7 common breakfast foods that have more sugar than a Snickers bar

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When done right, breakfast can be amazing. If it's filled with nutrients you need—protein, fiber, healthy fats, and complex carbs—it can give you the sustained energy you need to own your day like the boss lady you are.

If, on the other hand, your breakfast is low-key packing in a butt-load of added sugar (as many breakfast foods are wont to do) you may experience a brief energy boost that rapidly spirals into a mid-morning crash. Napping at your desk before noon? Not ideal.

RELATED: Do you know the most popular candy in your state (many people have been surprised)?

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Most popular Halloween candy in each state
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Most popular Halloween candy in each state

Alabama: Airheads

Photo: Amazon

Source: Influenster

Alaska: Snickers

Photo: Shutterstock

Source: Influenster

Arizona: Toblerone

Photo: Ben Gabbe via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Arkansas: Skittles

Photo: Cassandra Hubbart, AOL

Source: Influenster

California: Lifesavers

Photo: Tim Boyle via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Colorado: Milky Way

Photo: Cassandra Hubbart, AOL

Source: Influenster

Connecticut: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Photo: The Washington Post via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Delaware: 3 Musketeers

Photo: Myra Iqbal, AOL

Source: Influenster

Florida: Nestlé Crunch Bar

Photo: AP

Source: Influenster

Georgia: Pixy Stix

Photo: Jennifer Smith via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Hawaii: 100 Grand Bar

Photo: Amazon

Source: Influenster

Idaho: Butterfinger

Photo: Mark Lennihan/AP

Source: Influenster

Illinois: Snickers

Photo: Shutterstock

Source: Influenster

Indiana: Reese's Pieces

Photo: Amazon

Source: Influenster

Iowa: Twix

Photo: ullstein bild via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Kansas: Twizzlers

Photo: The Washington Post via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Kentucky: Whoppers

Photo: Amazon

Source: Influenster

Louisiana: Swedish Fish

Photo: FoodPhotography Eising via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Maine: Starburst

Photo: Amazon

Source: Influenster

Maryland: Almond Joy

Photo: The Washington Post via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

MassachusettsStarburst

Photo: Amazon

Source: Influenster

Michigan: M&M's

Photo: elevenmoments via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Minnesota: 100 Grand Bar

Photo: Amazon

Source: Influenster

Mississippi: Hershey's Kisses

Photo: Steven Mark Needham via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Missouri: Hershey's Kisses

Photo: Steven Mark Needham via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Montana: Kit Kat Bar

Photo: Newscast via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Nebraska: Skittles

Photo: Cassandra Hubbart, AOL

Source: Influenster

Nevada: Jolly Ranchers

Photo: Amazon

Source: Influenster

New Hampshire: Tootsie Rolls

Photo: Victor Spinelli via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

New Jersey: Sour Patch Kids

Photo: Mat Hayward via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

New Mexico: 3 Musketeers

Photo: Myra Iqbal, AOL

Source: Influenster

New York: Sweet Tarts

Photo: Amazon

Source: Influenster

North Carolina: Butterfinger

Photo: Mark Lennihan/AP

Source: Influenster

North Dakota: Sour Patch Kids

Photo: Mat Hayward via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Ohio: Milky Way

Photo: Cassandra Hubbart, AOL

Source: Influenster

Oklahoma: M&M's

Photo: elevenmoments via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Oregon: Candy corn

Photo: Garry Gay via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Pennsylvania : Swedish Fish

Photo: FoodPhotography Eising via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Rhode Island: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Photo: The Washington Post via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

South Carolina: Candy corn

Photo: Garry Gay via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

South Dakota: Laffy Taffy

Photo: Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Tennessee: Candy corn

Photo: Garry Gay via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Texas: Candy corn

Photo: Garry Gay via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Utah: Nerds

Photo: Amazon

Source: Influenster

Vermont: Almond Joy

Photo: The Washington Post via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Virginia: Reese's Pieces

Photo: Amazon

Source: Influenster

Washington: AirHeads

Photo: Amazon

Source: Influenster

West Virginia: Oreos

Photo: bhofack2 via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Wisconsin: Laffy Taffy

Photo: Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

Wyoming: Candy corn

Photo: Garry Gay via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

District of Columbia: Twix

Photo: ullstein bild via Getty Images

Source: Influenster

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Now you might be thinking, even if a breakfast food has a lot of sugar, it can't possibly have THAT much sugar, right? Well, in fact, many morning favorites have the just as much or more added sugar than a fun-size Snickers bar (you know, those mini versions people hand out on Halloween).

Courtesy of Mars

Before we get to those breakfasts (some of which are typically touted as healthy, others which aren't), it's important to differentiate between added sugars and natural sugars. Naturally occurring sugars are those that, yes, naturally occur in things like fruits and dairy—think fructose and lactose. Consuming naturally occurring sugars is less problematic than consuming added sugars because the other nutrients present in fruits (fiber and complex carbohydrates) slow digestion, which can keep you from experiencing the same blood sugar spike you might get with added sugars. And having sugar for breakfast isn't bad, as long as it's those naturally occurring sugars you're reaching for. Even with naturally occurring sugars, it's best to keep your intake under 36 grams.

Sometimes it can be hard to tell which sugars in a food are naturally occurring and which are added, but the Food And Drug Administration will be updating nutrition labels by 2018, and these new labels will make it easier to determine which sugars are which. In the meantime, watch that nutrition label for the names added sugars tend to hide under—things like sucrose and glucose, evaporated cane sugar, and sweeteners like honey and syrup.

And when you spot them, you'll want to aim to avoid them. In fact, for women, the current recommendation is to consume no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day. And some of these breakfast foods have half as much or more sugar than that. Don't believe us? Take a look below.

8 PHOTOS
7 common breakfast foods that have more sugar than a Snickers bar
See Gallery
7 common breakfast foods that have more sugar than a Snickers bar

Granola bar = 1.5 fun-size Snickers bars

Granola bars are so sneaky. They seem like they’re good for you because they’re full of nuts and oats (two high-fiber, high-protein ingredients), but a lot of the ones you’ll find at the supermarket are loaded with added sugar. Your average bar has about 12 grams of sugar—AKA 1.5 mini Snickers and almost half of the daily recommend amount. That doesn’t mean there aren’t healthier options out there. Amy Gorin, M.S., R.D.N., owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in Jersey City, NJ, recommends checking the nutrition label before you add a box of bars to your cart. She likes KIND’s Madagascar Vanilla Almond Nuts & Spices Bar because it only has 4 grams of sugar.

Love_Life/Getty Images; Snickers: Courtesy of Mars

A half-cup of flavored yogurt = 3 fun-size Snickers bars

Here’s another sneaky devil. Yogurt definitely can be a healthy breakfast option, provided you’re opting for plain yogurt and flavoring it yourself with things like chopped nuts and fresh fruit. But some flavored yogurts are mega added sugar bombs. Some even have as much as 24 grams of sugar per half cup. It can be tricky deciphering which fruit-on-the-bottom yogurts are no good and which are OK, since fruit and milk naturally have sugar. So check the ingredients list for those sneaky added sugars before making your selection. And check out some SELF-approved yogurt options here.

Andy Crawford/Getty Images; Snickers: Courtesy of Mars

One small muffin = 2.4 fun-size Snickers bars

Let’s be real: Muffins are just cupcakes without frosting. One small muffin has as much sugar as 2.4 mini Snickers bars. And most of that sugar is likely added. At that point, you may as well just eat the Snickers. At least it’s got nuts.

Ashley Mackevicius/Getty Images; Snickers: Courtesy of Mars

One medium glazed donut = 1.5 fun-size Snickers bars

Ok, ok, so you probably already knew that a donut isn’t your best breakfast option. To be honest, one medium glazed donut actually has a lot less sugar than we thought it would—12 grams of to be specific. Again, that’s 1.5 mini Snickers bars—as much as some granola bars!

Brian Hagiwara/Getty Images; Snickers: Courtesy of Mars

One cup frosted oat cereal without milk = 1.5 Snickers bars

We’ve been told since we were kids that a bowl of cereal is part of a healthy breakfast. But most of the time, not so much. Even if you’re aiming for something of the whole grain variety (and good on you: whole grains are a necessary part of the diet and can help with weight loss and weight maintenance), you could be making a sugary mistake. Certain cereals are definitely better than others, because some pack in 12 grams of added sugar, which is again as much as 1.5 mini Snickers bars. And that’s without milk. Be sure to check out the label before you buy a box. And check out some SELF-approved cereal options here.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images; Snickers: Courtesy of Mars

Two buttermilk pancakes = 2.75 fun-size Snickers bars

Let this sink in: Two typical plain pancakes you might get at a diner (we looked at offerings from IHOP) have 22 grams of sugar—that’s almost as much sugar as three delicious mini Snickers bars. And after you add your syrup (which you know you’re going to) that sugar count is going to get even higher. If you still want pancakes, but not all the sugar, you can find a healthier alternative here.

Courtesy of IHOP; Snickers: Courtesy of Mars

One small smoothie = 6.25 fun-size Snickers bars

Smoothies can be a great source of whole fruit, but this is is just crazy: Many small fruit smoothies sold at chains around the country have around 50 grams of sugar, which is a lot whether it's added or natural. Same goes for bottled smoothies—and both are often mixed with juice, which packs all the sugar of fruit without the fiber, and extra sweeteners. Of course, smoothies don’t have to be mega gut bombs. If you’re careful, store-bought and homemade smoothies can totally be part of a well-rounded diet. Just be careful to avoid these mistakes while making them.

razerbird/Getty Images; Snickers: Courtesy of Mars

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