• By DeeDee Stiepan

Mayo Clinic Minute: Look for added sugars in new Nutrition Facts food labels

January 3, 2020

The Food and Drug Administration is rolling out new Nutrition Facts food labels to reflect updated scientific research and how people actually eat. One of the most significant changes is that the labels require the inclusion of added sugars.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

Journalists: Broadcast-quality video (0:59) is in the downloads at the end of this post. Please "Courtesy: Mayo Clinic News Network." Read the script.

Added sugars are the syrups and sugars added during the processing of foods and drinks. And according to the FDA, Americans are consuming added sugars in amounts that exceed recommended limits.

Angie Murad, a wellness dietitian with the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program explains why too much sugar isn't so sweet for your health.

"Added sugars in the diet add additional calories and no any additional nutrients. They can also raise triglycerides and cause problems with heart disease, metabolic syndrome."

On the old labels, added sugars and natural sugars were lumped into "total sugars." However, now manufactures are required to distinguish the amount of, and percent daily value for, added sugars.

So what should you be looking for?

"Something that has 5% or less daily value would be something that would be a good product to choose because it would be low in added sugars," says Murad.

The American Heart Association has recommended limits for daily added sugar intake.

"For men, they should have no more than 9 teaspoons of sugar," Murad explains. "And for women, (they should have) no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar."

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