This may come as a surprise to some of you, but not all sugars are created equal! I know it is hard to believe. With the recent changes in food labeling laws, it is important to note that there are now TWO different sugars on the food label.

First, there are Total Sugars which are the total amount of sugars found in the food item. Second, are Added Sugars – these can contribute to negative health effects. Added sugars include but are not limited to table sugar, raw sugar, maple syrup, agave, honey, high fructose corn syrup, or cane sugar. These items can affect how the heart functions, blood sugar control, weight management, and digestion.

Total sugars will include added sugars and sugars naturally in foods like fruit or dairy products. If an item only contains fruit, you will only see Total Sugars listed on the label, not added sugars. Fruit and dairy products contain sugars that will not adversely affect one’s health. These foods have calories, but the sugars found in these foods are good to eat, and you should regularly eat them. Do not mistake one for the other. One is good; one should be limited. Added sugars should be limited to 24gm for children and women and 36gm for men.

Click here for more information on recognizing which sugars you are consuming.

Rebecca Herrmann, RDN, LDN

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