This week we bring you the 2012 food trends to watch. Today's trend number nine is all about added sugars.
Trend #9: How sweet it isn’t
Earlier this year, the latest update on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans was released, and one recommendation surprised many – reducing the amount of added sugars of all kinds (especially in soft drinks.) Sugar has been an ingredient that has been the center of a lot of debates. Whether it’s a proposed soda tax, changing the name of High Fructose Corn Syrup or even one of the main culprits in the latest research into food addiction, it is a hot topic. According to the American Heart Association, adult consumption of added sugars has been on the rise since the 80’s; a whopping 51% in both women and men. Look for reduced sugars products to be the biggest health claim in the coming year along with a revised Nutrition Facts Panel. Nutrition Facts currently lists the amount of total sugars per serving but does not indicate whether the sugars are added, occur naturally, or are a combination of the two. Sugars are sugars (i.e., sugar, corn syrup, HFCS or honey) once it enters the body in terms of its caloric significance. But whether it's naturally occurring or added is the actual game changer. The effect of consuming foods with naturally occurring sugars like fruit, vegetables, milk and grain products, is very different than added sugars, because sugars occurring in their natural state come packaged with the added benefits of the vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals that whole foods provide. Too often added sugars are empty calories and have no benefit to our health. The new label will finally bring clarity and change.