Added Sugars

Added Sugars

To build a healthy eating style and stay within your calorie needs, choose foods and beverages with less added sugars. Added sugars are sugars and syrups that are added to foods or beverages when they are processed or prepared. This does not include natural sugars found in milk and fruits.

Most of us eat and drink too many added sugars from the following foods:

  • beverages, such as regular soft drinks, energy or sports drinks, fruit drinks, sweetened coffee and tea
  • candy
  • cakes
  • cookies and brownies
  • pies and cobblers
  • sweet rolls, pastries, and donuts
  • ice cream and dairy desserts
  • sugars, jams, syrups, and sweet toppings

Reading the ingredient label on packaged foods can help to identify added sugars.

Names for Added Sugars*
anhydrous dextrose brown sugar confectioner's powdered sugar
corn syrup corn syrup solids dextrose
fructose high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) honey
invert sugar lactose malt syrup
maltose maple syrup molasses
nectars (e.g., peach or pear nectar) pancake syrup raw sugar
sucrose sugar white granulated sugar
*You may also see other names such as cane juice, evaporated corn sweetener, crystal dextrose, glucose, liquid fructose, sugar cane juice, and fruit nectar.

You can limit your intake of added sugars by:

  • drinking water, unsweetened tea or coffee, or other calorie-free beverages instead of sodas or other sweetened beverages
  • choosing beverages, such as low-fat or fat-free milk and 100% fruit juice, that will boost Dairy Group and Fruit Group intake to meet recommendations
  • choosing fruit as a naturally sweet dessert or sweet snack instead of foods with added sugars
  • making sweet desserts and snacks, such as cookies, cakes, pies, and ice cream, a once-in-a-while treat and choosing a small portion when you enjoy them
  • choosing packaged foods that have less or no added sugars such as plain yogurt, unsweetened applesauce, or frozen fruit with no added sugar or syrup