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Nutrition Labels and Hidden Sugars

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  • vivmom2014vivmom2014 Member Posts: 1,534 Member Member Posts: 1,534 Member
    ... and I don't worry about eating a small amount of sugar. But god damn I was surprised to learn it's there, and apparently so was everyone else judging from the responses.

    I'm even more surprised (and angry) to learn that the stupid things aren't vegetarian.

  • diannethegeekdiannethegeek Member Posts: 14,831 Member Member Posts: 14,831 Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    One of them was mentioned in my NPR link above.

    Thanks, @lemurcat12. I've been lurking the discussion but obviously hadn't been following it too closely. Figured this was the better place to post this link rather than starting a new thread. I'll just let myself out again.

    Your link probably has more information; I wasn't suggesting that you shouldn't have linked!

    Edit: In fact, it has a lot more information, such as the resolution of the Chobani case mentioned in my link.

    I think what I find most interesting in these cases is that they're mostly based on that FDA draft guideline that suggests the term is misleading. I don't know enough about the timeline to see if the FDA suggestion appeared before or as a reaction to consumer complaints. It seemed obvious to me that this is sugar, but I'm constantly reminded by stories like these that I'm, apparently, not the average consumer.
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Member Posts: 30,886 Member Member Posts: 30,886 Member
    From the link I posted: http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2012/10/18/163098211/evaporated-cane-juice-sugar-in-disguise, it seems like other sugar companies have been complaining about the term (which is used for a specific product):
    "All sugar is evaporated cane juice," Judy Sanchez, a spokesperson for the U.S. Sugar Corp., says. "They just use that for a natural-sounding name for a product."

    Sanchez says all sugar is made by taking the liquid of the sugarcane plant, evaporating it and then putting it in a centrifuge to separate the gooey molasses from the crystallized sucrose. She says the only difference between evaporated cane juice and common white sugar is that the white sugar is stripped of all traces of molasses, while evaporated cane juice still has some little flecks of molasses that give it a darker caramel color.

    "It's got negligible amounts of nutrients or anything like that. Healthwise it's not any better or worse for you," Sanchez says.

    It makes me wonder if maybe those complaints were what the FDA was responding to, and then the FDA guidance prompted the lawsuits. (Kind of like the fight between sugar companies and HFCS.)
    edited May 2016
  • EvgeniZyntxEvgeniZyntx Member Posts: 24,424 Member Member Posts: 24,424 Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    I looked it up, since I had the same question. Less than half a gram.

    It's used as a browning agent, not really part of the fries. Although there is likely a little residual.

    http://metro.co.uk/2015/01/22/macdonalds-has-finally-revealed-how-it-makes-french-fries-5031511/
  • Glassie16Glassie16 Member Posts: 1 Member Member Posts: 1 Member
    I don't think there's actually "hidden" sugar. If you're looking for it, you can generally find it. In the ingredient list, sugar is anything ending with the letters "ose."

    I didn't see it mentioned, but this week the FDA announced new food labeling that will show "added sugar." It will also address more realistic portion sizes, etc. Here's a link for anyone who would like to read more and see how the new label and old label stacks up: http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm385663.htm
  • JruzerJruzer Member Posts: 3,419 Member Member Posts: 3,419 Member
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    snikkins wrote: »
    snikkins wrote: »
    JaneSnowe wrote: »
    snikkins wrote: »
    I disagree that there's hidden sugars. I'm really not sure who this is aimed at and it feels a lot like the "calories from fat" logic, or lack thereof.

    You mean who the thread is aimed at, or the change in the nutrition labels?

    If the former, I mostly am curious about why people feel sugar is hidden. @eveandqsmom gave a good example of why she believes it is.


    @eveandqsmom Thanks for taking the time to respond!

    The change in nutrition labels - I apologize for not being clear.

    In my ideal world, we'd have a population that was aware of the different things that are all sugar (as @rankinsect pointed out, they typically end in -ose) as opposed to what we're going to get which is likely "Added sugar is universally bad! Look! They have to label it now so you know it's bad!" because a lot of people don't seem to have an even basic understanding of this stuff, which is definitely an education failure, IMO.

    I hope I'm wrong about that, though.

    I don't know if it will make that much of a difference, honestly. The people who are already scared of sugar will continue to be scared of sugar. The people who have no objections to added sugar will eat it anyway. The people who don't read labels will still have no idea.

    I see some benefits: people who have to watch out for specific sugars can tell if there's something they should look for at a quick glance, people who are just starting to read labels will have a better idea if sugar is necessary to the product (i.e. you can get pasta sauce with added sugar or without), and some people who don't eat a nutrient-dense diet might be prompted to choose fruit over fruit juice cocktail or question if they should really have those Oreos.

    I do agree that we have massively failed with education, and I'm all in favor of throwing many, many more resources into that area.

    Hopefully, it won't. I've just seen the power of suggestion from people like the Food Babe in people in my everyday life. I think it has the potential to be more damaging than the anti-fat movement because of the Internet.

    I think people will still have to look more closely if there's a certain type of sugar they're trying to avoid, but I kind of doubt that people will start making the choice from fruit juice to fruit. Maybe they will, though.

    This is definitely an area where I'd like to be wrong! And I'm delighted about the other additions to the label.

    Oh dear lord you uttered the name of she who should not be named. What plague have you now wrought upon us?

    I thought "she who should not be named" was one of the 475 names of sugar.
  • traceyc83traceyc83 Member Posts: 72 Member Member Posts: 72 Member
    If your food grows on a plant, it's probably ok to eat. If your food is made in a plant, it's more than likely NOT going to be good for you.
  • paulgads82paulgads82 Member Posts: 256 Member Member Posts: 256 Member
    traceyc83 wrote: »
    If your food grows on a plant, it's probably ok to eat. If your food is made in a plant, it's more than likely NOT going to be good for you.

    I'm not taking you wild camping.
  • stevencloserstevencloser Member Posts: 8,917 Member Member Posts: 8,917 Member
  • zoeysasha37zoeysasha37 Member Posts: 7,133 Member Member Posts: 7,133 Member
    I don't really buy into the hidden sugar on packaged foods.
    It's there, you just have to read it. If a person is unsure of an ingredient, they could do a quick search and figure it out

    My son wanted a box of these mini chocolate chip cookies. He carried the box around the store hoping that I would agree.
    I pulled the cart to the side and asked him " how many cookies are in one serving?"
    He answered "4 small cookies"
    I went on asking him more questions and he was able to answer each question, like how much sugar is in each serving? Is there any protein?
    My son is 11. So if he could figure it out, I'm almost certain that most adults could if they really wanted to.
    ( I did buy him the mini cookies anyway because in my house , we use moderation not deprivation. The mini cookies ended up tasting terrible like cardboard. He agreed that there was better tasting treats for 149 calories and that one homemade cookie would've tasted better then four tiny mini cookies)
  • zoeysasha37zoeysasha37 Member Posts: 7,133 Member Member Posts: 7,133 Member
    traceyc83 wrote: »
    If your food grows on a plant, it's probably ok to eat. If your food is made in a plant, it's more than likely NOT going to be good for you.

    This is inaccurate
  • EvgeniZyntxEvgeniZyntx Member Posts: 24,424 Member Member Posts: 24,424 Member
    traceyc83 wrote: »
    If your food grows on a plant, it's probably ok to eat. If your food is made in a plant, it's more than likely NOT going to be good for you.

    3575.Jpg
  • EvgeniZyntxEvgeniZyntx Member Posts: 24,424 Member Member Posts: 24,424 Member
    One thing I haven't seen mentioned is that sugar is a preservative.

    I learned this in one of my MBA classes on entrepreneurship. One of the students had started a small company making crackers. He brought in some samples for us to try, he was also sharing his business model for us to critique. Most of us were surprised by the sweetness of the crackers and didn't care for them because they almost tasted more like a cookie. This was a bootstrap business, and he mentioned that he didn't want to use preservatives, but that sugar is a natural preservative. And, since he was very small and didn't move product quickly, shelf life was important.

    There isn't a huge point here other than the fact that I found it interesting that sugar can be used as a preservative and might explain some of the reason it is used in so many packaged foods. Even in ones where it seems like sugar should not be part of the recipe.

    Sugar is a preservative in high concentration and a mold/bacteria promotor in lower concentrations. The student was justifying the use of sugar incorrectly (it isn't an antibacterial in crackers/cookies)- unless those cookies were REALLY sweet. The real anti-spoilage effect in pastries, cookies, etc. is more related to preventing staleness as sugar retains moistness.
    edited June 2016
  • Erfw7471Erfw7471 Member Posts: 242 Member Member Posts: 242 Member
    traceyc83 wrote: »
    If your food grows on a plant, it's probably ok to eat. If your food is made in a plant, it's more than likely NOT going to be good for you.

    3575.Jpg

    Mmmmmmm, foxglove.
  • J72FITJ72FIT Member Posts: 5,477 Member Member Posts: 5,477 Member
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    traceyc83 wrote: »
    If your food grows on a plant, it's probably ok to eat. If your food is made in a plant, it's more than likely NOT going to be good for you.

    This is great news for the ongoing sugar debate, since sugar comes from plants...
    Indeed...
  • FunkyTobiasFunkyTobias Member Posts: 1,776 Member Member Posts: 1,776 Member
    traceyc83 wrote: »
    If your food grows on a plant, it's probably ok to eat. If your food is made in a plant, it's more than likely NOT going to be good for you.

    3b08b5qk8dvk.jpg
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