Sugar Free Please

Label Reading

Understanding the Sugar Quantity in Products


The food label lumps all sugars together including milk (lactose) and fruit sugar (fructose) along with table sugar (sucrose). For instance one serving of fruit canned in fruit juice has 14 grams of sugar and 1 cup of skim milk has 12 grams of sugar. Yet neither of these foods has sugar "added" to them. Unfortunately, the food label lumps all sugars together and doesn't make it easier for consumers to identify sources of "added" sugar.


There are two forms of sugar in the food we eat. There are naturally occurring sugars in fruits and dairy products and there are added sugars (white, brown or powdered sugar as well as corn syrup solids) in many processed foods.


Learn to differentiate between ingredients that are added sugars (corn syrup solids or sucrose) and natural sugars like lactose (milk sugar) or fructose (fruit sugar) that are inherent in raw or basic foods. It may take some learning on your part to recognize sources of added versus natural sugars and may be a bit confusing at times because fructose is also used as an added sugar.


For a product to be defined as containing "No Added Sugar", the food product cannot contain white refined sugar, castor sugar, loaf sugar, cube sugar, icing sugar, coffee sugar, coffee crystals, raw sugar, no added honey, malt, malt extract or maltose.


For a food product to be defined as ‘Low Sugar(s)' or ‘Low in sugar(s)', it must not contain more than 5g total sugars per 100g of the food or 2.5g sugars per 100 of liquid food.


For products labelled as ‘Sugar Free', ‘Free of Sugar(s)'or ‘No Sugar', the food must not contain more than 0.2g of sugar per 100g of the food, or 0.1g of sugar per 100g of liquid food.


The information provided in this website is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from our own research and experience.

We suggest taking responsibility for ones own diet and lifestyle, based on informed decision making. We encourage you to make your own healthy decisions based upon your own research and in partnership with qualified health care professionals.

But we think it's important that you have access to as much information on sugar and sugar free products as possible, and that's what we're aiming to provide.