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Healthy You

How to Spot Added Sugars!

Tuesday, March 01, 2022 11:32 AM

By Elyse Roel MS, RDN, LDN, CNSC
Clinical Nutrition Manager
NorthShore University HealthSystem

A typical dessert menu has all the usual sugar suspects—candy, cake, ice cream and pie.

Consuming too much added sugar increases your risk for weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and dementia. 

If you want to reduce your risk of chronic disease by limiting sugar in your diet, look beyond the dessert menu. Sugar is added to many products that aren’t considered sweet.


Remember: The American Heart Association recommends women limit daily consumption to less than 24 grams (6 teaspoons) and men limit daily consumption to 36 grams (9 teaspoons).

Where to Find Added Sugars

Less Obvious Foods with Added Sugar:

  • Salad dressing
  • Crackers
  • Bread
  • Yogurt
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Condiments
  • Cereal
  • Energy bars

How to Identify Added Sugars

As of 2021, all Nutrition Facts labels should include information for added sugars. Review the Nutrition Facts panel to assess added sugars (2) under the total sugars (1). Added sugars are sugars that are added during the processing of foods. Examples of added sugars include sucrose, dextrose, table sugar, syrups, honey, and sugars from concentrated fruit or vegetable juice.

Always make sure to review the serving size and servings per container, found at the top of the Nutrition Facts label.

CHALLENGE: Read Nutrition Fact labels and cut down on your added sugar intake. Small changes every day will lead to better health.

Nutrition Label