What does NO SUGAR ADDED “really” mean?

Food labeling pisses me off. I am sick and tired of the food industry making “claims” that are only trying to feed us false information. My AMAZING clients have lead a life thinking they were eating nutritionally sound food and often can’t figure out why they are still fatigued, headachy and NOT dropping weight. The food industry spends TRILLIONS of dollars figuring out how they can get us to buy their product. Trillions.  So unfortunately when they make health “claims” we have to remember to NEVER TO TRUST THE PACKAGING….except for the ingredient label. It’s time to stop focusing on the nutrition label too. You know, the part with the protein, carbs, sugars, blah, blah, blah. Because if the ingredient label sucks, then nothing else matters. The problem is that many ingredient labels look like we are reading Chinese. So refer to my label reading blog for some simple tips. Today we will focus on one thing and one thing only, What does no sugar added mean?

What does NO ADDED SUGAR mean?

It could mean there IS ACTUALLY no added sugar. Like this picture of Silk Almond Milk. A true claim. THANK YOU. 


BUT……. it often means it has lots of sugar, just not real sugar. It has ARTIFICIAL SUGAR. Like these brands below. 

Vitamin Water Zero

Think Thin Protein Bar

The very simple two rules of thumb to help avoid artificial sweeteners are:

1) If your product tastes sweet and claims it has NO SUGAR, (lists sugar grams:0g) then it is filled with ARTIFICIAL SUGAR or sugar alcohols.

2) If your product is sweet and claims it has no calories, it is filled with ARTIFICIAL SUGAR or sugar alcohols. 

Sometimes it gets even trickier. I know. So freakin’ annoying. You may have a product with some real sugar and artificial sweetener so they claim 25% less sugar on the box. (Quaker granola bars loves this claim) That usually means the product has some sugar and they supplement the product with artificial sweeteners and get you to buy it because the consumer looks at the amount of sugar grams and it may not be zero grams but will be a low number of sugar grams. Please see this article for tips.

For the no sugar added, just follow the above two simple steps. Artificial sweeteners mess with our metabolism (why many people can’t lose weight), induce headaches (very common with diet soda drinkers), and can cause fatigue and possible bloating and gas. Please click and read this article from Dr. Hyman about the effects of artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols. 


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4 comments on What does NO SUGAR ADDED “really” mean?

  1. Kenz
    04/21/2016 at 1:03 pm (3 years ago)

    So which protein bars wouldyou recommend? I’ve been eating these because of the 20g protein. Thanks

    • Tiffany Tatom
      04/29/2016 at 3:23 pm (3 years ago)

      I would eat a bar that you can read the ingredient list and recognize those ingredients as real food. Some of my favorite protein bars are Raw Revolution,(Health Nut Nutrition) Health Warrior Chia Bars (Fresh Market and Health Nut), Kind bars (the rectangular version with 8 grams or less sugar),(found everywhere, even gas stations), or Lara Bar (found everywhere). OR, if you are on the run just grab a handful of nuts or seeds for a protein punch. Easy and super energizing.

  2. Carol Quibell
    04/22/2016 at 10:18 am (3 years ago)

    So true, as a few months ago I bought Atkins Carmel Nut Chew Bar and it said “1g of sugar” and then right below it, it said “Sugar Alcohols 9g”

    • Tiffany Tatom
      04/29/2016 at 3:24 pm (3 years ago)

      If it tastes kind of like a candy bar, it probably is as good for you as a candy bar. :)) Thanks for reading!!!


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