Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

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December 11, 2017

Recently I was at the grocery store when I saw a bag of a sweetened coconut snack with a large advertisement stating it contained less sugar and as much fiber as an apple. This made it so apparent that as the effects of excess sugar consumption become more widely known, there continues to be confusion about the differences between sugars that naturally occur in foods and sugars that are added to foods.

Though on the surface they seem the same, there are significant differences in how these sugars impact our health. Unlike natural sugars, added sugars are known to contribute to diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Current dietary guidelines recommend limiting added sugars to no more than 10% of daily calories. So, what is the difference between the two?

First and foremost, it’s important to remember that foods that naturally contain sugar, like fruit, also contain a host of other beneficial nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. When we consume a piece of fruit w...

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