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The Truth about Hidden Sugars: A Risk for Health

Course Number: 558


Learn about the hidden sugars in food and how it may impact your health. Supporting research from major health organizations including the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the American Heart Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Institute of Medicine and the World Health Organization suggest reducing caloric intake from added sugars.10 This course will examine the truth about hidden sugars, where it hides on a food label and how to avoid these products and choose healthier alternatives.

We are all well aware of the added sugars in soda and sports drinks, baked goods, and snack foods. But did you know your salad dressing, soup, bread, pasta sauce, and yogurt may contain added sugars? Even foods marketed as “healthy” may have additional sugars added to the product. In fact, pre-packaged foods, roughly 65% of them include some form of added sugars.5 Manufactures are required to include added sugars in the ingredient list, based on weight. But they often disguise these names to “camouflage” the amount of sugar in their product. In fact, there are over 61 different names of added sugars on a food label9 Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required manufactures to use the new nutrition label template that includes a line for “added sugars.” The change will help consumers distinguish between sugars that are naturally occurring in foods, like lactose in milk and fructose in fruit verses “evaporated cane juice” in flavored yogurt.

Sugar Fact #1

Added sugars are hiding in foods that many of us consider healthy. Energy bars, yogurt, ketchup, breads and salad dressing can contain high amounts of sugars. Check the label carefully.5

Sugar Fact #2

There are at least 61 alternative names for added sugars on a food label.5