Assortment of fruit in a heart shaped bowl, with a blood sugar monitor in the background.

6 Sugar-Filled Foods that Raise Your Blood Sugar

Helping You Maintain a Healthy Sugar Level

Sugar is an essential component of a healthy diet. However, excessive sugar can lead to multiple health issues, such as diabetes, liver disease and weight gain. Keeping track of what you digest and moderating your intake of foods that raise your blood sugar is the best route to healthy blood sugar control and guarantees that your body gets the nutrients it needs.

In the short term, excessive sugar consumption can result in headaches, upset stomachs and higher blood pressure. Over time, people who regularly ingest sugar in high quantities will be more susceptible to heart disease, diabetes, kidney failure and strokes. Therefore, knowing which foods raise blood sugar to avoid over-consumption and protect your body as you age is crucial.

Soft and Sports Drinks

It’s no secret that soft drinks contain high quantities of sugar - their sugar content is part of what makes their unique flavors so popular. However, these sweetened beverages can lead to weight gain in addition to putting your teeth at risk via enamel erosion.

More specifically, soft drinks have been connected to disproportionate visceral fat levels in the abdomen, which wraps around the liver, pancreas and intestines, and can significantly increase the risk of type-two diabetes and coronary heart disease.

While the sugars found in sports drinks are intended to quickly replenish the energy that athletes burn during exercise, unless you are participating in an endurance event, for most people, the amount of sugar in these drinks is an unnecessary supplement.

Low Fat Yogurt

Initially, low-fat yogurt may seem like the healthier choice, but this is a widespread misconception. While it is true that this yogurt contains a reduced amount of fat, it, in turn, has increased levels of sugar to improve the flavor and make it more enjoyable. A portion of reduced-fat yogurt can contain more sugar than the recommended daily limit for both adult men and women.

Consuming the natural fats in regular yogurt is far better than switching to a low-fat alternative. If you would still rather have low-fat yogurt, look for a brand that does not include added sugar.

Fruit Juice

Fruit juice may be an easy and effective way to ingest the nutrients and vitamins found in whole fruits, but it contains high levels of sugar that, if not correctly monitored, can lead to weight gain and dental issues. Juicing fruits strips them of fiber with sugar often added to enhance the natural flavor. This causes the blood sugar to spike and, unlike eating whole fruit, leaves you hungry and searching for additional sustenance.

When purchasing juice, look for an option that is 100% fruit juice and is not sweetened.


Carby foods, such as pasta and potatoes, are often pointed to as the culprits of high blood glucose levels. However, the sauces that are typically paired with these foods are an equally dangerous source of sugar. From bolognese to ketchup and BBQ sauce, these condiments contain high levels of sugar. On average, one tablespoon of ketchup will contain at least a teaspoon of sugar.

Most people need to remember to monitor their portion sizes when it comes to sauces. However, sticking to the suggested amount can significantly decrease the sugar you ingest and make it easier to maintain a healthy blood sugar level.


Granola is routinely promoted as a health food, given that it is predominantly made of rolled oats which are high in fiber, proteins, fats and carbohydrates. It should be noted, though, that it is rare for supermarket granola to be comprised of just plain rolled oats. Often, these oats are paired with honey, nuts, dried fruit and artificially added sugars.

Consequently, consuming granola can result in a blood sugar spike. With granola, it is best practice to choose a brand with the least added sugar and pair half a bowl with yogurt or fruit instead of a whole bowl.

Canned Fruit

While canning fruit ensures that it lasts longer than fresh fruit, the canning process often strips the fruit of its natural fiber and nutrients. In addition, most canned fruit is preserved in syrup, increasing the fruit’s natural sugar content.

Pick canned fruit that has been preserved in juice rather than syrup to decrease the amount of unnecessary sugar you are ingesting and to avoid fluctuations in your blood sugar levels.

Final Thoughts

Undeniably, sugar enhances the flavors in countless popular food products, making them more appealing and enjoyable to consume. However, to minimize spikes in your blood sugar levels and maintain a healthy, balanced diet, it is important to pay attention to a food’s glycemic index and avoid excessive consumption of sugary foods. This ensures that you protect your body from your teeth to your kidneys for years to come.

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