Understanding sugar content from food label

April 4, 2017

understanding-sugar-content-from-food-label photoUnderstanding food label for sugar content may be little difficult because you are trying to know about free sugar content only. Natural sugar in dairy products, fruits, vegetables and other food items is not harmful. You only need to ensure that you are not consuming excessive calories.

That’s not an issue here, because you are in a mission to ensure your free sugar consumption will not be more than 5% of your total calorie consumption.

Look at nutrition label of your food item,

Carbohydrate content > 22.5 gram per 100 gram

High level

 5 gram per 100 gram < Carbohydrate content  < 22.5 gram per 100 gram

Medium level

Carbohydrate content < 5 gram per 100 gram

Low level

So now you know about carbohydrate content. Then check for ingredients, if the food item has significant portion of fruits, vegetables and dairy products you can consider it healthier and that item contains less free sugar.

Some food labels specifically mentions starchy carbohydrate contents and added sugars so that makes your task easy.

One thing you should know that ingredient list starts with biggest ingredients. So if you see sugar on top or near the top of the list you can understand that food item has high added sugar. You should look for other items like fruit juice, corn syrup, glucose, cane sugar and brown sugar which are not good for you.

Color code and reference intake

Some food labels have reference intake so that you can consume wisely and some labels have color coding:

Red

High in sugars

Amber

Medium is sugars

Green

Low in sugars

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