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Home > Health Library > Added Sugars
Foods like milk and fruits have naturally occurring sugars. Added sugars are those that don't occur naturally in a food or drink but are added during processing or preparation. They add calories but little nutrition. They can cause weight gain.
Many packaged or processed foods and drinks have added sugars. The best way to know if an item contains added sugar is to look at the ingredients list on the label. Ingredients are listed in order by weight. The Nutrition Facts label lists both total and added sugar per serving. It's a good way to know how much sugar you're getting.
Sugars are often added when foods and drinks are processed or prepared. Use these tips to limit foods and drinks with added sugars.
Added sugars are common in:
Some of them may be low in saturated fat and salt but still have a lot of sugar. For example, look out for sugar in:
Added sugars are not always called "sugar," so it can be hard to identify them in foods. Look for these words in the ingredients:
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2015). Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015–2020 , 8th ed. Available online: http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/. Accessed January 12, 2016.
Vos MB, et al. (2017). Added sugars and cardiovascular disease risk in children: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation, 135(19): e1017–e1034. DOI: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000439. Accessed August 30, 2016.
Current as of:
May 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Kathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineJohn Pope MD - PediatricsRhonda O'Brien MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
Current as of: May 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & John Pope MD - Pediatrics & Rhonda O'Brien MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
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