Calorie Counter

Message Boards Debate: Health and Fitness
You are currently viewing the message boards in:

Nutrition Labels and Hidden Sugars

12357

Replies

  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Member Posts: 30,886 Member Member Posts: 30,886 Member
    shinycrazy wrote: »
    My perspective is a bit different as I'm diabetic (type 2). I pay attention to carbohydrate totals and look for sugar alcohols(which I avoid because they can wreak havoc on my gastro system). That's the end of my worries about it. If it fits my macros and carb servings for a meal, I'm eating it. It's going to be like sodium, once you start paying attention to it you will think the world has gone crazy because it's in the damnest places.

    Have the powers that be set an amount of added sugar we should be limited to ?

    The WHO recommends no more than 10% of your daily calorie intake from added sugars. The AHA suggests a daily added sugar intake of no more 100 calories (25g) for women and 150 calories (38g) for men.

    To add to this, current (new) US Dietary Guidelines also say 10%, which I think is related to this change. The new labels will give percentage of that recommended limit calculated for a 2000 calorie diet.

    (I personally think proportion of diet makes more sense than the AHA's set numbers.)
  • yarwellyarwell Member Posts: 10,573 Member Member Posts: 10,573 Member
    Low fat dairy tends to have high %sugar because taking the fat out increased the concentration of the natural sugars left behind.

    Unsweetened yoghurt tends to be 4-6% carbohydrate while 0-10% fat.
  • chocolate_owlchocolate_owl Member Posts: 1,431 Member Member Posts: 1,431 Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    shinycrazy wrote: »
    My perspective is a bit different as I'm diabetic (type 2). I pay attention to carbohydrate totals and look for sugar alcohols(which I avoid because they can wreak havoc on my gastro system). That's the end of my worries about it. If it fits my macros and carb servings for a meal, I'm eating it. It's going to be like sodium, once you start paying attention to it you will think the world has gone crazy because it's in the damnest places.

    Have the powers that be set an amount of added sugar we should be limited to ?

    The WHO recommends no more than 10% of your daily calorie intake from added sugars. The AHA suggests a daily added sugar intake of no more 100 calories (25g) for women and 150 calories (38g) for men.

    To add to this, current (new) US Dietary Guidelines also say 10%, which I think is related to this change. The new labels will give percentage of that recommended limit calculated for a 2000 calorie diet.

    (I personally think proportion of diet makes more sense than the AHA's set numbers.)

    Me too. 100 calories is a very different % of intake for someone who maintains on 1500 calories and someone who maintains on 2500, and it's lower than 10% for both.
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Member Posts: 30,886 Member Member Posts: 30,886 Member
    yarwell wrote: »
    Low fat dairy tends to have high %sugar because taking the fat out increased the concentration of the natural sugars left behind.

    Unsweetened yoghurt tends to be 4-6% carbohydrate while 0-10% fat.

    Not really. I did a comparison from the USDA. There's no real difference.

    Plain nonfat greek has about 59 calories in 100 g, with 10 g protein and 3.24 g sugar.

    Plain from whole milk has about 97 calories in 100 g, with 9 g protein and 4 g sugar.

    Don't know why the sugar number goes up -- maybe they end up taking out a bit of sugar too. The nonfat has more water.

    Also, even if that did happen, which I used to assume would, and sugar content went up a bit by volume, vs merely percentage of total calories, it would not support the assertion frequently made that more sugar is added (see the post I was responding to). The only sugar is the sugar in the yogurt naturally.
    edited May 2016
  • stealthqstealthq Member Posts: 4,307 Member Member Posts: 4,307 Member
    JenHuedy wrote: »
    Along with the McDonald's fries, a better example from what I gave would be Jamaican beef patties. I occasionally eat a store-bought variety of this food. There is sugar added (7 grams of sugar is listed for a 5oz patty). However, the patty does not taste sweet at all.

    I'm not surprised by that. My brother's ex, who is Vietnamese, taught me a whole bunch of Vietnamese recipes, including spring rolls, meatballs, minced pork salads etc and they ALL have sugar added to the meat mixture. It's really not an unusual ingredient in what you would consider to be "savoury" meat foods. Just not one you'd think of if you didn't make those things yourself.

    I think the "surprise" about sugar in foods is related to the decline in cooking skills. Sugar is a flavor enhancer - just like salt. It is used in a lot of savory dishes to bring out different flavors, enhance browning or change texture. Even if you have never added plain sugar to a savory dish, I'll bet you've added something like soy, worcestershire or teriyaki sauces or ketchup. All of which have sugar.

    Now, is it overused in processed foods? Absolutely. But that's because people like it. If they like it, they buy it. If they buy it, then manufacturers will make it. If we don't buy it any more. They quit making it. That's how this whole system works.

    I wish some people would spend the time they use complaining about the evil food companies "hiding" sugar in foods to watch a few episodes of Good Eats or America's Test Kitchen and see the science behind cooking and how the most humble ingredients and simple techniques majorly impact the flavor and texture of food.

    I'll raise you some episodes of Unwrapped or similar shows. People don't appreciate that the choice of ingredients isn't just about taste and texture, it's also about 'how do I best get the finished product I want using the manufacturing equipment I have'. Often companies have to use a sugar product with specific characteristics (taste profile, viscosity at particular temperatures, etc), so that's what they choose.
  • ForecasterJasonForecasterJason Member Posts: 2,582 Member Member Posts: 2,582 Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    shinycrazy wrote: »
    My perspective is a bit different as I'm diabetic (type 2). I pay attention to carbohydrate totals and look for sugar alcohols(which I avoid because they can wreak havoc on my gastro system). That's the end of my worries about it. If it fits my macros and carb servings for a meal, I'm eating it. It's going to be like sodium, once you start paying attention to it you will think the world has gone crazy because it's in the damnest places.

    Have the powers that be set an amount of added sugar we should be limited to ?

    The WHO recommends no more than 10% of your daily calorie intake from added sugars. The AHA suggests a daily added sugar intake of no more 100 calories (25g) for women and 150 calories (38g) for men.

    To add to this, current (new) US Dietary Guidelines also say 10%, which I think is related to this change. The new labels will give percentage of that recommended limit calculated for a 2000 calorie diet.

    (I personally think proportion of diet makes more sense than the AHA's set numbers.)

    Me too. 100 calories is a very different % of intake for someone who maintains on 1500 calories and someone who maintains on 2500, and it's lower than 10% for both.
    I agree as well.
  • snikkinssnikkins Member Posts: 1,282 Member Member Posts: 1,282 Member
    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.
  • yarwellyarwell Member Posts: 10,573 Member Member Posts: 10,573 Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    yarwell wrote: »
    Low fat dairy tends to have high %sugar because taking the fat out increased the concentration of the natural sugars left behind.

    Unsweetened yoghurt tends to be 4-6% carbohydrate while 0-10% fat.

    Not really. I did a comparison from the USDA. There's no real difference.

    Plain nonfat greek has about 59 calories in 100 g, with 10 g protein and 3.24 g sugar.

    Plain from whole milk has about 97 calories in 100 g, with 9 g protein and 4 g sugar.

    Don't know why the sugar number goes up -- maybe they end up taking out a bit of sugar too. The nonfat has more water.

    Actual greek yoghurt 10% fat 4.2 sugar 3.4 protein. Just off the label.

    The USDA stuff looks like whey is back mixed into it or something. Compare protein/sugar ratio of milk.

    So I stand by what I said with a wider range and more words - the sugar content varies independent of fat in the range 3-6 % with fat in the range 0-10% in actual products on sale. This isn't because sugar is added but because fat is being added or removed as is protein in variable proportions.
  • paulgads82paulgads82 Member Posts: 256 Member Member Posts: 256 Member
    tjjalmeida wrote: »
    When I hear "Hidden sugars" I immediately think about the fact that there are so many different names that they call sugar on labels. So if you look at the ingredients and are searching for the word sugar, you will probably miss it! That's what frustrates me, it feels like the food industry is trying to "hide" the fact that they loaded the food with sugar. They other thing I learned and something I avoid entirely is anything that is "Fat Free" or "Low fat" because when they take the fat out of foods, it doesn't taste as good so they replace it with added sugar!!
    I look for natural foods that use honey or Agave as sweetners and if I'm going to by yogurt or cottage cheese, I avoid the fat free or low fat options.

    Sugar isn't just sugar though. It's not an industry creation, that's just how various sugars are categorised. Now, some corporations or manufacturers may use these terms with public ignorance in mind but that's the problem, not the labelling.
  • Anaris2014Anaris2014 Member, Premium Posts: 138 Member Member, Premium Posts: 138 Member
    JenHuedy wrote: »
    Along with the McDonald's fries, a better example from what I gave would be Jamaican beef patties. I occasionally eat a store-bought variety of this food. There is sugar added (7 grams of sugar is listed for a 5oz patty). However, the patty does not taste sweet at all.

    I'm not surprised by that. My brother's ex, who is Vietnamese, taught me a whole bunch of Vietnamese recipes, including spring rolls, meatballs, minced pork salads etc and they ALL have sugar added to the meat mixture. It's really not an unusual ingredient in what you would consider to be "savoury" meat foods. Just not one you'd think of if you didn't make those things yourself.

    I think the "surprise" about sugar in foods is related to the decline in cooking skills. Sugar is a flavor enhancer - just like salt. It is used in a lot of savory dishes to bring out different flavors, enhance browning or change texture. Even if you have never added plain sugar to a savory dish, I'll bet you've added something like soy, worcestershire or teriyaki sauces or ketchup. All of which have sugar.

    Now, is it overused in processed foods? Absolutely. But that's because people like it. If they like it, they buy it. If they buy it, then manufacturers will make it. If we don't buy it any more. They quit making it. That's how this whole system works.

    I wish some people would spend the time they use complaining about the evil food companies "hiding" sugar in foods to watch a few episodes of Good Eats or America's Test Kitchen and see the science behind cooking and how the most humble ingredients and simple techniques majorly impact the flavor and texture of food.

    That theory of "if people stop buying it..." is a good theory. But, in Australia for example, the major supermarket chains appear to be significantly reducing the availability of non-store branded products. The consequence is that there really is no choice. Of that's full of sugar, bad luck, there's no viable alternative.

  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Member Posts: 30,886 Member Member Posts: 30,886 Member
    yarwell wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    yarwell wrote: »
    Low fat dairy tends to have high %sugar because taking the fat out increased the concentration of the natural sugars left behind.

    Unsweetened yoghurt tends to be 4-6% carbohydrate while 0-10% fat.

    Not really. I did a comparison from the USDA. There's no real difference.

    Plain nonfat greek has about 59 calories in 100 g, with 10 g protein and 3.24 g sugar.

    Plain from whole milk has about 97 calories in 100 g, with 9 g protein and 4 g sugar.

    Don't know why the sugar number goes up -- maybe they end up taking out a bit of sugar too. The nonfat has more water.

    Actual greek yoghurt 10% fat 4.2 sugar 3.4 protein. Just off the label.

    The USDA stuff looks like whey is back mixed into it or something. Compare protein/sugar ratio of milk.

    So I stand by what I said with a wider range and more words - the sugar content varies independent of fat in the range 3-6 % with fat in the range 0-10% in actual products on sale. This isn't because sugar is added but because fat is being added or removed as is protein in variable proportions.

    The USDA numbers are consistent with Fage. Taking the numbers from the Fage nutrition labels:

    The non low fat version sold here is 200 g, 190 calories, 18 g protein, 8 g sugar.
    The 2% is 200 g, 150 calories, 20 g protein, 8 g sugar.
    The non fat is smaller by weight (same size container), so 170 g, 100 calories, 18 g protein, 7 g sugar. Even if you converted it to 200 g, you'd get 8.2 g of sugar (which would be 8 on the label here), so no more than in the whole milk variety.
    edited May 2016
  • mommarnursemommarnurse Member, Premium Posts: 515 Member Member, Premium Posts: 515 Member
    VioletRojo wrote: »
    I don't understand how the sugar can be hidden if it's listed on the ingredient label. Either the sugar occurs naturally in the food, or it's added. If it's added, it'll be on the ingredient label.

    Yes, it's on the ingredient label, but that doesn't tell how much of the listed carbohydrates are from added sugars, so that's the difference on the new labels.
  • snikkinssnikkins Member Posts: 1,282 Member Member Posts: 1,282 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?

    At least I'm not the one posting actual conspiracy theories right now! ;)

    But yes, I'll take full responsibility for any curse or plague that is wrought upon us.
  • tomtebodatomteboda Member Posts: 2,176 Member Member Posts: 2,176 Member
    Evaporated sugar cane juice is not sugar, per se; that is, it is not pure sucrose.

    It looks like this:
    m9un4q5a6t59.jpg (credit ER & Jenny)'

    When sugar is extracted (milled) from cane plants, it requires a 2-crystallization process to get to the final product of pure sucrose.

    vg69ymk9riz0.jpg

    Sugar cane juice has a concentrated amount of sugar in comparison to the raw plant, but it is quite different than pure sugar chemically.

    The labelling of foods require the actual food ingredients, not a common shorthand for them, be used.
  • diannethegeekdiannethegeek Member Posts: 14,831 Member Member Posts: 14,831 Member
    This is an old case, but it's new to me. Apparently several lawsuits have been filed regarding the use of "evaporated can juice" on labels.

    http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Regulation/Chobani-finally-prevails-in-evaporated-cane-juice-lawsuit-but-other-firms-still-being-targeted
  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Member Posts: 30,886 Member Member Posts: 30,886 Member
    One of them was mentioned in my NPR link above.
  • diannethegeekdiannethegeek Member Posts: 14,831 Member Member Posts: 14,831 Member
    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.

  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Member Posts: 30,886 Member Member Posts: 30,886 Member
    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.
    edited May 2016
Sign In or Register to comment.