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Nutrition Q & A

Is There a Difference Between Sugar-free and No Sugar Added?

There is a difference when you see these two terms on food packages. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has defined these terms for the food industry. If a product claims to be "sugar-free," there must be less than 0.5 grams of sugar per serving. The term "no added sugars" (also worded "without added sugar") can be used if no sugar or sugar-containing ingredient was added during processing. It is also important to mention that "reduced/less sugar" can be used when there is at least 25% less than an appropriate reference food.

Be sure to check the label on the package of food to find out what your food contains.

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Food and Drug Administration – Appendix A: Definitions of Nutrient Content Claims »