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Older Adults - Focus on Added Sugars

Focus on Added Sugar page 1
Focus on Added Sugar page 2

For good health, everyone in the United States is encouraged to eat less added sugar.

Sugars and syrups that are added to foods and beverages during processing, at restaurants and at home, are called added sugars. Though we may like their sweet taste, they provide extra calories and few nutrients. Be aware of added sugars in:

  • Drinks: Sodas and soft drinks, fruit-flavored drinks, sweetened coffee and tea, flavored milk
  • Sweets: Candy, jelly, jam, honey, molasses, syrups
  • Breakfast or Snack: Hot and cold cereals, granola bars, smoothies, ice cream, flavored yogurt
  • Baked Goods: Cakes, cookies, sweet breads, pastries

Eating less added sugar makes it easier to:

  • have a healthy eating pattern without eating or drinking too many calories.
  • reduce the risk for diabetes, heart disease and tooth decay.
  • manage diabetes and high blood pressure and have a healthy weight.

Nutrition Facts labels show the grams of sugar in one serving of a food.

  • Total Sugars includes natural sugars that are part of some ingredients, such as fruit, along with added sugar ingredients, such as corn syrup.
  • Added Sugars includes only the amount of sugar ingredients added during processing.

Sugar substitutes (such as stevia, sucralose, aspartame, acesulfame-K) are used to sweeten many foods and beverages labeled with "no added sugars," "sugar free" or "zero sugar." They are considered safe to eat, but moderation is recommended by most health professionals.