Trying to Explain Myself!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

I'm going to make this really simple.

Go to your pantry and pick up 3 or 4 canned items. I just picked up a Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup, Ranch Style Pinto Beans, Amy's OrganicTomato Bisque Soup, Del Monte Summer Crisp Corn..

Look at the labels on Your items. Labels in the US are uniform, per standards set by the FDA.

On the label of any item, you'll see Total Carbohydrates - Under that Dietary Fiber - Under that SUGARS. These are PER Serving.

Cream of Chicken Soup - 1 gm
Pinto Beans 1 gm
Corn 4 gms
Amy's Soup 14 gms!

None of these items are "sweets". All of these items have SUGARS. We don't have to agonize over dextrose, sucrose or glucose, or if all carbs have sugars or not. What I'm looking for is right there in the little box labled SUGARS.

SP Nutrition Info knows this too. Any item here includes SUGARS. You can see that when you look at the Nutrition Info for each item. It's listed just like the labels on products. But when you add the item to a meal, the SUGARS are no where to be found in any summary on the tracker page.

Thank you all so much for worrying over my frustration. I'm going to stop now because I can't believe how many people don't understand this simple problem on SP.

It's really a technical problem about the way SP transfers data from its Nutrition Info and puts it on your Tracker page.

All the info is there. SP knows it. The computer knows it. WE know it when we read the Nutrition Data of each item.


This is the last I'll say on the subject of trying to track the SUGAR in my diet.

I guess I just thought that a site that focuses on Health and Fitness would give us a Food Tracker that includes grams of sugar in our diet.

I love all things SPARK! It's the best site around. But I still think it's important to track sugars. I'll just continue to add it up on an old piece of paper at the end of every day, since my Tracker won't calculate it.

Have a wonderful week and Watch those grams of sugar!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • SILLYHP1953
    Have you posted this comment on the spark technical message boards? Maybe if we all mentioned it to them. Not all carbs are created equal, that's for sure.
    2874 days ago
    This is a great site but it's not based on a healthy diet per se. They promote a liberal carb regular diet basically.
    2875 days ago
    Unless a product claims to be "sugar-free" or "reduced sugar", the maker does not have to include the grams of sugar on the label.

    It's explained here:


    (full text of the article)

    Q. Why can't I track sugar on my SparkPeople Nutrition Tracker?

    A. While you can add a large variety of vitamins and nutrients to your SparkPeople Nutrition Tracker (click here to learn how), 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.

    2877 days ago
    I tatally agree. I have always wondered why sugar was not tracked on my nutrition. Since I am not Diabetic, I never gave it much more thought. I do watch my sugar consumption. I use the WW tracking and points system, therefore not paying much attention to the Spark People tracker, even tho I enter my food there, just for comparison. You are a smart little cookie.. (so to speak)
    2877 days ago
    I believe, I totally understand what you are saying.
    I agree with you.
    Spark People lumps together "Sugar Grams" AND "Fiber" and calls it "Carbs"; in my opinion, they should *NOT* do that, no way. It doesn't even make any common sense to do that.
    You want Sugar alone, separated out, I get it. What you're saying makes sense.
    ... "We don't have to agonize over dextrose, sucrose or glucose"
    I hear you ... loud and clear ... loud and clear.

    Also, lets not agonize over, what food "turns into" after you eat it.
    I mean if we're going to start "getting into that", that is a whole other Can of Worms!
    I've heard people say, "Oh counting Sugar Grams doesn't mater because this and that 'turns into sugar' after you eat it" that is, so much, *not* the point here. Not the point.

    In my opinion, you're asking for a very basic thing that somehow has turned into a very complicated thing, when it doesn't need to be ... at all.

    I understand your frustration, I'm feeling it too my friend.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2877 days ago
  • JUDY1676
    You are so right and if you are diabetic, it's really importamt!
    2877 days ago
    Thanks for this info...I had not considered it before.
    2877 days ago
  • -LINDA_S
    Hmmm...never really occurred to me that sugar isn't tracked. I try pretty hard to avoid it. I do know that if it's low in carbs, it has to be low in sugar, too. I think it would be great if net carbs could be tracked, too. I dropped the diabetic plan because I knew the carb range was waaayyy too high for me. Almond Breeze makes some nice unsweetened "milks" that are very low in carbs and sugar. It frustrates me very much that fat is totally vilified here but sugar is generally fine in most of the recipes, like that one for chocolate meringues. A cup and a half of sugar? Really? I'm so tired of "low-fat" being equated with healthy. Sorry, getting a little off-track here. But I certainly agree we should be able to track sugar.
    2877 days ago
  • FITB4-40
    You're right, it should be easy enough to track. The information is there. However, I question whether there is any difference between grams of sugar and grams of carbohydrates ( with the exception of fiber) since it all turns to sugar in our bodies. As a diabetic, total carbs is the number I focus on.
    2877 days ago
    You are right! I always loved milk, in fact, I wondered if I was addicted to it and I never could figure out why. Then my hubby became a diabetic and I started realizing how much sugar there is in things. I now know there is a lot of sugar in milk and I don't drink it much anymore. Instead I drink Silk Pure Almond and it's only 35 calories and 1 carb, 1 fiber. My fitday doesn't have sugar listed either and I'm out of Silk so I can't see how much sugar is in it. This is my theory, you know how things go, do you suppose the sugar industry has something to do with this? Remember Cyclamates? It tasted just like sugar, no after taste, the sugar industry got it banned because they feared the competition...
    Just a thought.
    2877 days ago
  • GABY1948
    I do SO understand and I am WITH you! I want to do it now too!!!!!
    2877 days ago
  • DGAIL51
    I absolutely agree.... sugar (of all things) should be tracked! Sugars & fat (which is tracked) are the most detrimental things in our foods. Of course, we need some fat for proper bodily functions.

    Anything we can do to facilitate a possible change??? I too love SP (& my team), but that seems like a huge deficit to not be able to track sugar.

    Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

    2877 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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