Online Table Reveals Added-Sugar Content In 2000 Foods

Elizabeth S. Reames  |  4/8/2006 1:19:38 AM

News You Can Use For April 2006

A new online table from Agricultural Research Service nutritionists lets users check the amount of "added" sugars in foods. The table contains information on added sugars, total sugars and carbohydrates in 2,041 common foods.

U.S. consumers eat about 74 pounds of added sugars per year, according to 1999-2002 survey data analyzed by researchers at the Beltsville (Md.) Human Nutrition Research Center Community Nutrition Research Group.

"That's about 23 teaspoons of added sugars every day – or 460 calories that supply no additional nutrients," says LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames.

In the new table, added sugars are defined as those sugars added to foods and beverages during processing or home preparation. The data reported are estimated values based on the added sweeteners listed under "ingredients" on the package labels of processed foods and beverages.

Some added sugars listed under ingredients include honey, molasses, fruit juice concentrate, brown sugar, corn sweetener, sucrose, lactose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup and malt syrup.

The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans emphasize the importance of limiting the amount of added sugars in the foods we eat.

"Although foods containing natural sugars, such as fresh fruit and milk, are rich in vitamins and minerals, many foods and beverages that contain high amounts of added sugars may be relatively low in nutrients," Reames points out, adding, "This special interest table will help users identify foods that contain high levels of added sugars."

The new table, USDA Database for the Added Sugars Content of Selected Foods, lists entries alphabetically within 23 food groups, such as baked products, fast foods and snacks. To download it go to www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=12107.

For related nutrition information, click on the Family and Home link on the LSU AgCenter home page, at www.lsuagcenter.com.

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On the Internet: LSU AgCenter: www.lsuagcenter.com

Source: Beth Reames (225) 578-3929, or breames@agcenter.lsu.edu

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