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Added Sugars

Table of Contents


Foods like milk and fruits have naturally occurring sugars. Added sugars are those that don't occur naturally in a food or drink but are added during processing or preparation. They add calories but little nutrition. They can cause weight gain.

Many packaged or processed foods and drinks have added sugars. The best way to know if an item contains added sugar is to look at the ingredients list on the label. Ingredients are listed in order by weight. The Nutrition Facts label lists both total and added sugar per serving. It's a good way to know how much sugar you're getting.

Avoiding added sugars

Sugars are often added when foods and drinks are processed or prepared. Use these tips to limit foods and drinks with added sugars.



  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2015). Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015–2020 , 8th ed. Available online: Accessed January 12, 2016.
  2. Vos MB, et al. (2017). Added sugars and cardiovascular disease risk in children: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation, 135(19): e1017–e1034. DOI: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000439. Accessed August 30, 2016.

Credits for Added Sugars

Current as of: September 20, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff (
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