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Shopping At Costco To Uncover 17 Foods Loaded With Sugar

You Could Be Eating 130 Pounds of Added Sugar Per Year

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m taking you shopping at Costco to uncover 17 foods loaded with sugar.

I recently came across a statistic stating the average American diet includes an alarming 130 pounds of added sugar consumed in just one year.

130 pounds?

That is the weight of another human being!

If that wasn’t crazy enough, these 130 pounds of sugar only accounts for sugar added to food.

Table Of Contents

The Crazy Amount Of Hidden Sugar You’re Eating

To clarify, foods that have sugar naturally occurring in them, such as fruit, are not even included in that 130 pounds of sugar.

To make things even more tricky, the ingredients list may not even show “sugar”.

Sugar can also be disguised in the ingredients list as:

  • Syrup
  • Dextrose
  • Frutose

You may think in order to consume 130 pounds of sugar per year you would have to include a lot of sugary drinks like:

This is true, however a lot of added hidden sugar is also found in the everyday processed foods you eat, which are often touted as healthy.

I’m going to show you first hand, how quickly your daily sugar consumption can add up.

The Shocking Amount Of Sugar Hiding In Your Food And Drinks

Shopping At Costco To Uncover 17 Foods Loaded With Sugar

With that said, I’m taking you on a grocery store tour inside Costco to share 17 of the sneaky processed foods loaded with hidden sugar that you should avoid.

#1. Kirkland Organic Fruity Snacks

Kirkland Organic Fruity Snacks may look and sound good, but check out the nutrition facts label.

Serving size: 1 pouch (23g)

  • Calories: 70
  • Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 17g
    • Fiber: 0g
    • Sugar: 11g
  • Protein: 1g

You may think since it’s only 70 calories, it must be a great snack.

However, look at the 11g of sugar content.

11 grams of sugar equals 44 calories, which makes up 63% of the total calories of this “fruit” snack.

Also, if you look at the first ingredient, it shows organic tapioca syrup.

The second ingredient is organic cane sugar.

If you think you’re eating fruit, the fruit is actually coming from fruit juice.

If it was coming from real fruit, there would actually be fiber in it.

However, as you see on the nutrition facts label, this fruity snack contains 0g of fiber.

#2. Kirkland Trail Mix

Next up, is trail mix.

We always recommend trail mix as a healthy snack, however we recommend you make it yourself so you can control the ingredients.

For example, the second ingredient in this Kirkland Trail Mix is M& M’s.

Serving size: 3 tablespoons (30g)

  • Calories: 160
  • Fat: 9g
  • Carbohydrates: 14g
    • Fiber: 1g
    • Sugar: 11g
  • Protein: 5g

That 11 grams of sugar is in just 3 tablespoons of this trail mix.

Let’s be real, who just eats 3 tablespoons of trail mix?

Which Has More Sugar Per Serving: Chips Ahoy Cookies vs Kirkland Trail Mix?

Let’s compare this to Chips Ahoy cookies.

You are probably thinking Chips Ahoy cookies are going to be higher in sugar, right?

Let’s compare the sugar content of Chips Ahoy cookies to Kirkland trail mix.

Chips Ahoy Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 3 cookies (33g)

  • Calories: 160
  • Fat: 8g
  • Carbohydrates: 22g
    • Fiber: <1g
    • Sugar: 11g
  • Protein: 1g

Three Chips Ahoy cookies contains the 11 grams of sugar, which is the same amount of sugar as a 3 tbsp serving of Kirkland trail mix.

If you’re eating this Kirkland trail mix, you’re getting a lot of extra sugar from the M&Ms.

Put this back on the shelf and make your own trail mix.

It’s so easy.

Throw some nuts and sea salt in a bag, and you’re good.

#3. Clif Bars

Now we’re in the “protein” bars section.

Let’s take a look at the nutrition facts label on a Chocolate Chip Clif Bar.

Serving size: 1 bar (68g)

  • Calories: 250
  • Fat: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 45g
    • Fiber: 4g
    • Sugar: 22g
  • Protein: 10g

Once again, 1 Clif Bar contains 22 grams of sugar.

To put this into perspective, 3 Chips Ahoy cookies only contain 11 grams of sugar.

This means there is twice as much sugar in a Clif Bar compared to Chips Ahoy cookies.

Think about that!

Also, look at the ingredients of the Crunchy Peanut Butter Clif Bar.

The first ingredient is organic brown syrup and the third ingredient is organic cane syrup.

It’s also made with soy protein, which is not a good source of protein or energy.

#3. Nature Valley Granola Cups

Another hidden sugar bomb is Granola Cups.

A lot of people think granola is a health food.

Let’s look at the Nature Valley Granola Cups Almond Butter nutrition facts label for one little serving.

Serving size: 1 pouch (35g)

  • Calories: 180
  • Fat: 10g
  • Carbohydrates: 20g
    • Fiber: 2g
    • Sugar: 8g
  • Protein: 4g

Based on the size, I also guarantee you’re not just eating one of these.

Each granola cup has 8 grams of sugar.

If you have two of them, that’s 16 grams of sugar, which equals 4 teaspoons of sugar.

Think about that.

#4. Kellogg’s Nutri Grain Bars

I’ve talked about these Kellogg’s Nutri Grain bars before.

Let’s look at the nutrition facts label.

Serving size: 1 bar (37g)

  • Calories: 120
  • Fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 24g
    • Fiber: 3g
    • Sugar: 12g
  • Protein: 2g

One of these Nutri Grain bars contains 12 grams of sugar.

That’s 3 teaspoons of sugar.

Just think about pouring 3 teaspoons of sugar into your coffee.

#5. Kellogg’s Pop Tarts

On the Costco shelf sitting next to the Nutri Grain bars is Kellogg’s Pop Tarts.

Let’s look at the nutrition facts label of the Kellogg’s Frosted Strawberry Pop Tart.

Serving size: 1 pastry (52g)

  • Calories: 200
  • Fat: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 38g
    • Fiber: <1g
    • Sugar: 12g
  • Protein: 16g

However, here is a deceiving thing.

If you look at the nutrition facts label, a serving size is just one pastry, yet each package comes with two pop tarts inside.

I would be willing to bet most people think one serving equals 2 pop tarts.

Based on this, eating two pop tarts would be 32 grams of sugar.

That’s 8 teaspoons of sugar.

Kyla says, no good, put it back.

At this point, I’ve only been through three aisles and I’ve already found 5 hidden sugar bombs.

We could just go for days and days with all of this packaged food.

The real food in Costco is down in the back.

#6. Kirkland Complete Nutrition Shake

Next up is the Kirkland Complete Nutrition Shake.

Most people would look at this and think it’s going to give them the nutrients they need in a day.

Yeah, and a whole lot of sugar.

Check out the nutrition facts label on the Kirkland Complete Nutrition Shake.

Serving size: 1 bottle

  • Calories: 220
  • Fat: 6g
  • Carbohydrates: 32g
    • Fiber: 3g
    • Sugar: 15g
  • Protein: 9g

There are 15 grams of sugar in this Kirkland Complete Nutrition Shake.

This amount of sugar is found in most of these ready to drink nutrition shakes.

Stick with protein powder.

Simply put protein powder in your shaker cup, then just mix it up with water.

Keep in mind when I’m talking about sugar, I’m talking about added sugar.

In other words the sugar that is added to it, as opposed to the natural sugar you get from fruit, which has fiber in it.

#7. Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix

If you’re making your own cakes at home, be aware.

Let’s look at the nutrition facts label of this Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix.

Serving size: 1/4 cup mix (35g)

  • Calories: 150
  • Fat: 3.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 29g
    • Fiber: 1g
    • Sugar: 20g
  • Protein: 1g

20 grams of sugar in a cake mix, I think you can do better.

That’s also only for a serving size of 1/4 cup of the mix.

I didn’t read the cooking directions, but I’m pretty sure you’d use more than that to make a batch of brownies.

#8. Log Cabin Corn Syrup vs 100% Maple Syrup

Here’s where I’m going to throw a little twist at you.

A lot of people probably use corn syrup on their pancakes.

Another option in maple syrup.

Let’s compare the nutrition facts of Log Cabin corn syrup vs 100% maple syrup.

I’ll start by taking a look at the corn syrup nutrition facts label first.

Corn Syrup Nutriton Facts:

Serving size: 1/4 cup (60ml)

  • Calories: 200
  • Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 53g
    • Fiber: 0g
    • Sugar: 26g
  • Protein: 0g

There is 26 grams of sugar and 53 grams of carbohydrates in 1/4 cup of corn syrup.

Maple Syrup Nutrition Facts:

Serving size: 1/4 cup (60ml)

  • Calories: 210
  • Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 53g
    • Fiber: 0g
    • Sugar: 53g
  • Protein: 0g

If you look at the nutrition facts label on maple syrup, in a 1/4 cup contais 53 grams of sugar.

It looks like maple syrup has double the sugar as corn syrup, even though they both contain the same amount of carbohydrates.

However, maple syrup is natural sugar, with one ingredient.

Corn Syrup was made in the lab, with other added unnatural ingredients.

You have to keep that in perspective.

Natural sugar from maple syrup, honey, and fruit is healthier than refined sugar made in the lab.

Always keep that in mind.

#9. Gatorade

One bottle of Gatorade contains 29 grams of sugar.

Serving size: 1 bottle (500 ml)

  • Calories: 120
  • Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 30g
    • Fiber: 0g
    • Sugar: 29g
  • Protein: 0g

When you see people drinking Gatorade at the gym, a lot of time they’re not even working hard enough to earn that sugar.

It’s like having a soda.

#10. Heinz Organic Ketchup

Next up is a lot of people’s favorite, ketchup.

I’m not going to harp too much on ketchup, however let’s look at the nutrition facts label:

Serving size: 1 tablespoon (17g)

  • Calories: 20
  • Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 5g
    • Fiber: 0g
    • Sugar: 4g
  • Protein: 0g

This Organic Heinz Ketchup has 4 grams of sugar per tablespoon.

However, just remember, when you’re putting on 1-2 tablespoons of ketchup on your food, that equals 1-2 teaspoons of sugar.

#11. KC Masterpiece Barbecue Sauce

Everyone loves barbecue sauce.

Let’s look at the nutrition facts label on this KC Masterpiece Barbecue Sauce.

Serving size: 2 tablespoons (36g)

  • Calories: 60
  • Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 15g
    • Fiber: 0g
    • Sugar: 13g
  • Protein: 0g

A 2 tablespoons serving of this BBQ sauce contains 13 grams of sugar.

It’s not worth it.

#12. Kirkland Organic Lemonade

Yes, it’s organic lemonade, however let’s check out the nutrition facts label.

Serving size: 8 fl. oz (240 ml)

  • Calories: 130
  • Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 32g
    • Fiber: 0g
    • Sugar: 15g
  • Protein: 0g

In one 8 oz serving, there is 32 grams of sugar, including added sugar, and 0 grams of fiber.

How To Make A Lemonade Recipe Without Sugar And Lemon Tea

Make this homemade lemonade recipe without sugar.

#13. Soda

I don’t think I really need to stop at this aisle, since it’s pretty much a given that soda is loaded with sugar.

#14. Chobani No Fat Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt seems to be everybody’s favorite snack.

However, let’s check out the nutrition facts label.

Serving size: 1 container (150g)

  • Calories: 120
  • Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 19g
    • Fiber: <1g
    • Sugar: 16g
  • Protein: 12g

Well, in one container you’re getting 16 grams of sugar.

#15. Kellogg’s Raisin Bran, Froot Loops, Coco Krispies, Apple Jacks

It’s funny because Raisin Bran is one of my favorite cereals for a cheat meal.

However, most people make fun of me because they think Raisin Bran is a healthy cereal, and don’t understand why I call it a cheat meal.

Let’s take a look at the nutrition facts label on Raisin Bran.

Serving size: 1 cup (59g)

  • Calories: 190
  • Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 46g
    • Fiber: 7g
    • Sugar: 18g
  • Protein: 5g

Kellogg’s Raisin Bran contains 18 grams of sugar in just one cup.

Let’s be real, nobody only eats one cup of Raisin Bran.

Froot Loops Nutrition Facts Label:

Serving size: 1 cup (29g)

  • Calories: 110
  • Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 25g
    • Fiber: 3g
    • Sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 1g

Froot Loops only contains 10 grams of sugar per serving.

Coco Crisps Nutrition Facts Label:

Serving size: 3/4 cup (31g)

  • Calories: 120
  • Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 27g
    • Fiber: <1g
    • Sugar: 12g
  • Protein: 1g

Coco Crisps has 12 grams of sugar per serving.

Apple Jacks Nutrition Facts:

Serving size: 1 cup (28g)

  • Calories: 100
  • Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 25g
    • Fiber: 3g
    • Sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 1g

Apple Jacks contains 10 grams of sugar per serving.

Of course, the raisins in the Raisin Bran contain natural sugar, however they also add sugar on the raisins.

#16. Kirkland Organic 1% Low Fat Milk

Milk has sugar in it?

It sure does.

Let’s look at the nutrition facts label.

Serving size: 1 cup (240 ml)

  • Calories: 130
  • Fat: 2.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 15g
    • Fiber: 0g
    • Sugar: 15g
  • Protein: 11g

15 grams of sugar in one cup of milk.

To put this into perspective:

  • 1 cup of Raisin Bran cereal = 17g of sugar
  • 1 cup of milk = 32 grams of sugar

To be realistic, let’s multiple this by 2, because no one eats just a cup of cereal.

The Difference Between Portion Size And Serving Size

That equals 64 grams of sugar at breakfast or your night time snack.

Bottom Line On Sugar Consumption

Once again, this is only a short list.

To show you how much sugar is going into your body after eating all of these foods, I would have to buy a big bag sugar to bring home and dump it out.

I don’t want to be considered the “sugar police guy”, however you have and be aware of the decisions you are making and earn the sugar.

It’s up to you to take control back of the foods you’re feeding yourself.

If you’re new to Living Lean, always look at the nutrition facts labels and ingredients list of every food you pick up at the grocery store for the first 30 days.

In other words, turn and learn.

You’ll be shocked by what you will learn.

Is All Sugar Bad For You?

The important thing for everyone to know is sugar isn’t inherently bad for you, when it’s found naturally in foods, including organic cherries and strawberries.

When you are Living Lean, you want to avoid added sugar in foods with too much sugar per serving.

Living Lean is not always about avoiding added sugar, it’s just making sure it fits within your calorie requirements.

It’s important to become aware of the amounts and how much you’re taking in.

The overconsumption of sugar is a real issue when it comes to:

When Is The Best Time To Consume Sugar?

Full disclosure, I did pick up Kirkland Newman’s Own grape juice, because that’s what we drink in our post workout protein shake, when our body requires it.

When you’re Living Lean, your workouts are just a natural behavior that you repeat day after day.

After your workouts, and in some cases before, this is when your body requires sugar to recover, grow and repair your muscles.

So it’s not to say you can never eat sugar.

It’s not like we never eat any sugar at all.

We’re just very aware of it and manage the sugar that we do have.

It’s just important to match your sugar intake, with your energy needs.

Plus, as a Live Leaner, we get the occasional cheat meal.

It’s about finding that balance.

I love you guys and keep Living Lean.


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Question For You:

  • Which of these foods at Costco surprised you the most?
  • Do you always read the nutrition facts and ingredients label?

Be sure to share your answers in the comment section below.

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