During a grocery store tour, I picked up an individual bottle of juice that said “No sugar added”. I showed the bottle to someone and asked what he thought of the juice, he answered: “That’s good because it has no sugar”.
I then had him turn the container over to look at the Nutrition Label, and to our surprise, there are 26 g of sugar in one serving. Not only that, but there are 40 grams of carbohydrate in HALF the bottle! To put this into perspective, most of us should eat 60 g of carbohydrates per meal. One bottle (2 cups) of this juice has 80 g of carb, but is advertised as: “no sugar added”.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a lie. “No sugar added” means there is no sugar added to the foods used to make this drink. But, what they don’t mention is that there is a whole lot of natural sugar, which still counts! Sugar claims are misleading, which is why it we need to pay attention to what we buy.
Here are some sugar claims and what they mean: “Sugar free”, “Zero sugar”, “No sugar”, and “Without sugar” all tell us that there is zero carbohydrate. “Low sugar”, “Reduced sugar”, and “Less sugar” tell us that there is less sugar than in the original version, but that there is still sugar added. Finally, “No sugar added” and “Without added sugar” tells us that they have not used processed sugar, but there may be natural sugar.
Like “low-fat” foods, “low sugar” foods are processed to keep them tasting as close to “normal” as possible. If food companies use sugar in replace of fat, what do you think they use to replace sugar? That’s right! Fat!
Reading the food label is the only way to know what you are eating. For grocery shopping tours, assistance with shopping trips, kitchen clean-up, and individual guidelines about what to look for on the nutrition label, contact me!