How To Tell When There's Added Sugar In Your Food

How To Tell When There's Added Sugar In Your Food

Recent nutritional guidelines have urged consumers to eat less sugar, since high sugar consumption is linked to medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay, among others. But even when you stay away from candy and sodas, it can be surprisingly difficult to determine whether the food you eat contains added sugar. In 2015, a team of researchers found that 60% of food purchased in U.S. grocery stores includes some form of added sugar. No wonder it took a team of researchers to make the discovery: much of this sugar shows up on ingredients lists in unrecognizable forms, such as "dextrose," "flo-malt," and "clintose." Even natural-sounding ingredients like "cane juice" and "agave nectar" are code words for added sugar. The biggest offender in this area is the innocuous-seeming "fruit juice concentrate," which is juice that's been stripped of nearly everything but sugar.


from Fig. 1 by University of California

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    The American Heart Association recommends that women consume 25g of added sugar a day. (0:08)

  • 2

    New U.S. nutrition labels will differentiate between naturally occurring and added sugars. (0:27)

  • 3

    Fruit yogurt can have many grams of sugar, but it's hard to tell how much of that comes from the milk and the fruit, and how much is added. (0:42)

See all




Space Telescope

Get smarter every day! Like us on Facebook.
You'll get the most interesting and engaging topics in your feed, straight from our team of experts.