All about added sugar

1. What’s added sugar?

The punctuation is on “ added” so we are not talking about the sugar naturally occur in fruit and veggie, it’s not your baby carrot, apple or almond. It’s the soda, honey syrup, cup cake, candy, agave nectar, etc.

This is the definition by FDA if you are interested: The definition of added sugars includes sugars that are either added during the processing of foods, or are packaged as such, and includes sugars (free, mono- and disaccharides), sugars from syrups and honey, and sugars from concentrated fruit or vegetable juices that are in excess of what would be expected from the same volume of 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice of the same type.


2. Why is added sugar bad for you?

There are evidences after evidences that excessive consumption of sugar contributes to obesityaginginflammationlowering immune response and interfering with insulin response (which lead to type 2 diabetes eventually).

When you consume a lot of added sugar, it gets harder for you to get enough fiber, vitamins and minerals without going over your daily recommended calorie intake. That’s why a lot of snacks packed with added sugar gave you “empty calories”. It does not provide nutrients along with the calorie counts.

In addition, sugary, syrupy food tends to be less fulfilling and that leads to over consumption which leads to weight gain.


3.Are we eating too much of added sugar?


According to American Heart Association, The average American consumes 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day (4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon), which amounts to an extra 350 calories. While we sometimes add sugar to food ourselves (coffee, tea), most added sugar comes from processed and prepared foods. Sugar-sweetened beverages (including soft drinks, fruit drinks, coffee and tea, sport and energy drinks, and alcoholic beverages) and snacks and sweets (including grain-based desserts, dairy desserts, candies, sugars, jams, syrups, and sweet toppings) are the main source.

4. More alias of sugar:

Syrup family: Agave nectar, Maple syrup, Honey, Syrup, Malt syrup, Molasses, Fruit juice concentrates, Invert sugar

Corn sweetener family: Corn sweetener, High-fructose corn syrup, Corn syrup

Cane sugar family: Cane sugar, Cane crystals, Raw sugar, Evaporated cane juice, Brown sugar,

Guess who opened Chemistry book family: Sucrose, Glucose, Fructose, Crystalline fructose, Dextrose, Maltose


5. Cheat sheet from USDA website for lower sugar intake:

*picture credit:

Melanie Gong