Oxymoron: Nutritional Value and Added Sugars

By GabbyPA Latest Reply 2015-08-14 08:29:30 -0500
Started 2015-08-11 09:35:03 -0500

Ok, I don't know if I should applaud the FDA for making the nutrition labels start adding the % of daily recommendation of "added sugars" to our food labels or send them a "what the *bleep* are you thinking" letter.


It will be very interesting to see what the official % of the daily intake is allotted for added sugars. They say 10%, REALLY? I mean really, no one "needs" added sugars. And while I do understand that it can be a helpful addition, if that % is anything less than 100%, then I don't really know how it's going to really help?

Is added sugar in the government's idea of a food pyramid? Even in that messed up chart, I have never seen anywhere that they put candy, sugar and sweets as part of the foods to eat daily.

Sorry, this article just made me laugh and the fact that it was featured as a "good" thing on one of my favorite diabetes websites really made my head spin. Am I missing something here?

57 replies

Yerachmiel 2015-08-13 16:09:37 -0500 Report

Need to know the definition of "added sugars". Is the sugar used to cause yeast to rise when baking bread an "added sugar"?? [i.e. is the added sugar something they added to a recipe out of NEED or is it the sugar they added to the recipe to make it more "tasty" and, in fact, would the recipe be OK without that sugar.

Added could just mean that they added four tablespoons of sugar to make the medicinal qualities of the food go down, the recipe go down, the food taste good enough to want it to go down (sorry, I remembered the song while I was typing)… :-)

haoleboy 2015-08-13 16:21:08 -0500 Report

Added sugars are the sugars (and syrups) that are added to foods or beverages when they are processed or prepared.
The sugars that do not "naturally" occur in the ingredients of a processed food.

KassiaP 2015-08-12 22:41:17 -0500 Report

what??? I confess that English is my second language… is that English???? are they actually "recommending"adding sugar??? goodness gracious I am not following those recommendations!!!!

granniesophie 2015-08-12 14:42:49 -0500 Report

Foods that are gluten free replacements for regular gluten food, like bread, are also higher in sugar. They almost have to be so they don't taste like cardboard. Because of this, I eat only a few gluten free things, like bread and pasta, and stick to more natural foods which are already gluten free! It is hard, but doable, to balance Celica Disease and Diabetes. It's also very stressful, and hard to figure out sometimes. I have to read every single label to make sure I can eat it. That's why I don't do much processed food, its just a pain to deal with. Too many additives and sugars in order to taste good

RebDee 2015-08-11 18:33:11 -0500 Report

Yesterday on the news, they had a piece on Energy Water that is supposed to be so good for you. Only problem is that the Energy part is sodium, sugar, and other garbage stuff. I'll stick with plain old water.

GabbyPA 2015-08-11 19:48:04 -0500 Report

Sodium and sugar is what make electrolytes in a crude sort of way. It helps to hydrate with the sodium and the energy is from the sugar. That is why I don't drink those and drink coconut water if I need electrolytes and water if I just need a drink

Jibber Jabber
Jibber Jabber 2015-08-12 12:05:39 -0500 Report

laugh if you will..but when my son works out he drinks the clear pedialyte…the drink you give to babies and young children if they have diarrhea…he swears by it…

GabbyPA 2015-08-12 14:04:46 -0500 Report

Actually, that is a good plan, as it has WAY less sugar in it. When my husband was severely dehydrated the paramedics told me to use that instead of Gatorade any day. So I keep it on hand and also as the powder to mix in a water bottle. I just don't use it myself.

Kalisiin 2015-08-14 06:06:24 -0500 Report

Funny you should mention Gatorade. The nurse at my doctor client saved me a trip to the hospital by telling me to get some Gatorade. Just before I was diagnosed, I had severe polydipsia, and it was depleting my electrolytes so badly tha I was becoming woozy and sweating and shaking…not good.

Never thought of Pedialyte as a possible idea.

GabbyPA 2015-08-14 08:29:30 -0500 Report

Yep, it's a better option. It costs more though, that is the hard part. That's why I buy the powdered version and keep it handy

Kalisiin 2015-08-11 21:30:38 -0500 Report

I have heard of coconut milk, but not coconut water…

haoleboy 2015-08-11 21:42:02 -0500 Report

coconut water is the liquid inside a coconut (and what you hear when you shake one) "milk" is made by pressing the meat of the coconut (similar to making almond "milk")

Kalisiin 2015-08-12 08:07:01 -0500 Report

Ah…and here I thought coconut milk was the liquid already inside when you crack open a coconut.

GabbyPA 2015-08-12 08:28:28 -0500 Report

Nope. Before it's mixed its clear and low carb. It doesn't have any of the fat, but it's a good way to hydrate.

haoleboy 2015-08-12 12:40:47 -0500 Report

One of the best things of living in Hawaii is the abundance of fruit (and nut) bearing trees that grow everywhere. In my yard we had papaya, mango, guava, bananas, star fruit, passion fruit, sugar cane and coconut.
There are many things I miss about Hawaii and walking out to the backyard and being able to pick a perfectly ripened Haden mango or crack open a coconut anytime you wanted is certainly near the top of the list

GabbyPA 2015-08-12 11:29:54 -0500 Report

A little. It really depends on the brand you find. I use an organic type, so it's pretty nice. Never get it in a metal can, it tastes like the can then. YUCK.

It's not sweet really and I like mine with lime juice, diluted in water and with just a tiny sweetener in it.

haoleboy 2015-08-11 15:04:28 -0500 Report

who actually reads (with comprehension) nutrition labels??? I suspect those that are already aware of the impact of sugar in all forms … but I could be mistaken.


GabbyPA 2015-08-11 15:13:11 -0500 Report

Yeah, I know...it's a "CYA" move if you ask me. If they list it there, then no one can get mad (or sue the company) because they didn't know they were eating so much sugar. OMG, am I really even saying this??

I don't think that label readers are complete readers. I know a lot of times in the beginning I just looked at the carbs and skipped everything else. I am sure there are some who are looking only at the sodium or the calories. You have to be totally aware of how they all work to want or feel the need to read the whole label. And they need to come with a magnifying glass! LOL

Kalisiin 2015-08-11 21:32:09 -0500 Report

I tend to focus in on - in order
Trans Fats

Hyacinths4 2015-08-12 00:05:47 -0500 Report

I'm a newbie, but I focus on carbs, cholesterol, then saturated fats and sodium. But I have high cholesterol too.

Kalisiin 2015-08-12 08:08:41 -0500 Report

Want some good news? Follow low carb and your cholesterol should come down. I first noticed this ten years ago when I did Atkins, long before I got Diabetes. Most of the cholesterol in your body is what your body manufactures…not so much of it comes from the actual food you eat.

I HAD high cholesterol at the time. Not high enough for medications yet, but high enough that doc was monitoring it.

Hyacinths4 2015-08-12 16:41:32 -0500 Report

Thanks, Kaliisin. I'm definitely learning about carbs.
Have you found that it helps to balance carbs with protein? Some of my lowest #'s we're on days that I did this!

Kalisiin 2015-08-12 23:21:16 -0500 Report

To a point, yes.
But really you should still do low-carb. I know some people who think they can have all the potatoes they want if they drown it in cheese. Bzzzzt. Wrong answer. So be mindful of this.

haoleboy 2015-08-12 00:21:49 -0500 Report

eating low saturated fats and cholesterol will do little to improve your cholesterol numbers … If your doctor told you this he's working with old "science" … a diet low in carbs and high in fiber will serve you better as will attaining your ideal weight and exercising regularly (based on my experience of getting of statins and achieving "ideal" cholesterol ratios following that advice)
and a little something on salt if you are interested: http://bit.ly/1DLSj7s


Hyacinths4 2015-08-12 16:49:15 -0500 Report

Steve, that's really good, interesting info!
My Dr didn't tell me much of anything, and I don't see the diabetes education people until next week, so I've been trying to be proactive.
I have lost 25 lbs in the last 3 months. Finding an exercise that I can do is challenging because I have multiple disabilities, fibro and chronic pain. A friend is giving me a stationary bike though; hoping that will work.
Am also in the process of organizing a seated exercise group at work.
Will check out the links you posted - thanks so much!

haoleboy 2015-08-12 19:47:17 -0500 Report

I understand Cynthia … I'm a stroke survivor and suffer with severe motor and sensory neuropathy, so it is a challenge to find exercise that works. I lift weights, walk (when possible), do core exercises, seated cardio and some yoga. Whatever I can do.

Kalisiin 2015-08-11 16:02:11 -0500 Report

You're probably right about it being a CYA thing.

That said, if enough people read labels and refused to buy horrible stuff, they would quit making horrible stuff. But as long as people are buying it they will make it. Caveat emptor!

daizie 2015-08-12 08:58:19 -0500 Report

That is why Diet Coke almost went belly up and Now Pepsi is changing their formula. People Stopped buying the diet crap. They started buying more Vitamin water etc. Which you still have to read the label. Some have Stevia in it and some have the one starting with E in it. They are supposed to be more natural sugars. these are BIG sellers.

Michael_1960 2015-08-11 20:19:53 -0500 Report

I try not to buy all that junk, I stick with fresh fruits and veggies, fish, chicken and occasionally hamburger meat. I buy some deli meats for sandwiches for work..

Kalisiin 2015-08-11 21:33:32 -0500 Report

Deli meats often have a fair amount of sodium, you do want to keep that in mind if sodium is a concern to you.

I have deli meats every so often, too. Sodium is something I like to keep an eye on, but it is not of a HUGE concern to me like carbs are.

GabbyPA 2015-08-11 16:07:45 -0500 Report

It's kind of weird how we live in the age of information but we can't make heads or tails of most of it. Not really people's faults totally, as what is good today is bad tomorrow and will be good again if you wait long enough. It's really hard to know what is good, but if we listen to our bodies, they will tell us. Just stop listening to the taste buds. LOL

Kalisiin 2015-08-11 21:35:27 -0500 Report

The thing is…we know what is good for us, based on how it affects us.

I will never again believe any "expert" about what is good for me, I will listen to my meter, my weight, my body size, and my general energy level and health.

I will keep eating those things that support the results I want, and avoid those foods that don't. Pretty simple.

Unicorn_Lady 2015-08-11 14:32:07 -0500 Report

this is truly ridiculous… how would that even work. I mean would you see like 10,000 % of daily sugar intake? And if below a certain percent, does it list it at zero? That would be very misleading. I try to stay away from processed foods, so I rarely have to calculate these things. To my way of thinking, if it has a food percentage label on it, and more than 2 ingredients, it probably isn't all that good for you.

Kalisiin 2015-08-11 11:00:35 -0500 Report

Maybe if they made it "recommended MAXIMUM Daily Amount" and then lowered that amount. Meaning if you get less, terrific. But you should get NO MORE than that amount.

I agree, NOBODY NEEDS added sugars.

There is a place at the end o the article where you can click and submit public comment, during the 75-day "open comment" period.

I did so.

Here is what I wrote:

As a diabetic, I am HORRIFIED that you would consider putting a % Daily Value on "added sugars" as if it was something we were SUPPOSED to have, and that is good for us.

Nobody NEEDS added sugars!

You should have that read MAXIMUM RECOMMENDED AMOUNT…and note that going lower than that amount is not only okay, but beneficial!

I doubt you will take my comments with any amount of seriousness, since you are basically propped up by, and are shills for…Big Ag and Big Pharma…both of which have a vested interest in keeping us sick and in need of their expensive medications!

trsquare 2015-08-11 10:48:42 -0500 Report

Well, heck, let me just open that box of sugar cubes and plop them in my mouth. That's almost the same thing.

daizie 2015-08-11 10:11:42 -0500 Report

I like that Pepsi took out Aspartame from the soda but they put Splenda in.
Now Splenda after a longer use; takes down red blood cells=anemia.
They were both made originally as bug killers. Splenda still kills ants.

haoleboy 2015-08-11 21:27:48 -0500 Report

Avocado can kill dogs , but I'm not giving them up anytime soon and I am quite sure our digestive systems are significantly different than ants
been using aspartame daily since 2007 and no ill effects … sugar (a "natural" product) was killing me … a trade off I will make all day long


daizie 2015-08-12 09:03:17 -0500 Report

you are very lucky. the FDA held up Splenda for 5 years because they knew what it could do to the body; but someone retired from the cabinet and w/I 6months; it was passed.
Many cannot take artificial sweeteners esp. aspartame. Migraines, nausea, really bad affects. It has that chemical in it that if you buy Tylenol and Advil cold and Sinus; you have to show you license at the druggist counter. Many cannot take that. Splenda will take down the red blood cells in the body and you become anemic; I had it, Mom was taken to hospital to be checked with anemia, I've heard so many now talk about being anemic all of a sudden. My coworkers were told by their doctors to stop using artificial sweeteners. So if you can take it and not become sick later on- go for it. Just keep it in mind.

Kalisiin 2015-08-11 21:38:30 -0500 Report

Chocolate will also kill dogs. Can't tell you how many times, when I worked at an answering service, I got frantic calls from pet owners whose dogs had gotten hold of a bowl of chocolate candy.
I always hoped it worked out okay for them…but my job was to get the information and then page the vet.

Nick1962 2015-08-11 09:53:55 -0500 Report

Kind of like the CVS drug store chain making a big deal out of no longer selling cigarettes in their stores (they are a "health care provider" after all), yet still devoting one whole aisle to candy and one to soft drinks.

GabbyPA 2015-08-11 15:04:39 -0500 Report

They are a drug store...sugar is just like a drug. Tobacco is too, but I guess that is a less acceptable one.

Nick1962 2015-08-11 15:15:29 -0500 Report

Even more oxymoronic – smokers tend to gain weight when they try to quit, wouldn’t tobacco be a diet aid then?

GabbyPA 2015-08-11 15:28:27 -0500 Report

LOL, Yes it would. My mom did quit however, chewing on toothpicks...It's all evil, All of it. There is no safe place but the little corner I make in my mind. Can you hand me a candle and a match? LOL