Decoding Food Labels: Uncover Hidden Sugars

Are you ready to take control of your sugar intake and boost your health?

The American Heart Association reveals that the average American consumes 77 grams of added sugar daily, more than double the recommended limit of 36 grams for men and 25 grams for women. 

This quick-start guide will equip you with the know-how to uncover hidden sugar in your favourite foods by deciphering food labels. 

Master the skill of decoding hidden sugar to make healthier choices and savour a balanced, low-sugar diet.

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Recognize Common Names For Sugar

Begin by familiarizing yourself with the different types of sugar commonly found in food, such as sucrose, fructose, glucose, dextrose, and maltose. 

Each sugar type serves a specific purpose in food processing, and some may be more harmful than others. Knowing these sugar types, you can better identify them on food labels.

Master The Nutrition Facts Panel

Locate the Nutrition Facts panel on the food packaging, and examine the “Total Sugars” section, which encompasses natural and added sugars. 

That will give you an estimate of the product’s overall sugar content.

Spot The “Added Sugars” Line

Search for the “Added Sugars” line under “Total Sugars” on the Nutrition Facts panel. 

That helps you distinguish between naturally occurring sugars and those added during processing. 

Remember that natural sugars in fruits and vegetables come with additional beneficial nutrients like fibre, while added sugars offer empty calories without nutritional value.

Inspect The Ingredient List

Read the ingredient list to detect any sugars mentioned under alternative names, such as high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, and malt syrup. 

Ingredients get listed in descending order of weight, so the higher a “sugar” appears, the more the product contains. 

By applying your knowledge of sugar types from Step 1, you can estimate the sugar content and make healthier decisions.

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