My Sugar Use Blog: Final Thoughts


Karen Wagner
Karen Wagner, MS, RD, CSO, LDN

For most of recorded history, sugar has been very expensive and difficult to produce; honey, maple syrup, molasses and of course fruit, were used much more often than refined sugar, but even those sweeteners were not very common. High fructose corn syrup, the source of over 40 % of our added sugar in the US, was not even in existence until just over 50 years ago. And yet it feels so difficult to cut down. Besides being a part of celebratory food and special treats, added sugar is now in many foods, such as crackers and breads that we do not think of as being sweet. This can make it even more difficult to cut down on added sugar. The proposed new FDA food labels will have a special line, just for identifying added sugars. This change will make it easier to identify how much sugar occurs naturally in a food and how much has been added. Yogurts are a great example of a food that has some naturally occurring sugar, but very often a lot of added sugar as well. Plain, unsweetened yogurt has about 12 grams of naturally occurring sugar from milk. Many manufacturers add a significant amount of added sugar to flavor the yogurt, sometimes as much as 3 or 4 teaspoons per container. The new food label will make this difference clearer.

I did learn a lot from tracking my own sugar intake and I would invite you to do the same!