Are You Confused? How to Read Sugar Labels

How to Read Sugar Labels

are you confused about how to read sugar labelsLet’s talk about how to read sugar labels.  Why is the DV% for sugar always blank on a food label?

I always teach people to look for the truth about what’s in their food by reading the label on the back of the package.  Think of the front as a billboard.  That’s all advertising, and frankly, the manufacturer doesn’t have to necessarily tell the truth.  They can exaggerate or call out the buzz word of the month.  Like “loaded with vitamin c” or “get your daily calcium with one serving”!

The food label on the back of the package must tell the truth. For instance, on this package of Oreo cookies, we can see that total fat is 7 grams, or 11% of your daily value (DV) of total fat.  We can also see that there are 160 milligrams of sodium, or 7% of your daily value.

how to read sugar labels

Here’s an interesting question….why is the daily value for sugar always blank? The recommended intake for an adult is 100 calories of sugar per day which translates to 25 grams or 6 teaspoons of sugar per day.  Hmmm…I wonder what this means with Oreos…  Since they don’t do the math for us, let’s take a look ourselves.

One serving of Oreos provides 14 grams of sugar which translates to 3 ½ teaspoons of sugar, but what is a serving of Oreos?

The serving size is 3 Oreos.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I would sit down and eat only 3 Oreos (if I ate Oreos…).  I would expect I would eat at least 6.  I’ve spoken with people who have said they would probably eat considerably more than that; on a bad day, the entire sleeve.  If you eat even 6 Oreo cookies, you’ve consumed 7 teaspoons of sugar, more than the daily value for an adult.  If you eat considerably more cookies, you’re really doing your body damage.

Even assuming you eat only 3 Oreos, you have 3 teaspoons of sugar for the rest of the day without going off the charts for sugar consumption.  What are the odds that the rest of your daily intake of processed sugar laden food with only give you 3 additional teaspoons of sugar?  I’d say slim to none!

There is sugar in everything because it takes good, but it’s killing us.  It’s making us fat, diabetic and loaded with inflammation.  Sugar is cancer food.

Do yourself a favor and start looking at the size of the portions and translate the sugar in the foods you eat so you understand the real amount of sugar you’re consuming.

There’s a very good (and diabolical) reason the percent of daily value of sugar is not calculated and printed on that label.  You know, that label on the back of the package that has to tell the truth about what you’re about to eat?

They would tell you they’re not lying on that label, and they’re not.  They’re just not telling you something they don’t want to know.

Wake up America!  You need to know.  Start dividing those grams of sugar by 4 to give you the teaspoons in a serving.  Then look at the serving to see what a realistic amount would be for an actually serving.  Learn to read sugar labels.

They think you don’t know what they’re doing.  Now you do.  Take back your health, and don’t let big food win!

Helping you achieve Major Wellness in your life!

Cheryl A Major, CNWC

Cheryl A Major, CNWC


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Are You Confused? How to Read Sugar Labels — 2 Comments

  1. Becoming aware of how much sugar is in the food we eat is one way to start eating more healthily. Working out how many teaspoons are in a serving, gives a more realistic idea of just how much sugar is in it.

    Here in the UK, we have products that are labelled ‘sugar reduced.’ I once did a comparison between ‘normal’ and ‘sugar reduced’ jams for my mother who is a diabetic. The sugar reduced actually had marginally more sugar than the normal one. So it’s not a good idea either to assume that a sugar reduced product is better for you.

    • Excellent point Moira! In addition, reduced sugar products often have artificial sweeteners which are bad for you as well.

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