Jul 17, 2019

Sugar levels in various packaged foods

This is a question I often get - "How much of sugar is bad?"

As I had written in an earlier post, the limit for maximum added sugar is around 5-6 tsp per day. Unless someone gets into the habit of reading nutrition labels diligently, it is hard to figure out whether this limit is exceeded in a day, given that there are numerous packaged foods loaded with sugar that have pervaded our daily meals.

Given this situation, I find the guideline prescribed by FSSAI in the draft notification to be a valid benchmark that we can all refer to.



The energy (kcal) from added sugars should not exceed 10% of the total energy provided by the packaged food.


When a packaged food brand exceeds this threshold, then the brand should highlight the sugar value in RED in front of the pack. This is currently at the draft stage. IF and WHEN this gets approved, brands would still have 3 years to get this implemented.

Is it worth waiting that long, when our health is at stake? Definitely not. So I invested around 3 hours to compile this list of popular packaged foods and their sugar levels. It is shocking to note how much sugar these brands contain compared to the prescribed 10% threshold.

Under "health biscuits" category, the sugar values seem to be closer to the 10% threshold (still higher) but do take note of the high saturated fats (primarily from palm oil). The prescribed upper threshold is 2.6 gm per 100 gm whereas most of these biscuits contain way above than that.

I shall continue to update this list with more sugar-loaded junk. 

ABCDEFG
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Threshold limit for sugar proposed by FSSAI (value of energy from added sugar as a percentage of total calories provided)10%For bakery products, upper limit for saturated fat is 2.6 gm per 100 gm
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CategoryBrand NameCalories and Sugar values based onCalories (kcal)Sugar (in gms)% of kcal from sugarSaturated Fat (in gms)
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Breakfast cerealsKelloggs Chocosper 30 gm serving size116931.03%
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Breakfast cerealsKelloggs Thandai badam corn flakesper 30 gm serving size1309.529.23%
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Breakfast cerealsKelloggs Special Kper 30 gm serving size1097.527.52%
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Breakfast cerealsSoulfull ragi bites choco fillsper 100 gm43224.923.06%
9
Breakfast cerealsKelloggs Granola - Almonds and Cranberriesper 40 gm serving size1787.216.18%
10
Health drinksYakultper 65 ml serving size501080.00%
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Health drinksBournvitaper 100 gm3933737.66%
12
Health drinksHorlicks Chocolate flavourper 100 gm3703032.43%
13
Health drinksHorlicks Growth Plus Chocolate flavourper 100 gm38026.728.11%
14
Health drinksHorlicks Protein Plus Chocolate flavourper 100 gm37023.525.41%
15
Health drinksComplan Chocolate flavourper 100 gm4192422.91%
16
Health drinksPediasureper 100 gm46222.219.22%
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Dairy productsSunFeast Wonderz fruit n milk mango flavourper 100 ml8614.567.44%
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Dairy productsEpigamia Greek Yoghurt smoothieper 100 ml78.7512.1561.71%
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Dairy productsHersheys milkshake cookies n cremeper 200 ml168.32047.53%
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Dairy productsCavin's milkshakeper 100 ml10511.744.57%
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Dairy productsEpigamia Greek Strawberry flavored yoghurtper 100 gm110.6611.2540.67%
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Dairy productsPaperboat vanilla milkshakeper 100 ml111.31139.53%
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Dairy productsDanone blueberry flavored yoghurtper 100 gm1261238.10%
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Kid's specific treatsBournvita biscuitsper 100 gm4573026.26%6.8
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Health biscuitsParle Nutricrunch honey & oatsper 100 gm48518.715.42%8.7
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Health biscuitsUnibic daily digestive oatmeal cookiesper 100 gm4991814.43%13.5
27
Health biscuitsMcVities Digestive biscuitsper 100 gm48916.113.17%10.7
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Health biscuitsParle Nutricrunch digestive biscuitsper 100 gm48914.812.11%9.2
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Health biscuitsBritannia Nutrichoice Digestive biscuitsper 100 gm49314.511.76%10
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Kid's specific treatsKinder Joyper 20 gm serving size10910.237.43%
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Kid's specific treatsOreo cream biscuitsper 100 gm48038.632.17%9.7
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Kid's specific treatsLotte Chocopieper 100 gm434.4833.731.03%
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Kid's specific treatsSunfeast Dark Fantasy Chocofillsper 100 gm50437.629.84%11.4
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Kid's specific treatsBritannia Treat JimJam biscuitsper 100 gm48333.527.74%9.5
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Packaged JuicesTropicana mixed fruit juiceper 100 ml5613.797.86%
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Packaged JuicesB Natural Himalayan mixed fruitper 100 ml521184.62%
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Packaged JuicesPaperboat Alphonso aamper 100 ml6212.4680.39%
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Packaged JuicesReal mixed fruit juiceper 100 ml56857.14%
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Packaged JuicesPaperboat aamrasper 100 ml658.4351.88%

P.S. The trigger for this post 
A few days back, I was browsing through the FSSAI draft notification document. 
D: What are you reading?
Me: Govt uncle is going to mark junk food packets in red color if it contains a lot of sugar and sodium. So when people shop, they can decide whether to buy packs marked with red color or not
D: hmm, can we see them in the supermarket tomorrow?
Me: No ma, it will take at least 3 years to see the red coded packs in supermarkets
D: Why wait that long? Let's take a red sketch pen, go to the supermarket and mark the bad junk foods ourselves

Instead of marking them in one supermarket, I decided to compile this list for quick reference. Hope you would refer to this list when you go shopping next time.

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