Oh, so sweet…or Maybe Not? (Part 2)

by Glenda Blaskey, Performance Nutritionist, University of Houston Department of Intercollegiate Athletics (mom of Lauren, one of our students)

Unfortunately, foods do not come with flashing signs warning us of the added sugars hidden inside. As consumers we have to pay close attention to food labels to really figure out what we are buying. The Nutrition Facts panel on foods lists the “sugar” content of the food in grams, but it does not distinguish between natural and added sugars. The best way to determine if the food contains added sugars is to read the actual ingredients listed on the package. Some common foods with added sugars include sodas, fruit drinks, and juices, candy, cookies, cakes, dairy, desserts, cereals, sauces and condiments, many breads and some grain products. Added sugars have many different names on food labels, including high fructose corn syrup, molasses, cane or beet sugar, corn sweetener, raw sugar, honey, fruit juice concentrates, evaporated cane juice, brown rice syrup, agave syrup and others.

When shopping, keep an eye open for these additives. Choosing foods without them will promote healthy nutrition for your children.