What are added sugars? They are the sugars that are really hard to avoid in packaged, processed foods but things are about to get easier.
A reader asked me to elaborate about “added sugars” and I have given them a lot of thought. I wrote The Smoking Gun is Sugar, a couple of years ago because I feel that sugar is the biggest problem of the American diet.
But, you have to define which sugar you are referring to when you talk about sugar and I am talking about ADDED SUGARS. Americans consume 22 to 30 teaspoons of added sugar every day. Wowza!
Take a look at the bottle below. Notice how it says “no artificial sweeteners” as if somehow this juice is better for it.
Now take a look at the back of the label – which is critical in understanding added sugars. Do you see how the second ingredient is sugar? That is ONE added sugar on this label but guess what? - there are more!
On this label, there are five more sugar packed ingredients.
The FDA states that "concentrated fruit juice" can't be used as a sweetener in a product labeled "no sugar added." Concentrated fruit juice is considered a form of sugar so that would mean that all of the sugar in this drink – 23 grams for 8 ounces is ADDED.
I would love to know how many grams are added in items like ketchup (5 grams of sugar per serving but tomatoes have natural sugar), spaghetti sauce, or salsa.
Yogurt is a big one because natural sugars occur in milk (lactose) and manufacturers add sugar to the flavored yogurts – but how much?
How will you ever know? Good news!
The FDA has changed the law and the nutrition label. I have already seen the results on a few products at the grocery store. “Added sugars,” in grams and as percent Daily Value, will be included on the label very soon on all relevant food products.
Isn’t that exciting? That means that juice up there is water with 23 grams of added sugar. Does that remind you of another drink? Like soda?
I hope this change will make it easier for you to ascertain which is the healthier product in all the aisles of the grocery store.
What do you think of the change? Will it help you avoid added sugar?
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