Sugar Label Claims


July 15, 2022 -

Sugar Label Claims

Sugar is found in many products, either naturally occurring or added.

Natural Occurring Sugar occurs in the product naturally

Examples of foods high in naturally occurring sugar:

  • Fruits (fructose & glucose)
  • Milk (lactose)

Added Sugar is not naturally found in the product

Examples of foods high in added sugars:

  • Baked goods
  • Soda
  • Candy

Understanding the Nutrition Facts

RECOMMENDED LIMIT- The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend no more than 10% of the diet be added sugar

  • Approximately 12 teaspoons of added sugar based on a 2,000 calorie a day diet

LOW VS. HIGH- The best way to determine if a product is low in added sugar is by referencing the Percent Daily Value

  • Low added sugar is less than 5% of the Daily Value
  • High added sugar is greater than 20% Daily Value

TOTAL SUGARS and ADDED SUGARS are separated on the label

  • Want to know how much naturally occurring sugar is in a food? Subtract Added Sugars from Total Sugars to find naturally occurring sugar

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Defined Sugar Claims

“Sugar free” or “zero sugar”

    • Contain less than 0.5 grams of sugar per serving
    • If sugar is in the ingredient list, the label requires a statement such as “adds a trivial amount of sugar”

“No added sugar” or “without added sugar”

    • No amount of sugar or any ingredient containing sugar was added during processing

“Reduced sugar” or “less sugar”

    • Contains at least 25% less sugar compared to 100 grams of the referenced food

Artificial Sweeteners

  • Manufactured sugar substitutes that contribute little to no calories
  • Range from 200 to 20,000 times sweeter than table sugar (sucrose)
  • The FDA approves artificial sweeteners safe for consumption
  • Examples: saccharin (Sweet'N Low), aspartame (Equal), and sucralose (Splenda)


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