Dear Sweet Mom,
While it is difficult to calculate natural versus added sugars unless it is labeled ‘No Added Sugars’ or ‘Without Added Sugars’, it is easy to know which ones are included. If you see fruit or milk listed as an ingredient, natural sugars are contained. Fill your shopping cart with fruits and vegetables of all colors — they contain natural sugar and are full of vitamins, minerals, and disease – fighting antioxidants!
Labels of foods that contain sugar substitutes may say “sugar free,” “calorie free,” or “reduced calories.” These statements on the front of the package are the first sign of a low – calorie food and are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Not all “sugar – free” or “reduced – calorie” foods are low in calories. The food may contain extra fat, which provides 9 calories per gram. A sugar – free food doesn’t always save all that many calories compared to the food it is replacing. Examine the Nutrition Facts labels on all low – calorie foods to know what you’re really eating. Use of artificially sweetened foods in moderation can be a part of a healthy diet.