10 Foods You'll Be Shocked to Learn Have More Sugar Than a Twinkie

Updated June 16, 2022

Twinkies Nutrition Facts

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Hostess Twinkies have been an American favorite since the snack icon was introduced in the 1930s. The sweet treat can be found in just about any grocery or convenience store and still delights diners of all ages. But with many consumers becoming increasingly concerned about nutrition, some people wonder about the ingredients of a Twinkie.

Twinkies nutrition facts are provided by their manufacturer, Hostess. It is important to note that a serving size is two cakes (77 grams). So if you eat just one Twinkies bar, you can cut these numbers in half.

  • Calories: 280
  • Fat: 9g
  • Carbs: 47g
  • Total Sugars: 32g
  • Protein: 2g

There is no fiber in Twinkies, and there are 31 grams of added sugar. So, most of the calories in a Twinkie come from sugar, specifically added sugar.

To put those numbers into context, current dietary guidelines advise that you get no more than 10% of your daily calories from added sugar. If you consume 2000 calories per day, that means you should only consume about 200 calories from sugar or about 50 grams of added sugar. If you eat just one Twinkies bar, you'll consume about 30% of the recommended intake of added sugar. If you eat two Twinkies bars (a single serving), you'll consume 62% of the recommended amount.

While the total sugar in a Twinkie may seem high, surprisingly, some foods have more. And a few of them are even considered "healthy." For some perspective, find out how Twinkies stack up against other food choices in terms of sugar content.

Apple Juice

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According to the USDA, one eight-ounce serving of apple juice has 31 grams of sugars, which is nearly as much as a single serving of Twinkies, but twice as much as a single Twinkies bar. However, apple juice has no fat, is low in sodium, and provides potassium, an important micronutrient.

If you're looking for apple juice with less sugar, look for an unsweetened variety, preferably one that only contains the juice of apples. Sometimes other juice concentrates (like grape juice) are added for sweetness but increase the overall sugar content of the beverage.

Yogurt

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Many types of yogurt are surprisingly high in sugar. For instance, FAGE Total 2% Honey split cups provide 28 grams of sugar. And several varieties of Yoplait contain 22 grams of sugar or more. The sugar comes from natural sugars in the milk and fruit, as well as added sugars.

But unlike a Twinkie, yogurt provides protein and other nutrients like calcium. And serving size matters as well. A single serving of yogurt is about twice the size of a single serving of Twinkies. While yogurt provides more sugar than a single Twinkies bar, you'll get more nutritional bang for your buck with yogurt.

Muffins

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Who doesn't love a sweet, delicious muffin in the morning? They are easy to grab when you're on the go and they come in a variety of flavors. But they also come with a lot of added sugar, depending on the muffin that you choose.

For example, according to the USDA, a Sara Lee banana muffin contains 31.3 grams of sugar, almost as much as a full Twinkie serving and almost twice as much as a single Twinkie bar. Store bought muffins, like those sold at Target have a bit less, but they still provide about 23 grams of sugar, much more than a single Twinkie.

Smoothies and Juices

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Blended and juiced sweet fruits and vegetables can be high in natural or added sugars.

  • Some health experts promote beet juice to help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow in athletes. But according to USDA data, some sweetened varieties contain 22 grams of sugar per 1 cup serving, more than is provided by a single Twinkie bar.
  • Naked brand's Boosted Smoothie Rainbow Machine is made with the goodness of bananas and berries, but it surpasses the Twinkie sugar load with 47 grams of total sugar. It should be noted, however, that the beverage contains no added sugar. Instead the sweetness comes from fruit juice concentrate...but it is still sugar.

The whole food ingredients in these beverages, along with an abundance of vitamins and minerals still make them a more natural, healthier option than a Twinkie.

Canned Fruit

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In addition to the natural sugars in fruit like peaches, canned fruit is packed in syrup and sugar to make it an even sweeter treat. According to USDA nutrition data, a one-cup serving of canned peaches in syrup contains a whopping 49 grams of sugar, far more than a single serving of Twinkies.

Thankfully there are better options if you are watching your sugar intake. Look for canned peaches packed in water, frozen peaches, or enjoy fresh peaches.

Coffee Drinks

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Black coffee is not a significant source of calories or sugar. In fact, a cup contains zero grams of sugar and only about 7 calories. But the coffee drinks that you get at your local java hut is another story.

For instance, a vanilla latte chilled espresso beverage at Starbucks contains 17 grams of sugar, according to the USDA, and that is only if you drink just one 8-ounce serving. If you order the largest size (a venti which is 3 cups) you'll have to triple that number.

Tomato Soup

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The faithful partner to a grilled cheese sandwich, tomato soup can harbor a lot of hidden sugars. Campbell's Creamy Tomato Soup in an on-the-go microwaveable container contains 27 grams of sugar per serving, along with 850 milligrams of sodium.

However, the 4 grams of protein, 1330 milligrams of potassium, and vitamin C (naturally present in tomatoes) help to make the tomato soup a better option than a Twinkie.

Granola Bars

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If you grab a granola bar for a snack and you're concerned about your sugar intake, you may want to be careful about your choice. Some bars contain more sugar than you might expect. For example, a chewy granola bar (35g) made by Nature Valley contains about 14 grams of sugar.

Several Clif brand bars contain as much as 21 grams of sugar (20 grams of added sugar), more than you'd consume in a single Twinkie bar. Of course, brands like Clif makes bars to help fuel athletes during long endurance events, so the sugar content has a purpose. But if you consume this bar as a snack during your workday at the office, you might get more sugar than you need.

Breakfast Cereal

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It's probably not a surprise that the brightly-colored cereals aimed at children are high in sugar. The sweet taste is part of their appeal. But some "grown-up" cereals are actually higher in sugar than their kid-friendly counterparts.

For instance, some granola-based cereals have as much as 24 grams of sugar per one-cup serving. And when you add milk, the sugar content increases because lactose is a form of sugar. Your total sugar intake is likely to be higher than the sugar cost of a twinkie - especially if you refill your bowl a few times (which many of us do).

Sugar Shocked?

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If you are watching your weight or just want to ensure you are eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, you'll want to monitor the sugar content in the foods you eat. Opt for fruits with less sugar like strawberries and blueberries and increase your intake of clean, lean proteins and non-starchy veggies like kale and broccoli to help you maintain a low-sugar diet.

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10 Foods You'll Be Shocked to Learn Have More Sugar Than a Twinkie