soy or almond milk), milk alternatives tend to be much more processed than cow's milk and contain more added sugars &mdash especially when it comes to fancy flavors. Case in point: Silk Very Vanilla Soy Milk contains more added sugar (15 grams worth!) than protein (6 grams), which is advertised on the carton. Look for unsweetened flavors to lower your overall sugar intake.

8. Tonic Water

While soda water and tonic water are both clear and make tasty mixers, tonic is actually more similar to regular soda: It's loaded with sugar. Instead of ordering a vodka-tonic, you're better off with a vodka-orange juice: OJ has slightly less sugar (22 grams of sugar per cup) and gets extra credit for its vitamin C.

9. Green Juice

The sugars in this green juice come from its main ingredients: fruits and fruit juices. But 53 grams of sugar (270 calories!) is an awful lot to suck through a straw. Instead, go for a green juice that contains veggies as the first ingredients, or opt for water and a salad. Your brain will register it as a meal, unlike the same amount of liquid calories.

10. Instant Oatmeal

Opt for brown sugar and maple syrup oatmeal, and you should know what you're getting: breakfast for dessert. Instant oatmeal made flavored with apples and cinnamon sounds a whole lot better. Unfortunately, fruit-flavored options have just as much sugar as obviously sweetened varieties &mdash even more than oatmeal with chocolate chips (8 grams). Your best bet is unflavored oatmeal (zero sugar!) with fresh mix-ins (like berries, which tend to contain less sugar than other fruits).


10 Healthy-Sounding Foods With More Sugar Than Candy

Because most packaged foods contain some kind of added sugar, the sweet stuff is nearly impossible to avoid.

In the short term, sugary foods can send you on an energy roller coaster that ultimately leaves you feeling sluggish and starving. Over time, a chronically high-sugar diet can trigger inflammation and related health issues ranging from weight gain to heart disease, dementia, diabetes, and cancer. It's why the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommends eating no more than 10 percent of your daily calories (i.e., 12 teaspoons or 48 grams of sugar) from added sugar each day.

But "sugar itself isn't an inherent evil," says Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, a San Diego-based registered dietitian and the author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet. Wholesome foods that contain natural sugars often contain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients (like protein and fiber) too. Those foods, while sweet, nourish your body and provide sustainable fuel.

The real problem comes when you eat those naturally sweet foods and overindulge in foods made with added sugars (like corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, and white table sugar). And candy's not the only culprit. Look out for added sugars in these seemingly healthy foods, which have even more sugar than some kinds of candy:

1. Enriched Waters

Fruit-flavored Vitamin Water (31 grams of sugar), some coconut waters (about 12 grams of sugar), and Gatorade (21 grams of sugar) may sound like better choices than soda (39 grams in a can of Coca Cola) when water doesn't cut it. Even though some drinks contain added vitamins, they don't contain the fiber found in real fruit and other foods, so they fill you up with calories that don't keep you full.

2. Cereal With Milk

It's no surprise that almost every cereal that tastes good is loaded with added sugars. (It's why you don't eat Lucky Charms &mdash which contain 10 grams of sugar per 3/4 cup serving &mdash three meals a day.) What's more surprising: Plain milk contains sugar. Granted, it's naturally occurring sugar (i.e., healthier than the refined stuff you find in candy), and packaged with the protein and nutrients found in milk, so it's the sugar you shouldn't cut out. Rather, opt for cereals with few or no added sugars for a lower-sugar breakfast, and just keep milk in mind if you're calculating your total sugar consumption.

3. Fat-Free Flavored Yogurt

When food makers take the fat out of food, they add other ingredients &mdash like sugar &mdash to compensate and improve the taste. And while it makes sense for flavored yogurts to contain added sugars (that fruit goo at the bottom doesn't sweeten itself!), vanilla yogurt can contain lots of added sugar too. (Don't let labels like "organic" fool you &mdash they can be just as sweet as conventional brands.) If you can't picture life without your favorite yogurt flavor, compare different brands of it. Choose the brand that has the most natural-sounding ingredients (i.e., actual fruit) and the fewest grams of sugar, suggests Bazilian, who favors Chobani and Siggi's.

4. Tomato Soup

In an ideal world, tomato soup should be made of stewed tomatoes that are sweet enough to slurp. But some recipes (like Amy's Organic Vegan Low-Fat Chunky Tomato Bisque) contain added sugars to enhance the flavor of tomatoes that aren't up to par. (The same goes for tomato sauce.) Avoid soups that list "sugar" as an ingredient, and consider broth-based options flavored with wholesome ingredients, spices, and herbs.

5. Dried Fruit

Of course fruit contains some natural sugars &mdash NBD. But when you dry fresh fruit, you lose the water, which concentrates the sugar and makes every bite sweeter &mdash with more sugar than marshmallows, cup for cup. This absolutely does not mean that marshmallows are healthier than raisins, as dried fruit still contains more fiber and nutrients than straight-up candy. The point is that fresh fruit is best.

6. Granola Bar

Most people eat granola bars because they're convenient and healthier than candy bars. (Or so you'd think.) But even healthy-sounding bars (i.e., the ones made without chocolate) can contain lots of added sugars. Look for ones sweetened with fruit or honey &mdash not corn syrup or cane sugar &mdash and fewer than 10 grams of sugar (the less the better!).

7. Soy Milk

Unfortunately for people who are lactose intolerant (or prefer the taste of soy or almond milk), milk alternatives tend to be much more processed than cow's milk and contain more added sugars &mdash especially when it comes to fancy flavors. Case in point: Silk Very Vanilla Soy Milk contains more added sugar (15 grams worth!) than protein (6 grams), which is advertised on the carton. Look for unsweetened flavors to lower your overall sugar intake.

8. Tonic Water

While soda water and tonic water are both clear and make tasty mixers, tonic is actually more similar to regular soda: It's loaded with sugar. Instead of ordering a vodka-tonic, you're better off with a vodka-orange juice: OJ has slightly less sugar (22 grams of sugar per cup) and gets extra credit for its vitamin C.

9. Green Juice

The sugars in this green juice come from its main ingredients: fruits and fruit juices. But 53 grams of sugar (270 calories!) is an awful lot to suck through a straw. Instead, go for a green juice that contains veggies as the first ingredients, or opt for water and a salad. Your brain will register it as a meal, unlike the same amount of liquid calories.

10. Instant Oatmeal

Opt for brown sugar and maple syrup oatmeal, and you should know what you're getting: breakfast for dessert. Instant oatmeal made flavored with apples and cinnamon sounds a whole lot better. Unfortunately, fruit-flavored options have just as much sugar as obviously sweetened varieties &mdash even more than oatmeal with chocolate chips (8 grams). Your best bet is unflavored oatmeal (zero sugar!) with fresh mix-ins (like berries, which tend to contain less sugar than other fruits).


10 Healthy-Sounding Foods With More Sugar Than Candy

Because most packaged foods contain some kind of added sugar, the sweet stuff is nearly impossible to avoid.

In the short term, sugary foods can send you on an energy roller coaster that ultimately leaves you feeling sluggish and starving. Over time, a chronically high-sugar diet can trigger inflammation and related health issues ranging from weight gain to heart disease, dementia, diabetes, and cancer. It's why the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommends eating no more than 10 percent of your daily calories (i.e., 12 teaspoons or 48 grams of sugar) from added sugar each day.

But "sugar itself isn't an inherent evil," says Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, a San Diego-based registered dietitian and the author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet. Wholesome foods that contain natural sugars often contain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients (like protein and fiber) too. Those foods, while sweet, nourish your body and provide sustainable fuel.

The real problem comes when you eat those naturally sweet foods and overindulge in foods made with added sugars (like corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, and white table sugar). And candy's not the only culprit. Look out for added sugars in these seemingly healthy foods, which have even more sugar than some kinds of candy:

1. Enriched Waters

Fruit-flavored Vitamin Water (31 grams of sugar), some coconut waters (about 12 grams of sugar), and Gatorade (21 grams of sugar) may sound like better choices than soda (39 grams in a can of Coca Cola) when water doesn't cut it. Even though some drinks contain added vitamins, they don't contain the fiber found in real fruit and other foods, so they fill you up with calories that don't keep you full.

2. Cereal With Milk

It's no surprise that almost every cereal that tastes good is loaded with added sugars. (It's why you don't eat Lucky Charms &mdash which contain 10 grams of sugar per 3/4 cup serving &mdash three meals a day.) What's more surprising: Plain milk contains sugar. Granted, it's naturally occurring sugar (i.e., healthier than the refined stuff you find in candy), and packaged with the protein and nutrients found in milk, so it's the sugar you shouldn't cut out. Rather, opt for cereals with few or no added sugars for a lower-sugar breakfast, and just keep milk in mind if you're calculating your total sugar consumption.

3. Fat-Free Flavored Yogurt

When food makers take the fat out of food, they add other ingredients &mdash like sugar &mdash to compensate and improve the taste. And while it makes sense for flavored yogurts to contain added sugars (that fruit goo at the bottom doesn't sweeten itself!), vanilla yogurt can contain lots of added sugar too. (Don't let labels like "organic" fool you &mdash they can be just as sweet as conventional brands.) If you can't picture life without your favorite yogurt flavor, compare different brands of it. Choose the brand that has the most natural-sounding ingredients (i.e., actual fruit) and the fewest grams of sugar, suggests Bazilian, who favors Chobani and Siggi's.

4. Tomato Soup

In an ideal world, tomato soup should be made of stewed tomatoes that are sweet enough to slurp. But some recipes (like Amy's Organic Vegan Low-Fat Chunky Tomato Bisque) contain added sugars to enhance the flavor of tomatoes that aren't up to par. (The same goes for tomato sauce.) Avoid soups that list "sugar" as an ingredient, and consider broth-based options flavored with wholesome ingredients, spices, and herbs.

5. Dried Fruit

Of course fruit contains some natural sugars &mdash NBD. But when you dry fresh fruit, you lose the water, which concentrates the sugar and makes every bite sweeter &mdash with more sugar than marshmallows, cup for cup. This absolutely does not mean that marshmallows are healthier than raisins, as dried fruit still contains more fiber and nutrients than straight-up candy. The point is that fresh fruit is best.

6. Granola Bar

Most people eat granola bars because they're convenient and healthier than candy bars. (Or so you'd think.) But even healthy-sounding bars (i.e., the ones made without chocolate) can contain lots of added sugars. Look for ones sweetened with fruit or honey &mdash not corn syrup or cane sugar &mdash and fewer than 10 grams of sugar (the less the better!).

7. Soy Milk

Unfortunately for people who are lactose intolerant (or prefer the taste of soy or almond milk), milk alternatives tend to be much more processed than cow's milk and contain more added sugars &mdash especially when it comes to fancy flavors. Case in point: Silk Very Vanilla Soy Milk contains more added sugar (15 grams worth!) than protein (6 grams), which is advertised on the carton. Look for unsweetened flavors to lower your overall sugar intake.

8. Tonic Water

While soda water and tonic water are both clear and make tasty mixers, tonic is actually more similar to regular soda: It's loaded with sugar. Instead of ordering a vodka-tonic, you're better off with a vodka-orange juice: OJ has slightly less sugar (22 grams of sugar per cup) and gets extra credit for its vitamin C.

9. Green Juice

The sugars in this green juice come from its main ingredients: fruits and fruit juices. But 53 grams of sugar (270 calories!) is an awful lot to suck through a straw. Instead, go for a green juice that contains veggies as the first ingredients, or opt for water and a salad. Your brain will register it as a meal, unlike the same amount of liquid calories.

10. Instant Oatmeal

Opt for brown sugar and maple syrup oatmeal, and you should know what you're getting: breakfast for dessert. Instant oatmeal made flavored with apples and cinnamon sounds a whole lot better. Unfortunately, fruit-flavored options have just as much sugar as obviously sweetened varieties &mdash even more than oatmeal with chocolate chips (8 grams). Your best bet is unflavored oatmeal (zero sugar!) with fresh mix-ins (like berries, which tend to contain less sugar than other fruits).


10 Healthy-Sounding Foods With More Sugar Than Candy

Because most packaged foods contain some kind of added sugar, the sweet stuff is nearly impossible to avoid.

In the short term, sugary foods can send you on an energy roller coaster that ultimately leaves you feeling sluggish and starving. Over time, a chronically high-sugar diet can trigger inflammation and related health issues ranging from weight gain to heart disease, dementia, diabetes, and cancer. It's why the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommends eating no more than 10 percent of your daily calories (i.e., 12 teaspoons or 48 grams of sugar) from added sugar each day.

But "sugar itself isn't an inherent evil," says Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, a San Diego-based registered dietitian and the author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet. Wholesome foods that contain natural sugars often contain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients (like protein and fiber) too. Those foods, while sweet, nourish your body and provide sustainable fuel.

The real problem comes when you eat those naturally sweet foods and overindulge in foods made with added sugars (like corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, and white table sugar). And candy's not the only culprit. Look out for added sugars in these seemingly healthy foods, which have even more sugar than some kinds of candy:

1. Enriched Waters

Fruit-flavored Vitamin Water (31 grams of sugar), some coconut waters (about 12 grams of sugar), and Gatorade (21 grams of sugar) may sound like better choices than soda (39 grams in a can of Coca Cola) when water doesn't cut it. Even though some drinks contain added vitamins, they don't contain the fiber found in real fruit and other foods, so they fill you up with calories that don't keep you full.

2. Cereal With Milk

It's no surprise that almost every cereal that tastes good is loaded with added sugars. (It's why you don't eat Lucky Charms &mdash which contain 10 grams of sugar per 3/4 cup serving &mdash three meals a day.) What's more surprising: Plain milk contains sugar. Granted, it's naturally occurring sugar (i.e., healthier than the refined stuff you find in candy), and packaged with the protein and nutrients found in milk, so it's the sugar you shouldn't cut out. Rather, opt for cereals with few or no added sugars for a lower-sugar breakfast, and just keep milk in mind if you're calculating your total sugar consumption.

3. Fat-Free Flavored Yogurt

When food makers take the fat out of food, they add other ingredients &mdash like sugar &mdash to compensate and improve the taste. And while it makes sense for flavored yogurts to contain added sugars (that fruit goo at the bottom doesn't sweeten itself!), vanilla yogurt can contain lots of added sugar too. (Don't let labels like "organic" fool you &mdash they can be just as sweet as conventional brands.) If you can't picture life without your favorite yogurt flavor, compare different brands of it. Choose the brand that has the most natural-sounding ingredients (i.e., actual fruit) and the fewest grams of sugar, suggests Bazilian, who favors Chobani and Siggi's.

4. Tomato Soup

In an ideal world, tomato soup should be made of stewed tomatoes that are sweet enough to slurp. But some recipes (like Amy's Organic Vegan Low-Fat Chunky Tomato Bisque) contain added sugars to enhance the flavor of tomatoes that aren't up to par. (The same goes for tomato sauce.) Avoid soups that list "sugar" as an ingredient, and consider broth-based options flavored with wholesome ingredients, spices, and herbs.

5. Dried Fruit

Of course fruit contains some natural sugars &mdash NBD. But when you dry fresh fruit, you lose the water, which concentrates the sugar and makes every bite sweeter &mdash with more sugar than marshmallows, cup for cup. This absolutely does not mean that marshmallows are healthier than raisins, as dried fruit still contains more fiber and nutrients than straight-up candy. The point is that fresh fruit is best.

6. Granola Bar

Most people eat granola bars because they're convenient and healthier than candy bars. (Or so you'd think.) But even healthy-sounding bars (i.e., the ones made without chocolate) can contain lots of added sugars. Look for ones sweetened with fruit or honey &mdash not corn syrup or cane sugar &mdash and fewer than 10 grams of sugar (the less the better!).

7. Soy Milk

Unfortunately for people who are lactose intolerant (or prefer the taste of soy or almond milk), milk alternatives tend to be much more processed than cow's milk and contain more added sugars &mdash especially when it comes to fancy flavors. Case in point: Silk Very Vanilla Soy Milk contains more added sugar (15 grams worth!) than protein (6 grams), which is advertised on the carton. Look for unsweetened flavors to lower your overall sugar intake.

8. Tonic Water

While soda water and tonic water are both clear and make tasty mixers, tonic is actually more similar to regular soda: It's loaded with sugar. Instead of ordering a vodka-tonic, you're better off with a vodka-orange juice: OJ has slightly less sugar (22 grams of sugar per cup) and gets extra credit for its vitamin C.

9. Green Juice

The sugars in this green juice come from its main ingredients: fruits and fruit juices. But 53 grams of sugar (270 calories!) is an awful lot to suck through a straw. Instead, go for a green juice that contains veggies as the first ingredients, or opt for water and a salad. Your brain will register it as a meal, unlike the same amount of liquid calories.

10. Instant Oatmeal

Opt for brown sugar and maple syrup oatmeal, and you should know what you're getting: breakfast for dessert. Instant oatmeal made flavored with apples and cinnamon sounds a whole lot better. Unfortunately, fruit-flavored options have just as much sugar as obviously sweetened varieties &mdash even more than oatmeal with chocolate chips (8 grams). Your best bet is unflavored oatmeal (zero sugar!) with fresh mix-ins (like berries, which tend to contain less sugar than other fruits).


10 Healthy-Sounding Foods With More Sugar Than Candy

Because most packaged foods contain some kind of added sugar, the sweet stuff is nearly impossible to avoid.

In the short term, sugary foods can send you on an energy roller coaster that ultimately leaves you feeling sluggish and starving. Over time, a chronically high-sugar diet can trigger inflammation and related health issues ranging from weight gain to heart disease, dementia, diabetes, and cancer. It's why the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommends eating no more than 10 percent of your daily calories (i.e., 12 teaspoons or 48 grams of sugar) from added sugar each day.

But "sugar itself isn't an inherent evil," says Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, a San Diego-based registered dietitian and the author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet. Wholesome foods that contain natural sugars often contain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients (like protein and fiber) too. Those foods, while sweet, nourish your body and provide sustainable fuel.

The real problem comes when you eat those naturally sweet foods and overindulge in foods made with added sugars (like corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, and white table sugar). And candy's not the only culprit. Look out for added sugars in these seemingly healthy foods, which have even more sugar than some kinds of candy:

1. Enriched Waters

Fruit-flavored Vitamin Water (31 grams of sugar), some coconut waters (about 12 grams of sugar), and Gatorade (21 grams of sugar) may sound like better choices than soda (39 grams in a can of Coca Cola) when water doesn't cut it. Even though some drinks contain added vitamins, they don't contain the fiber found in real fruit and other foods, so they fill you up with calories that don't keep you full.

2. Cereal With Milk

It's no surprise that almost every cereal that tastes good is loaded with added sugars. (It's why you don't eat Lucky Charms &mdash which contain 10 grams of sugar per 3/4 cup serving &mdash three meals a day.) What's more surprising: Plain milk contains sugar. Granted, it's naturally occurring sugar (i.e., healthier than the refined stuff you find in candy), and packaged with the protein and nutrients found in milk, so it's the sugar you shouldn't cut out. Rather, opt for cereals with few or no added sugars for a lower-sugar breakfast, and just keep milk in mind if you're calculating your total sugar consumption.

3. Fat-Free Flavored Yogurt

When food makers take the fat out of food, they add other ingredients &mdash like sugar &mdash to compensate and improve the taste. And while it makes sense for flavored yogurts to contain added sugars (that fruit goo at the bottom doesn't sweeten itself!), vanilla yogurt can contain lots of added sugar too. (Don't let labels like "organic" fool you &mdash they can be just as sweet as conventional brands.) If you can't picture life without your favorite yogurt flavor, compare different brands of it. Choose the brand that has the most natural-sounding ingredients (i.e., actual fruit) and the fewest grams of sugar, suggests Bazilian, who favors Chobani and Siggi's.

4. Tomato Soup

In an ideal world, tomato soup should be made of stewed tomatoes that are sweet enough to slurp. But some recipes (like Amy's Organic Vegan Low-Fat Chunky Tomato Bisque) contain added sugars to enhance the flavor of tomatoes that aren't up to par. (The same goes for tomato sauce.) Avoid soups that list "sugar" as an ingredient, and consider broth-based options flavored with wholesome ingredients, spices, and herbs.

5. Dried Fruit

Of course fruit contains some natural sugars &mdash NBD. But when you dry fresh fruit, you lose the water, which concentrates the sugar and makes every bite sweeter &mdash with more sugar than marshmallows, cup for cup. This absolutely does not mean that marshmallows are healthier than raisins, as dried fruit still contains more fiber and nutrients than straight-up candy. The point is that fresh fruit is best.

6. Granola Bar

Most people eat granola bars because they're convenient and healthier than candy bars. (Or so you'd think.) But even healthy-sounding bars (i.e., the ones made without chocolate) can contain lots of added sugars. Look for ones sweetened with fruit or honey &mdash not corn syrup or cane sugar &mdash and fewer than 10 grams of sugar (the less the better!).

7. Soy Milk

Unfortunately for people who are lactose intolerant (or prefer the taste of soy or almond milk), milk alternatives tend to be much more processed than cow's milk and contain more added sugars &mdash especially when it comes to fancy flavors. Case in point: Silk Very Vanilla Soy Milk contains more added sugar (15 grams worth!) than protein (6 grams), which is advertised on the carton. Look for unsweetened flavors to lower your overall sugar intake.

8. Tonic Water

While soda water and tonic water are both clear and make tasty mixers, tonic is actually more similar to regular soda: It's loaded with sugar. Instead of ordering a vodka-tonic, you're better off with a vodka-orange juice: OJ has slightly less sugar (22 grams of sugar per cup) and gets extra credit for its vitamin C.

9. Green Juice

The sugars in this green juice come from its main ingredients: fruits and fruit juices. But 53 grams of sugar (270 calories!) is an awful lot to suck through a straw. Instead, go for a green juice that contains veggies as the first ingredients, or opt for water and a salad. Your brain will register it as a meal, unlike the same amount of liquid calories.

10. Instant Oatmeal

Opt for brown sugar and maple syrup oatmeal, and you should know what you're getting: breakfast for dessert. Instant oatmeal made flavored with apples and cinnamon sounds a whole lot better. Unfortunately, fruit-flavored options have just as much sugar as obviously sweetened varieties &mdash even more than oatmeal with chocolate chips (8 grams). Your best bet is unflavored oatmeal (zero sugar!) with fresh mix-ins (like berries, which tend to contain less sugar than other fruits).