Many of us are aware by now that sugar is a hot topic when it comes to nutrition, particularly because most people currently exceed the World Health Organization’s recommended guidelines of 25g (6 tsp) or less of sugar per day. While sugars in their whole food form (such as fruit) are not as big of a concern, it’s the sugars that we can’t see – the added sugars – which are potentially detrimental to our health.
Added or “free” sugars* are now found in pretty much all processed foods, and it can sometimes be hard trying to identify them based solely on the packaged nutrition labels. This is because current guidelines from Health Canada and the USDA do not make it mandatory that these sugars are labeled as such. All sugars, whether naturally occurring or added, are counted as one and the same.
Fortunately, there is now a much needed sugar tracking smartphone app that you can download which helps with this. One Sweet App, designed by the producers of the Sugar Coated documentary, allows you to scan bar codes in the grocery store with your phone or search its vast database to see the free sugar hiding in your food – a database that is growing on a daily basis!
Unfortunately the app is only currently available for iPhones, however I highly recommend trying it out (on your own phone or with a friend!). It truly is a great tool to see how many total added and free sugars you are having per day.
* NOTE: Added or “free” sugars refers to all regular added sugars, including natural sugars present in common additives such as honey, syrups, and fruit juices.
Are you interested in learning more dietitian-approved tips? Check out our guide.