by Sydney Greene MS, RD

Blog

Current Thoughts

Sugar Shock

Once upon a time food was much simpler. You would flip over the ingredient list and see “brown sugar” and know, “okay there is sugar in here” but now things are different. Date syrup, brown rice syrup, maltose, organic cane juice, agave these are all names for sugar! Over 75% of packaged food items in the grocery store contain added sugars and yes just because there is a natural sugar like honey on a label, it still counts as sugar.

So what really is added sugar? Added sugar is defined as: Sugars and syrups that are added to foods or beverages when they are processed or prepared

Without memorizing all of the sneaky names of sugar, here is how to spot it":

  • Look for words ending in “ose” ex. fructose

  • Spot the ____ juice ex. Evaporated cane juice

  • Syrups ex. Brown rice syrup , tapioca syrup

  • Nectar ex. Fruit nectar

Now some products naturally contain sugar (milk is an example) which is where the new food labels become handy.

For those of you wondering how much sugar is too much sugar, the American Heart Association recommends

For reference - 1 Cliff Bar contains ~19 grams of added sugar which = ~5 teaspoons

So when it comes to added sugars, do your best to stick to the AHA recommendations and if you can, aim to make your added sugar number as close to zero as possible and save it for something you know has sugar in it like a cookie, brownie or my favorite, ice cream.