Eating Well As You Get Older

Frequently Asked Questions

22. How can I limit added sugars in my diet?

The Nutrition Facts label tells you the total amount of sugars in one serving of a product. However, added sugars are not listed separately on this panel.

To find out if a product contains added sugars, read the ingredients list on the food package. This list tells you everything that a processed food contains. The items are presented from largest to smallest ingredient. That is, there is more of the first ingredient listed on the label than any other ingredient. The last ingredient on the list is found in the smallest amount.

Key words for sugar on the ingredients list include

  • sugar
  • brown sugar
  • raw sugar
  • invert sugar
  • corn sweetener
  • corn syrup
  • high-fructose corn syrup
  • honey
  • malt syrup
  • maple syrup
  • molasses
  • fruit juice concentrates.

Other terms for sugar include

  • dextrose
  • fructose
  • glucose
  • lactose
  • maltose
  • sucrose.

To help control your calorie intake, limit foods and beverages like candy and fruit drinks that are high in added sugars. Replace sweets and soft drinks with lower-calorie, nutrient-dense alternatives like vegetables, fruits, and smaller portions of 100 percent juices. Unsweetened tea, low-fat or fat-free milk, or water are also good choices. Be aware that some products are low in fat but high in added sugars.

(Watch the video to learn more about what's best to drink as you get older.To enlarge the video, click the brackets in the lower right-hand corner. To reduce the video, press the Escape (Esc) button on your keyboard.)