Sugar vs. Carbohydrates

Why don't the nutrient analyses for recipes on MyRecipes include a value for sugars?

Zesty Baked Salmon

Low Carbohydrate Recipes

Maintaining a low-carb diet need not sacrifice an ounce of flavor with these fiber-rich and protein-packed low-carbohydrate recipes.

The nutrient analyses that accompany recipes on MyRecipes reflect the values that are presented with the recipes in our partner magazines and the books from Oxmoor House and currently do not include a value for "Sugars".

For people who use the nutrient values to help with dietary management of diabetes, the value that is the most important is the value for total carbohydrate rather than the amount of sugar. The total carbohydrate value includes sugars as well as other types of carbohydrate such as starches that impact blood glucose levels. Insulin dosages and other treatment plans are typically based on the total carbohydrate amount instead the sugar content.

Also, the value for sugar is misleading because it does not indicate whether the food contains added sugars or natural sugars such as lactose (milk sugar) or fructose (fruit sugar). Natural sugars impact blood glucose levels differently than added sugars. For example, the nutrient label on a carton of fat-free milk may indicate that 1 cup of milk contains 12 grams of sugar. This is not added sugar; it is lactose, or milk sugar.

The best way to determine whether a recipe has added sugars is to look at the ingredient list and see what sources of sugar are in the recipe, then look at the value for carbohydrate in the nutrient analysis to see what those sugars contribute to the total carbohydrate content.

By: Anne Cain, R.D., Food Editor, MyRecipes
Apr, 2010
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