Difference between sugar free and no sugar added

Key difference: The term ‘no sugar added’ means that there is no sugar in the product, except the natural sugars in the food that the product is made by, whereas the term ‘sugar free’ means that the given product contains no sugar at all.

Often, while ransacking through the different food items in a shopping mart aisle, people stumble upon the labels ‘sugar free’ and ‘no sugar added’ on their food packets. Their usage and meaning are quite confusing and people regard these terms as ‘make-your-customer-eat-sugar’ scams by the manufactures. So as to make their customers buy their produced food items under false claims. Though, such is not the case, and these terms mean what they say.

The term ‘no sugar added’ means that there is no sugar present in the food product. Here, the natural sugars such as fruit sugar, fructose, lactose and milk sugar are used in the product. These sugar products are simply the natural ingredients present in the material of a given food item. For example, during the production of applesauce, there is no sugar added because there are natural sugars already present in the apples that are used as sweeteners in making applesauce.  

On the other hand, the term ‘sugar free’ means that there is no sugar present in the product. Here, it does not even include the natural sugar present in the food materials of the product. In making a ‘sugar free’ product, the manufacture simply removes all the processed sugar (corn syrup, brown rice syrup, molasses, etc.) and replaces it with a slower digesting carbohydrate known as ‘sugar alcohol’. This sugar alcohol is not sweet in taste as compared to sugar, and hence artificial sweeteners are used to enhance the sweetness of the product. 

There is only 0.5 % of sugar present in one serving of the ‘sugar free’ products, while there is only low-or-reduced calorie sugar present in the ‘no added sugar’. Now, as there are natural sugars present in the ‘no added sugar’ products, these items cannot be termed as ‘sugar free’ products. Because, in ‘sugar free’ products, there is not even a single grain of sugar, and the all the sugar, even from the original product is completely removed.

Thus, based on the above explanations, one can understand the difference between the two sugary terms, ‘sugar free’ and ‘no sugar added’ products. Though, before buying these products one should remember that excess of any these products is harmful for health. Even though, both these products claim to reduce weight and are good for health, excess of these products can only create more health issues.

Comparison between sugar free and no sugar added:

 

Sugar free

No sugar added

Definition

It is defined as the given product contains no sugar at all.

It is defined as there is no sugar in the product, except for the natural sugars present in the food items that the product is made by.

Sugar

It has artificial sweeteners added to the food products.

It has natural sugar present in the food products.

Characteristics

  • There is less than 0.5 % of sugar present in one serving of the product.
  • It means there is no sugar in the product.
  • Artificial sweetening is done of the products.
  • The sweeteners are chemically created.
  • There is no sugar or sugar contained ingredient added to the product.
  • It does not mean ‘sugar free’.
  • There is no artificial sweetening of products.
  • The sweeteners are naturally present in plants.

Examples

Diet-colas, Sweet’N Low sugar products.

Fruit juices, dried fruits, fruit crushes, etc.

Image Courtesy: hdwallpapercollection.com, chihealth.in

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