Sugar-Free, No Sugar Added, Reduced Sugar: What’s the difference?

Defined by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to mean that there’s less than 1/2 gram per serving of ingredients defined as sugar. This includes sucrose (table sugar), fructose (fruit sugar) and lactose (milk sugar).

May contain naturally-occurring sugars but no sugar or composite ingredient that was made with sugar was added by the food manufacturer during processing. Many gums, candies and custom-made chocolates sold as No Sugar Added products are typically made with a caloric sweetening agent called sugar alcohol, a kind of half-sugar: half the calories, half the sweetness, half the satisfying taste. Also, sugar alcohol doesn’t raise blood sugar the same way sugar does.

The chemical composition of a sugar alcohol is different than sugar, which is why it’s legal to use this kind of caloric sweetening agent. The most common sugar alcohol used by food manufacturers is maltitol. All sugar alcohols can be identified by the “ol” ending. It’s importat to follow serving size guidelines when eating foods made with maltitol because it has a highly laxative effect and can cause cramping, gas and the runs.

Means that the product labeled “reduced” has at least 25% less sugar than the original product.

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Posted in Sugar-Free Lifestyle