How Much Added Sugar Are You Eating? Who Knows!

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Even a registered dietitian can’t tell how much added sugar is in packaged foods, so what hope do the rest of us have? In a new video from the University of California, Kimber Stanhope — a registered dietitian who studies the health effects of sugar consumption — explores some of the proposed changes to the current Nutrition Facts labels and how they fit into the extra sugar lurking everywhere.

Among other proposed changes to the current nutrition label, the Food and Drug Administration wants to start denoting the amount of “added sugars” found in foods, so that consumers can differentiate between naturally occurring sugars and sugars added by food manufacturers. And that’s important if people are going to try to actually follow current dietary guidelines, Stanhope notes.

For example, according to guidelines from the American Heart Association, women should consume no more than 24 grams of added sugar per day — but how is anyone supposed to stick to that advice if they don’t know how much added sugar is in the foods they’re eating? (There is no chemical difference between naturally occurring sugars and added sugars; it’s just that whole foods with natural sugars provide nutritional benefits that processed foods with added sugars tend not to.)

Watch the video to understand more about the mysteries of the current Nutrition Facts label when it comes to sugar.