What they mean when they say ‘added sugar’?
As per FSSAI, it is sugar added separately by the manufacturer (apart from that which is naturally present in ingredients like dates and fruits). And it applies only to those compounds that FSSAI classifies as ‘Sugars’. As you’ll see, food manufacturers have found a way to trick us on both fronts.
In the last few decades, as refined sugar started getting a bad name, food manufacturers invented many sugar substitutes that don’t need to be classified as Sugars. Maltodextrin, Maltitol, Sorbitol, SCF, HFCS etc are just a few, highly prevalent examples.
Why? So that they can sell you sweet stuff while making it sound healthy.
What they don’t tell you is that Maltodextrin causes an Insulin spike that’s worse than refined Sugar (1.5X GI). Or that HFCS is as bad as alcohol for your liver. Because hey, then you won’t buy!
The even more insidious trick, is in the word ‘added’. Here’s an experiment.
Pick a packet of ‘Zero Added Sugar’ orange juice. Now compare its sugar with regular juice. They will have the same ‘Total Sugar’!! How?
Well, the orange pulp supplier added extra sugar to the pulp before supplying it. So, technically, the juice manufacturer didn’t do the ‘adding’. Hence, ‘Zero Added Sugar’.
Point is, Zero Added Sugar, in and of itself, means nothing. You have to turn the pack and read the list of ingredients to find out #TheWholeTruth of any ‘seemingly’ healthy food.