Naturally-Occurring Sugars Versus Added Sugars

When you think of sugar you probably picture the white granules you stir into your coffee. Actually, this is just one form of sugar, called sucrose, that is extracted from sugar cane or sugar beet.

Sugars basically fall into one of two groups:

Fruit and glasses of milk

Naturally-occurring sugars – This term refers to sugars that occur naturally in foods such as fructose in fruit and lactose in milk and dairy products. Be aware, however, that fructose can also be used as an added sugar in some beverages, some food/energy bars, and some “natural” packaged foods (e.g. cookies in a health food store).

Pouring a spoon of sugar

Added sugars – An added sugar is any type of sugar that is added to food, such as the sugar you use in baking, or the sugar you add to your coffee. Added sugar can take many different forms, including: Raw sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar, sucrose, glucose, fructose, malt, maltose, corn syrup, lactose, sorbitol, mannitol, honey, molasses, evaporated cane juice, and barley malt extract.

It is important to consider how much sugar is too much.