Added sug­ars are hid­ing, some­times in plain sight. Here’s what they are, why to be con­cerned, and how to spot them.

Allrecipes - - Contents - By Marge Perry

Get smart about sugar to make sweeter choices.

By law, nu­tri­tion la­bels must list how much sugar prod­ucts con­tain. But that doesn’t tell you how much is added sugar, the amount be­yond what’s nat­u­rally found in foods such as fruit and dairy. For ex­am­ple, a glass of milk has 12 grams of sugar, but it’s all from nat­u­rally oc­cur­ring lac­tose.

Added sug­ars are ev­ery­where, some in ob­vi­ous places like cook­ies and candy, oth­ers in less-ob­vi­ous places like condi­ments, sports drinks, en­ergy bars, crack­ers, and breads. They pro­vide sweet fla­vor, in­crease shelf life, and help with fer­men­ta­tion and leav­en­ing. But they also may play a part in why we be­come in­sulin-re­sis­tant, strug­gle to lose weight, and are at in­creased risk for heart dis­ease.

How to spot them? Food la­bels list in­gre­di­ents in de­scend­ing or­der by weight, so check to see if sugar tops the list. But some man­u­fac­tur­ers get around that by us­ing mul­ti­ple forms of added sweet­en­ers—each with a dif­fer­ent name and in smaller amounts. The best de­fense is to learn more about added sug­ars and how to spot them. The list on page 81 is one place to start. And for­tu­nately, the FDA is re­quir­ing that all la­bels list added sug­ars by 2021, and some com­pa­nies are al­ready do­ing it.

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