Hidden Sugar, Nutritional Labels, and Your Health

We all are aware that sugar is in soda, candy, and cake, but sugar hides in some seemingly safe foods like fruit yogurt, whole grain bread, and juices.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is changing the way food companies label the nutritional content. The change will add additional information by the total sugar measurements. The new line will state added sugar in the product. The FDA wants to advise shoppers of sugar added to food, and distinguish between sugar that naturally occurs in it.

Research completed by the University of North Carolina found that of foods stocked in American grocery stores, 60% had added sugar. Some products were apparent, as we mentioned above, but some healthy labels contained the added sugar.

It is not always easy to distinguish which products have added sugar and which are naturally occurring. The reason why is because sugar goes by many, many names. You will not always see the labeled sugar. Some of the other words are rice syrup, evaporated cane juice, malt syrup, and agave juice. Other ingredients that are sugar are golden syrup, lactose, and maple.

Barry Popkin, who wrote the research paper, believes the manufactures are just choosing particular forms of sugar to make the food taste better and have the appropriate texture. The manufacturers are trying to make a good product, not deceive the consumers. Some other reasons a manufacturer may use a particular form of sugar is because of cost, and some forms bake better than others do.

Fruit juice concentrates are almost all sugar. Apple juice concentrate is a form of sugar and commonly used in many fruit juices. Many consumers might be surprised that natural drinks are filled with added sugar.

Adding the new sugar information should help create a healthy diet for Americans. Having the extra information on the label will help consumers make the best choice for their families and diet needs.

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