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Spotlight: Sugar

image of sugar, honey, and brown sugar on white background

How much do you know about sugar? It is sweet, delicious, and found in so many foods, but do you know how much you should be getting in a day?

  1. Sugar: Should I Avoid It?
  2. How Do I know If A Food Has Added Sugar?
  3. Other Names For Added Sugar
  4. How Much Sugar Is Too Much?
  5. Recipes

Sugar: Should I Avoid It?

Sugar is often painted as the bad guy, but the truth is, there’s more to sugar than meets the eye!

Sugar can be found in many different foods. It can be found naturally in some foods, and can be added to others.

Naturally Occurring Sugar
Unflavoured Milk
Fruit
Some veggies
(beets, sweet potato, carrots)
Plain yogurt

Naturally Occurring Sugar

Fruits, some vegetables, and dairy contain sugar. The sugar found in these foods has not been added; it is naturally occurring! They also have a lot of other important vitamins and nutrients that are good for our bodies. Eating these foods every day is good for us.

Added Sugar
Baked goods
Soda, energy drinks
Cereals, flavoured oatmeal
Flavoured yogurt or dairy

Added Sugar

Added sugar is sugar that has been added to foods during processing. This can be the sugar added to baked goods, or added to dairy products like chocolate milk.

Sugars that are described as “natural” (like honey and maple syrup), are still counted as added sugars!

When trying to lower the amount of sugar you eat, focus on reducing foods that have added sugar.

What About Juice?

Juice comes from fruit which is a natural sugar.

Most juices are made with only fruit and don’t have sugar added (Check the ingredient list to make sure!). While juice is made from fruit and contains “natural” sugar, we should still try to limit how much we drink. This is because it is easy to drink a lot at once. Drinking 1 cup of juice has far more sugar than eating 1 piece of fruit.

Think of it this way:

Would you feel full after drinking 1 cup of orange juice? How full would you feel after eating 3 oranges?

Whole fruits are much more filling than juice, because whole fruits have fibre. Fibre helps us to feel full, which helps to control how much we eat.

glass or orange juice compared to 1 orange

The amount of sugar found in 1 cup of orange juice is about 24 grams (6 teaspoons). 1 orange contains about 9 grams of sugar. That’s almost 3 times as much sugar and no fibre!

How Do I Know If A Food Has Added Sugar?

Are you wondering if sugar is added to the foods you eat? You can easily find out!

Sugar can be found in 2 places on a packaged food. The Nutrition Facts Table or the Ingredient List.

Nutrition Facts Table

  • Lists the amount of sugar in grams
  • Does not tell you if it is added or naturally occurring

Ingredient List

  • Tells you types of added sugar that is in the food (example: brown sugar, corn syrup, honey)
nutrition facts table and ingredient list highlighting sugar

Other Names For Added Sugars

Be careful! There are many different names for sugar. Look for these names to find out if there is added sugar in your food.

How Much Sugar Is Too Much?

It is recommended to have less than 52 grams (or 13 teaspoons) of added sugar per day.

Can you guess how many grams of sugar are in the foods you eat?

Recipes

Have a sweet tooth? Try some of our recipes!