Eating Well As You Get Older

Frequently Asked Questions

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

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.

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 ingredient list on the food package. (In addition to other updates, the FDA recently proposed to include “Added Sugars” on the Nutrition Facts label to better inform consumers of their sugar intake. Learn more about how FDA’s Proposed Changes Aim to Better Inform Food Choices (3/6/14).

Key words to look for 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.

Added sugars also include

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