Nutrition Facts- Added Sugar
If you have been taking a peak at the nutrition labels on some of your foods, you may notice some things have changed. These new labels are not on every food item yet but will be by 2021. So what’s new?
Added sugars have been added to the new nutrition label to distinguish when food companies add additional sugars into products. These are different from natural sugars which are naturally found in whole, unprocessed products such as fruit, vegetables, dairy products, and whole grains. Natural sugars provide health benefits such as protein, antioxidants, and fiber.
Added sugars are found in processed foods and drinks such as cereal, sodas, yogurt, cookies, and candies. They are used to enhance flavor, color, and shelf life but provide no nutritional benefit. Almost half of Americans’ sugar intake comes from sugar sweetened beverages.
With the addition of this category on the nutrition panel, it is expected that Americans pay more attention to added sugar intake. Currently, Americans consume 22 g of sugar a day, which equals 350 extra calories. The CDC suggests intake should be no more than 10% of total calories consumed. For example, if someone eats 2000 calories a day, they should consume no more than 200 calories from added sugar. 200 calories are equivalent to 50 g of sugar, which one 16 oz soda contains on average.
Note: 4 g of sugar= 1 teaspoon
Other names for sugar include dextrose, corn syrup, sucrose, honey, malt syrup, and maltose. Although this is up for great debate, the body breaks down all sugars the same. No sugars are better than others (i.e. corn syrup versus honey).
To cut down on added sugars, start checking your nutrition labels. Swap sugary cereal for unsweetened with fruit and drink non-sweetened beverages. Also, choose more whole, unprocessed foods. However, added sugars have a place in the diet, but moderation is key!
Added sugars add up!
- 1 T ketchup= 12 calories from added sugar
- 12 oz soda= 126 calories from added sugar
- 1 c sugary cereal= 48 calories
Labeling & Nutrition – Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label. (2018, June 28). Retrieved August 3, 2018, from https://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm385663.htm