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Light, Diet, No Sugar – What does it all mean?

Light, Diet, No Sugar – What does it all mean?

Hi everyone!

It might be obvious to many of you, but totally new to many others that every single drink you purchase – except water, fresh tea or coffee and hopefully freshly squeezed juices – have added sugar in it.

I see many people going on diets and caring for what they eat, but keep drinking coke or any other can drinks. I get shocked every single time I see this. What haven’t people understood yet?

According to the World Health Organization (WTO), adults should consume no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is a little more lenient, recommending that Americans consume no more than 50 grams of sugar per day.

Meanwhile, the average American eats over double the FDA’s recommended amount, and experts are rapidly identifying the dangers of such excess.

Where can we find added sugar?

Colas and other sodas are a major source of sugar in the United States, as seen in the graph below, but they aren’t the only beverages to blame. The sweetness of the beverages, measured in grams of sugar per fluid ounce, was used to rank them. The overall sugar content of each person is also displayed in sugar cubes (a single sugar cube weighs around 2.3 grams).

Source: Business Insider (Euromonitor)

Looking at the chart, Red Bull has a smaller amount of sugar when compared to a Starbucks Grande Caffe Latte Mocha. However, it’s 155% sweeter per fluid ounce, indicating that the sweetness degree is not always proportional to the beverage container’s (can) size. Extremely sweet beverages may be packaged in tiny containers. 

If you’re getting your caffeine fix from a Rockstar energy drink, you should know that it’s 118 percent sweeter than a Red Bull. Yet, both have the same container size. 

This shows that extremely sugary beverages can come in incredibly small containers.

You often see other healthier-marketed options with  Light, Diet, No Sugar or No Added Sugar labels on the packages and drinks you buy. What do these nomenclatures actually mean? And is it beneficial compared to the originals? That’s what I am about to explain to you:

How to identify how much sugar in your drink?

Source: Health Promotion Agency
  • “SUGAR FREE” means these are foods or drinks with a sugar content of less than 0.5g per 100g or 100ml of food/drink. 

  • “NO SUGAR ADDED” means that no simple sugars have been added to the food, but may be naturally present in the food. Sometimes the addition of sugar is replaced by the addition of sweeteners. 

  • “LIGHT” (or REDUCED) products are those whose caloric value or content of some nutrient (fat, sugar, sodium) is lowered or reduced by at least 30% when compared to the original product. There is a reduction, not an elimination, and it may not even be of sugars. This means the product contains at least 25 percent fewer calories per serving than the referenced food.

  • “DIET” – What characterizes a diet product is the elimination of a nutrient (sugar, sodium, protein, fat), but not necessarily sugar. 

Simple sugars can appear on nutrition labels under various names, it is important to know how to identify them:

  • Sugar
  • Sucrose
  • White sugar
  • Cane sugar
  • Glucose
  • Maltose
  • Honey
  • Molasses
  • Molasses syrup
  • Invert sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Glucose syrup

So, my lovely readers, be aware of what you daily drink and not only what your food is.

A slice of home made cake is most probably healthier than any coke or soda drink!

I wish you all a lovely weekend or week! – if you read this later.

With all my love, Leonor

Get free recipe books with delicious healthy desserts and cakes, here!

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