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How Much Added Sugar Is In Your Breakfast?

In May, the FDA finalized changes they want to make on the Nutrition Facts Panel. By July 2018, the Nutrition Facts Panel must distinguish between natural and added sugar. Natural sugar is the sugar that occurs in the food, while added sugar is sugar that manufacturers add while they process their products.

This label transformation is intended to help people make more conscious decisions about the food they purchase. When reading the new label, a consumer would be able to see how much sugar was added to the food, and hopefully guide consumers to purchase more nutrient dense foods with less added sugars. And in response to this additional transparency, manufacturers may try to reduce the amount of sugar they add to their products.

In the latest Dietary Guidelines, the USDA recommended Americans consume no more than 10% of daily calories from added sugars. For the average 2000kcal diet, that means 200kcal, or 25g added sugar. Until added sugar is on the label, it will continue to be difficult to determine how much added sugar we are actually eating. While it’s obvious for foods  like sweetened sodas or candy where nearly all the sugar is added, other foods like yogurt, granola and cereals combine natural and added sugars.  

So just how much added sugar could be in some of these items? SPE compiled some data to estimate the amount of sugar added to some common breakfast items.  Keep in mind that one teaspoon = 4 g of sugar.


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