From marinara sauce to peanut butter, added sugar can be found in even the most unexpected products. Many people rely on quick, processed foods for meals and snacks. Since these products often contain added sugar, it makes up a large proportion of their daily calorie intake.
In the US, added sugars account for up to 14% of the total calories for teens. Dietary guidelines suggest limiting calories from added sugar to less than 10% per day. Experts believe that sugar consumption is a major cause of obesity and many chronic diseases, such as diabetes.
The FDA just announced changes to its labeling guidelines and one of the biggest changes to the Nutrition Facts label is the inclusion of added sugars. These are the syrups and sugars added to beverages and foods during preparation.
Before this label change, different types of sugars were lumped into a total sugars category on the Nutrition Facts label. For example, many fruit yogurts contain sugars from three sources: lactose from milk, natural sugars from fruit, and added sugars. All of these were tallied as one figure under total sugars.
The new labels will distinguish added sugars to help people understand exactly how much they’re eating, which shouldn’t be more than 10 percent of their daily calories, according to the FDA’s dietary guidelines.