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Can You Spot The Added Sugar In These Ingredients Lists?

There are more than 60 of them.

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You might've heard: It's now a rule that Nutrition Facts labels include the amount of added sugar that's in food.

Added sugar is anything that manufacturers put in packaged food, as opposed to the naturally occurring sugar that you'd find in, say, fruit. The FDA's rule is aimed at raising awareness about the amounts of added sugars that are in foods, so that we can all make more educated decisions about what we're buying. But the agency is giving food manufacturers until 2020–2021 to incorporate the change into their packaging. Until then, if you want to know what the added sugars are in a food product, you might have to refer to the ingredients list. Do you think you'll be able to spot them?

With over 60 names (!!!), some of them can be misleading or just sound random AF...which is why we thought it'd be fun to see if you can spot them in the ingredients lists below. We also spoke to Abby Langer, RD, owner of Abby Langer Nutrition, to help us better understand how some of them work in the body. BTW, chances are you'll see a lot of these labels have the word "sugar" on them. They're added sugar, too, but that's in addition to the names we're testing you on.

Now, good luck!

  1. 1. Which of these is the added sugar in this Siggi's Orange & Ginger nonfat yogurt?

    Siggi's /
    Candied Ginger
    Fruit Pectin
    Organic Agave Nectar
    Orange Extract

    It's the organic agave nectar!

    Don't let the word "organic" fool you. "A lot of sugars or sweeteners may seem different — healthier — but the reality is most of them are metabolized by the body the same way," Langer says. "Your body treats it all like sugar, regardless of the glycemic index."

  2. 2. Tell us what the added sugar is in this package of Crystal Light On-The-Go Natural Lemonade.

    Kraft Foods /
    Citric acid
    Magnesium oxide

    Maltodextrin is the added sugar!

    It's a white powder typically derived from corn, potato, or rice. If you guessed aspartame, that's an artificial sugar substitute. So you were close, but not close enough!

  3. 3. Where's the added sugar in this bag of Nature's Path Love Granola?

    Nature's Path /
    Dark chocolate chunks
    Evaporated cane juice
    Rice starch

    The evaporated cane juice is an added sugar!

    It's actually a concentrated sugar cane extract that's dehydrated into crystalline form and then separated from molasses, which means that it's basically sugar. In fact, the FDA issued a Guidance for Industry in May 2016 asking food manufacturers to cut the BS and stop calling it juice, since it's misleading and confusingly similar to what we'd normally define as juice — the liquid we extract from from fruits and vegetables.

  4. 4. Which of these is the added sugar in this loaf of whole-wheat bread?

    Arnold Sales Company /
    Soy lecithin

    It's honey!

    Honey may be all natural, but it's still an added sugar. "Don't think it's any healthier," Langer says. And don't take packaging at its word, either — just because it says there's no high-fructose corn syrup, that doesn't mean there isn't an added sugar. Ultimately, Langer says it's OK to "use whatever sweetener you want; just try to use less."

  5. 5. Where's the added sugar in this list of ingredients from Seth Greenberg's Brownie Crunch?

    Brownie Crunch /
    Malted barley flour
    Thiamine mononitrate
    Anhydrous dextrose

    It's the anhydrous dextrose in the chocolate chips.

    Anhydrous dextrose is one form of dextrose (the other is monohydrate), which is just another name for corn sugar.

  6. 6. How about in this red bean mochi from Yuki & Love?

    Yuki & Love /
    Glutinous rice powder
    Sorbic acid
    Potato powder

    It's maltose!

    It's chemically composed of two glucose molecules, and usually produced when we digest starch products.

  7. 7. What is the added sugar in these Quaker Oatmeal Squares?

    Quaker /
    Calcium carbonate
    Alpha tocopheryl
    Sodium bicarbonate

    It's molasses!

    It's a light-to-dark brown syrup that's separated from raw sugar during the manufacturing process. The lighter it is, the sweeter it is.

  8. 8. Tell us what the added sugar is in this bottle of Chobani Orange Cream Greek yogurt drink.

    Chobani / /
    Orange puree
    Orange juice concentrate
    Locust bean gum
    None of the above

    Orange juice concentrate is actually an added sugar.

    Believe it or not, it's true. The FDA considers fruit and vegetable juice concentrates to be added sugars because even though the foods they're in can be part of a healthful diet, "the sugars added to the foods by the concentrated fruit or vegetable juice provide additional calories," it said in a Guidance for Industry letter. Over the course of the day, it says, these calories can add up and make it difficult to balance the amount of calories you burn. "For these reasons, we consider foods sweetened with concentrated fruit or vegetable juice to be sugar-sweetened foods."

  9. 9. Twist: Which of these is NOT an added sugar in this list of ingredients inside a Clif Bar Oatmeal Raisin Walnut bar?

    Clif Bar / /
    Organic brown rice syrup
    Barley malt extract
    Molasses powder
    Rice starch

    Rice starch is NOT an added sugar.

    It's typically used as a thickening agent in food.

  10. 10. Finally, which of these is the added sugar in this list for Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Blueberry bars?

    Kellogg's /

    It's fructose!

    AKA the sugar that's found in fruit, and one-half of table sugar — the other half being glucose.

Can You Spot The Added Sugar In These Ingredients Lists?

You're not an added-sugar expert.

But some of these are tricky AF, so it's allll good! We hope you learned some things!

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You know some things about added sugar, but not all.

But still! We commend you for trying. Hopefully you learned something!

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You know some really obscure added sugars!

Are you looking out for these or something? It's great that you know these are added sugars, now go and spread that knowledge!

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All sugar names taken from SugarScience, a resource from the University of California San Francisco.


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