No added Sugar? - Read the Small Print!

A lot of products are now described as "no added sugar."  What does that really mean ?

Where does Sugar Come from? 

Sugar occurs naturally in many food products.  Fruit like apples are high in sugar as are certain vegetables such as carrots.  This means that fruit and vegetables like this can be used as sweeteners in all sort of recipes.  But although the resulting delicacy may contain  very little refined sugar or even none at all it does not mean that the product is low in sugar.

Here is an example of a product that is labelled "No added sugar" but when we look at the nutritional information we can see it contains a lot of sugars.

Ingredients:
Dates (96.4%), concentrated strawberry (1.4%), apple (1.4%), concentrated raspberry juice (0.2%), natural strawberry flavouring, natural raspberry flavouring, preservative: potassium sorbate.

Nutrition Information:

Typical Values Per 100g Per bar (25g)
Energy/kcal 1335 kJ/319 kcal 334 kJ/80 kcal
Fat 0.1 <0.1
-of which saturates 0.1 <0.1
Cardohydrate 72 18
-of which sugars 64 16
Fibre 7.9 2.0
Protein 2.4 0.6
Salt 0.10 0.02

 So a single bar contains 16 g of sugar. The NHS recommends that adults have only 30g of sugar per day. but the recommendations for children are even lower as you can see from the table below. 

Age

Maximum recommended sugar intake per day

Teaspoons

4-6yrs

19g

5

7-10yrs

24g

6

From 11yrs

30g

7

 

This product is targeted at parents for their children, claiming it to be school friendly, but is it really a healthy option?  

"No added sugar" products can have similar names but may vary considerably in the amount of sugar they contain. We sell a Flapjack that has only around 10g of sugar per 100g.  Other Flapjack products are on the market,  also no added sugar, but they have 25g per 100g.

If fruit contains Sugar why isn't that bad for you too?

It's true that Apples have approximately 10g of sugar per 100g  but that is quite bit less than in the bar above.   However, the sugar in unprocessed fruit is digested into the body much more slowly and does not cause so much stress to the body. The slower absorption of the sugars means that there is not the same spike in blood glucose levels.  When fruit is processed it tends to be ingested like refined sugars.  Most fruit and vegetables contain quite a bit of water and lots of fibre and this also means that we tend to eat them more slowly and feel more satisfied.  Whereas one snack bar can often lead to another! 

Sweetswithout and no added sugar.

Most of our no added sugar products have below 10g per 100g.  Some of our filled chocolate products such as the Cavalier Sea Shells are higher at 16g per 100g this is due to the sugar called lactose that is contained in milk.

 

Next article Sugar Free and No added Sugar Biscuits

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields