Sugar is the bane of your healthy lifestyle.

From increasing the risk of diabetes to making you fat, this inconspicuous ingredient is everywhere — even in places you wouldn’t imagine. There are many seemingly-healthy foods out there that actually contain unsettling amounts of sugar. You might be wrong about the ‘healthier options’ available on the shelves so we’re here to give you a not-so-sweet list of seven common foods that contain sugar.

7 common foods that contain sugar

1. Chili Sauce

This piquant condiment might add a spicy kick to your burger or chicken wings, but if you take a closer look at ingredient lists, you will see that most brands contain sugar — a lot of it at that. It would be wise to use it sparingly or make your own from scratch.

2. Peanut Butter

Yes, nut butters are totally rad these days as they are a good source of protein, but this does not apply to commercially-made ones. Most commercial peanut butters are filled with added sugars, so be sure to read the ingredient list or opt for organic brands that don’t contain sugar, though they are a tad bit pricey. A healthier and wallet-friendly option is to make some at home. Here’s a good recipe.

3. Fruit Juice

Fruit juices sold in supermarkets are packed with sugar and the least bit natural as they contain preservatives and colourings. Always avoid anything that says “juice from concentrate” or “juice drink”, as this often means they have been processed with copious amounts of sugar. Instead, look out for phrases like “100% juice” and “cold-pressed”. The latter is hydraulically extracted, keeping all the vitamins and nutrients intact. And if you’re on a juice-drinking binge, it is fresher and cheaper to make your own juice at home!

4. Cereal and Granola

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and you need the right food to start your engine. Most breakfast cereals are made for children, and what do children love? Sugar. Many brands of breakfast cereals are filled with artificial colouring that would turn your nutritious milk into a colourful cesspool.

Granola is no different, contrary to popular belief. It is the perfect go-to snack to stave off your hunger pangs, but it isn’t the healthiest option. Granola is made with rolled oats which are healthy by themselves, but most manufacturers add sugar and bake them to keep them crisp and preserve them. With the right marketing, innocent consumers are fooled by sugar’s other dubious names — like fructose and corn syrup.

5. Salad Dressing

Store-bought salad dressings are the worst — they contain additives, preservatives, and sugar! The next time you are having a salad, make your own dressing. You would be doing your body a huge favour.

6. Bread

If you love bread, be it wholemeal, wholegrain or soft-grain — well here’s a slice of advice. While they might seem like better options, they actually contain granulated cane sugar. And we’ll have none of that!

7. Chocolate milk

In a perfect world, chocolate milk comes from brown cows and it is all nutritious and natural —  but that’s far from the truth. Chocolate milk is made by adding cocoa to milk, which is fine, and then a whole lot of sugar to make it tastier. If you’re looking to lower your sugar intake, stick to regular, full-fat milk.