Well, yes. In Singapore, to claim that a product does not have added sugars, it must not contain ‘sugars or ingredients with added sugar, honey, malt, malt extract added (except sugar alcohols) during processing’ – Singapore Health Promotion Board.

But don’t get it wrong, sugar free does not mean that the product is healthy!

 

What does ‘no added sugar’ mean?

Sugar

Picture credits: http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/arthritis-diet/foods-to-avoid-limit/food-ingredients-and-inflammation.php

When manufacturing the product, be it fruit juices, coffee, cookies, etc., no sugars, sweeteners like honey and malt are added into the product. The only sugars in the product are the natural sugars from the fruit or tea itself.

 

What products contain no added sugars?

sugar free juice

Picture credits: https://redmart.com/product/marigold-100-apple-juice, https://redmart.com/product/marigold-peel-fresh-no-sugar-added-juice-drink–apple-14097#

Remember this? I always had the impression that it was super healthy! I mean, it’s apple, which = vitamins (plus it keeps doctors away), and ‘no added sugars’ = all good and natural… right? Look at these two juices, they both do not contain added sugars and yet are awarded a healthier choice symbol, so what’s the difference?

 

nutrition info

Picture credits: https://redmart.com/product/marigold-100-apple-juice, https://redmart.com/product/marigold-peel-fresh-no-sugar-added-juice-drink–apple-14097#

So here’s the thing. Naturally occurring sugars are listed as carbohydrates! So take the photo above as an example. The peel fresh juice is lower in calories, sugar and slightly higher in vitamin C, which makes it a healthier choice! The 100% apple cranberry juice, on the other hand, is equivalent to almost six teaspoons of sugar and contains more sugar than a can of coke! :O Yes we’re just as shocked as you are…

But of course, if you had to choose between fruit juice and coke, it’s always better to have fruit juice because coke is not only high in sugars, but also artificial chemicals. Ultimately, sugar is sugar and you will also be consuming similar amount of calories.

 

What should I do?

apple juicing

Picture credits: http://www.thekitchn.com/a-visual-guide-to-juicing-fruit-how-much-fruit-goes-into-a-cup-223448

Having whole fruits intact instead of its juice form beats any juice, anytime. Having whole fruits means you’re getting all the fibre and antioxidants, and it fills you up! It takes 3 medium apples to produce one cup of fruit juice, so that equals to almost three times the amount of calories!

 

But I love juices!!!

We’re not saying juices are bad (I love juices too), but it’s definitely better to have real fruits or to juice the fruits yourself. And the moral of the story is, sugar free does not equivalent to guilt free! It’s always more accurate to check the nutrition labels. 🙂

 

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