The category of “added sugars” made its debut a few years ago on the updated Nutrition Facts label found on packaged foods.
Even though added sugars are not an essential part of the diet, there is room for small amounts of added sugars in a healthy eating plan. We are eating less added sugar in recent years but still eat more than the recommended amount. The amount of added sugars in a food product is listed below “Total Sugars” on the label.
The new “Added Sugars” line on the food label will include information not only presented in grams, but as a % Daily Value (DV) as well. The % DV for added sugars is based on the recommendation of 10% of total calories, which equals 50 grams of added sugars (or 200 calories) per day based on a 2,000-calorie diet. However, you may require more or less than 2,000 calories per day to maintain a healthy weight. Avoid foods and beverages with added sugars for those younger than age 2.
What does “added” sugars mean? According to the Food and Drug Administration added sugars includes sugars that are either added during the processing of foods, sugars from syrups and honey, and sugars from concentrated fruit or vegetable juices that are more than what would be expected from the same amount of 100% fruit or vegetable juice.
When it comes down to it, sugar is sugar. Whether it’s added or naturally occurring, your body processes all sugar the same. Foods that contain natural sugars like milk and fruit have many needed nutrients such as vitamins, minerals or fiber. Typically, foods high in added sugars contain few if any needed nutrients. Eating and drinking too many foods and beverages with added sugars makes it difficult to achieve a healthy eating pattern without taking in too many calories.