Added Sugars: Understanding The Culprit

As consumers, we often don’t realize just how much sugar is really in our food and drinks. We try to shield our loved ones from too much sugar as much as possible. So many of us are up and down on the dieting see-saw. The sugar that’s in our cereal, candy, soft drinks, juice, and cookies is bad for you. There is no disputing that fact. It’s the added sugars that we do not figure in. It’s safe to say unless you are a dietitian, we do not know how to include added sugars for different food.

 

Last Friday the Food And Drug administration changed the label set up to include a line for added sugar. This added line will give you the tool to help figure out the total amount of sugar in the foods we eat. Until this change, you might not have known there is more sugar in bread, frozen meals, pasta sauce, and salad dressings. They have sneaky names like evaporated cane juice, rice syrup, and flo-malt.

 

At last count, there were over 60 different words for added sugar. The new label takes the guesswork out of what’s in a particular food. Why so many different names? Some sugars work better in certain food. One type of sugar might give that food better flavor or it could be that another sugar substitute is a little less expensive. The focus on added sugars in our food comes from new guidelines put forth to show that American need to eat a more healthy balanced diet. That’s not new but consumers need to understand what is in the foods they choose to eat in order to accomplish weight loss or just a healthier diet. We know that high sugar consumption causes diabetes, tooth decay, and obesity. Hopefully, with this new understanding of added sugars, we can be a nation of healthier eaters.