"Low in Sugar"

A nut and grain bar with 11 g sugar is promoted as “low in sugar.”


There are a few issues here. First of all, there is no definition for “low in sugar” in food labeling, and therefore this claim is not permitted. And since the product contains honey (it’s the second ingredient), it cannot claim “no added sugar.” White table sugar is not the only source of the class of carbohydrates called “sugars” (others include honey, agave syrup, barley malt, molasses, juice concentrate, etc.). One of the reasons there is no “low in sugar” claim is because there is nothing fundamentally wrong with sugar – it’s what the body needs for energy and it is in many whole foods such as milk, vegetables and fruit (where 90+% of calories can come from sugars), all of which provide other nutrients at the same time. Of course, as with fat and protein, too much is not a good thing, since excess calories, from any source, will lead to weight gain.

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