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The Hunt for Hidden Sugar

How Much of the Sweet Stuff is Hiding Your Foods?


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  • I'm a little disappointed reading SCSPOON's comment on why Sparkpeople won't add a sugar tracker. I've actually had an account with Sparkpeople (on and off) for the last 10 years. It's been a great resource in the past for me and I dusted off my account today SPECIFICALLY so that I could track my sugars.

    So disappointing that this isn't going to happen. - 4/21/2015 1:44:13 PM
    Hello All,
    I just emailed the Spark People, you can find their email address on each page at the bottom under contact us. I'm posting what they sent me when I asked them to add "Sugar" to my tracker. Of course I understood their explanation, but was disappointed, because I would still like to track the actual "sugar" I'm consuming.
    Their response below:
    While you can add a large variety of vitamins and nutrients to your SparkPeople Nutrition Tracker, sugar is not one of them. There are several reasons why you can't track sugars.

    First, sugars are a newer addition to nutrition labels. Like fiber, you'll find sugars listed underneath carbohydrates on the nutrition facts label, but sugars are not required to be listed on all food labels. Only products that make a claim about sugar or sugar alcohols on their package (such as "sugar free" or "reduced sugar") must list the sugar content (in grams) on the nutrition facts label. Foods and products that contain sugars but do not make any sugar-related claims do NOT have to list sugars on their label. Because of this, it is impossible to get an accurate picture of what you're really eating.

    In addition, SparkPeople's nutrition experts do not recommend tracking this particular nutrient because it is misleading. Most carbohydrate-containing foods contain sugar. But the sugars listed on a nutrition facts label are NOT added sugars, as one might think. For example, fruit naturally contains the sugar fructose. Milk and other dairy products naturally contain lactose, which contributes 12 grams of sugar per cup of milk. None of this is added sugar, yet it is treated the same way on a nutrition facts label as table sugar or corn syrup.

    If you are concerned about your total sugar intake, Registered Dietitian Becky Hand usually suggests that you track total carbohydrates and keep those in a healthy level, as indicated by your nutrition plan. And everyone should make a conscious effort to limit sweets, candy, pie, cookies, syrup, jams, soda and other refined sugars.

    - 2/21/2015 10:37:59 AM
  • I went from 195 to 168 in about 3 months by giving up 2 basic things "Wheat" and "Soda".
    ...........also cut back on Ice Cream. Of course I gained a lot of it back when I went back to "Wheat", so I'm off of it again. Still don't drink Soda and don't miss it. Wheat is harder and I've been told Addictive. I've been told that Weight Watchers does not agree with me
    but I believe my key to weight loss is GLUTEN FREE which of course is WHEAT FREE.
    I'd love to hear other comments on Gluten Free. - 2/6/2015 8:29:22 AM
    I would love a sugar tracker! BUT I think it's a two edged sword. I just added up the amount of sugar in my breakfast and it's already OVER what I should be having. And guess what? I didn't have a sugar enhanced cereal. I had oats, greek yogurt an APPLE, BLUEBERRIES and A JAPANESE PERSIMMON. Each individual fruit contained more sugar than the yogurt and oats COMBINED.

    There are a lot of NATURALLY occurring sugars in fruits etc that we just don't think about, we think sugar is ONLY added to processed food, but it is a natural chemical. I think the danger of adding a sugar tracker is that it might encourage people to cut some healthier foods out of their diet too. Sugar comes in so many forms it's hard to keep track of and I think that could be one reason Sparkpeople haven't introduced a tracker. - 1/25/2015 4:51:36 AM
  • I, too, vote for a sugar tracker!!! - 1/12/2015 10:02:35 AM
  • Here is another vote for a SP sugar tracker! I can't tell you how disappointed I am every time I read an article like this one and find that a site as informative and well done as SP still has not included sugar in the tracking totals. I'll keep logging sugar into my tracker ingredients hoping that someday this info will be available. - 1/11/2015 8:01:30 PM
  • Here is another vote for a SP sugar tracker. I want to recommend the Sugar Busters program and book. It is based on the fact that refined sugar intake raises blood glucose levels which increases insulin secretion.The pancreatic hormone insulin stores excess glucose as fat and prevents fat already in the cells from being used as energy. Do a Google search for Sugar Busters and you will find a list of foods to avoid that are loaded with added sugar or have a high glycemic index. I know this can be a radical change for some people, but improved health and weight loss is worth the sacrifice. You have to really want it. - 4/29/2014 9:38:35 PM
    Sugar and salt make a diet HARD, but let's address the OTHER down-side of "healthy" dieting...MONEY!!! Just try to eat healthy and your shopping receipt jumps up $50 to $100 more. Not to mention the GAS prices that it takes to go to all those stores to buy this, that, or the other "healthy" thing that one needs to truly stay on a healthy diet. *SIGH*

    I know that I sound like a "downer-pig" but it is only too true! - 4/24/2014 9:32:59 AM
  • Please add the Sugar tracker so we can track the sugar we are consuming. Listen to your followers.......WE WANT A SUGAR TRACKER. Thank you. - 2/6/2014 3:00:47 PM
    I am looking for low carb eating.....trying to stay within 100 sugar calories a need to know that all carbs have sugar in them....some good and some bad..... every carb gr. equals 4 sugar calories......look at lables on may say no sugar...but if it says it has 1 gram of carbs that equals 4 sugar calories.... if two grams of carbs are on the lable that equals 8 sugar calories....if you are only doing 100 sugar calories a day that is how to figure out your sugar calories in food....that does not mean you eat cookies and junk eat real food that keeps your sugar levels in the normal range ....look for book called The 100....... - 1/9/2014 10:55:23 AM
    simply thankful:)
    - 12/1/2013 4:49:00 AM
  • I too agree with the "hidden sugar", I mean really?! Here was the opportunity to get people to take a second look at "healthy" foods like yogurt and whole grain breads even meat etc, and mark totally missed. It was nice however to see the math laid out as to the actual quantity sugar grams equals too. - 8/9/2013 10:13:34 PM
  • yeah, does anyone know who on SparkPeople we can contact to see if then can modify the tracker to be able to track the daily amount of sugar we are consuming?
    - 7/29/2013 11:11:08 AM
    I too agree, it would be nice if there was trcker on how much sugar is in our food we eat . i went on a low sugar and carb diet 3 years ago, and lost 23 pound in 4 months. i gained 10 of those back within the last year and a half, but since ive been doing spark people i lost 4 but ive been at a stand still for a month now. maybe i need to go back on the low carb and sugar program again. its brutal.
    - 5/30/2013 6:23:01 PM
  • *GASP* You mean there's sugar in cake, cookies, soda, & candy?! I had no idea! I thought I was eating a healthy diet having those items make up 95% of what I eat! I wish someone had told me sooner!

    Ok, seriously, the title says hidden sugars. Everyone knows these things are high in sugar & not good for you. Why on Earth would they be in an article on 'hidden' sugars? Some people still have no idea how much sugar is in their ketchup, barbecue sauce, salad dressing, and "healthy" cereals, but instead of discussing those items, you choose to inform us that sugary junk food has sugar? I am very disappointed in this article. - 5/30/2013 5:39:13 PM

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