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Sugars

Learn to make healthier food choices by using the Nutrition Facts table on prepackaged foods. Sugars are found in the Nutrition Facts table.

What are sugars?

Sugars are a type of carbohydrate. Sugars are used in cooking and baking to add flavour, a sweet taste and the right texture to certain foods. Sugars can also be used to preserve foods, such as fruit jams and jellies.

Where are sugars found?

Sugars are found in foods such as fruit, fruit juices, milk and vegetables.

Sugars can also be added to foods. Many prepackaged foods contain added sugars, such as baked goods, candy and soft drinks.

Helpful hints at the grocery store

  • Always look at the Nutrition Facts table to choose and compare foods.
  • Choose fruit and vegetables more often than juices.
  • Choose juice made with 100% fruit juice and no added sugar.
  • Remember that fruit punch or fruit cocktail usually have added sugar.
  • Choose foods prepared with little or no added sugar.
  • Read the ingredient list. Sugar can be listed as a variety of different names.
  • Read the ingredient list and choose cereal, crackers and granola bars with less added sugar.

What are added sugars?

Sugars that are added to foods during processing or preparation are called added sugars. Added sugars contribute mainly calories and taste. They have no major nutritional benefits.

Examples of foods that contain added sugars:

  • Baked goods and desserts such as cakes, cookies, donuts, granola bars, pastries, pies and pudding
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Candy
  • Chocolate
  • Frozen desserts such as freezies, ice cream and popsicles
  • Jams, jellies and preserves
  • Sauces such as honey mustard, ketchup and plum sauce
  • Sweetened beverages such as chocolate milk, fruit punch, iced tea, lemonade, powdered drink mixes and soft drinks

Reading the ingredient list:

Sugars can be found in many forms. Read the ingredient list and look for these words:

  • brown sugar
  • cane juice extract
  • corn syrup and corn syrup solids
  • Demerara or Turbinado sugar
  • dextrose
  • evaporated cane juice
  • fructose
  • glucose
  • high fructose corn syrup or glucose-fructose
  • honey
  • lactose
  • maltose
  • molasses
  • raw sugar
  • sucrose
  • syrup
  • treacle
  • white sugar

Hint: Words ending in "ose" are usually sugars.

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