Sugary food labels

Do you want to limit the amount of sugar in your family’s diet but get totally confused when looking at food products and labels at the supermarket?
Sugar comes in many disguises – there are 40+ names for different types of sugar that can be found in our food products – no wonder we are confused!

Some of the more common ones you will see are:
• Dextrose
• Fructose
• Sucrose
• Glucose
• Golden Syrup
• Maple Syrup
• Honey
• Malt
• Maltose
• Lactose
• Sugar
• Brown sugar
• Caster sugar
• Raw sugar

While some of these will be sugars that are found naturally in whole foods such as lactose in milk or fructose in whole fruits, others will have been added to the product by the manufacturer. Keep in mind that Lactose and fructose can also be added extras as well. AAAAARRRRHHHH

Food label guidelines do not enforce that added or natural sugars be listed separately although some manufacturers will clarify this information willingly.

Following are some tips to help identify the amount and type of sugar in a food:

1. Read the nutrition panel to identify the amount of sugar – does it meet the daily recommendations?

2. If the amount of sugar per 100g is more than 15g check the ingredients for what is natural from a whole food and what is added.

3. If a product states that it is all natural sugar – check the ingredients to see if it is from a whole food such as fruit or just fructose for example.

4. Natural sugar products can still exceed the recommended intakes.

5. To check similar items for one with less sugar – compare the 100g column on the nutrition panels for amount and then check the ingredients list for whole foods
Whole foods are whole fruits, vegetables, grains etc. A label may state that fructose from whole fruit or just the fruit. If it states fructose from fruit juice it will most likely be high in sugar.

If an ingredient is listed as just fructose or glucose it will most likely be added sugars.

This guide will help you to decipher labels while shopping.









For more clarification on food labels or most things health related, come and see our Naturopath Andrea Mallet. Call 9486 5966 to enquire or book.

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