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Sugar and the New Nutrition Label

By Hannah Deacon June 27, 2020

Disclaimer: this is a sponsored post by the Registered Dietitians at the Canadian Sugar Institute and I have been compensated monetarily and with groceries for this post. The opinions in this post are my own and not influenced by the organization I wrote the blog for.

 

The New Percent Daily Value (% D.V) for Sugar

As the title suggests, this post is about sugar and the new Nutrition Facts Table. The Canadian government issued new changes to the food label, and these changes are to be implemented by 2022. The goal of these changes is to help Canadians better understand the Nutrition Facts table and the list of ingredients to help with their food decisions. Now before I get into the new changes, let’s talk a little bit about sugar. Is there room for some sugar in a healthy balanced diet? Absolutely. I always tell my clients to follow an 80/20 approach, which means eating healthy 80% of the time. Many people will often try to restrict their diet 100% and get frustrated when finding challenges with that. A healthy lifestyle is about sustainable long-term habits, and being restrictive is hard to sustain. Sugar is also important in providing energy pre and during workouts especially important for athletes. My athletes often told me that their performance really improved after we changed the meal and snack timings and composition.

Original vs. New Food Label

 

As you see on the new label above, there is a percent Daily Value (% D.V) for sugars. The % D.V tells you how much of a nutrient you are consuming per a certain serving size- you can see that on the right side of the Nutrition Facts table above. According to Health Canada’s new regulations, this % D.V for sugar is up to 20%, which means that for a 2000 calorie diet, up to 100 g of sugar/day from natural and added sources aligns with a healthy diet. This is not a recommended level of intake; it is simply stating that consuming up to 20% of your caloric intake in natural and added sources of sugars is consistent with a healthy eating pattern. If you’re consuming 1500 calories/day, this means up to 75 g of sugar and for a 3000-calorie diet, this means up to 150 g and so on. Natural sources of sugar include sugar found naturally in foods such as fruits, vegetables and dairy- while an example of added sugar you will see below is 100% maple syrup. Foods such as fruits, vegetables and dairy provide morenutrients in the form of vitamins, minerals, and fiber than added sources, therefore, it is encouraged to consume the bulk of your sugars from those sources. Now what does a 100 g of sugar from natural and added sources for the average 2000-calorie diet look like? Below you will see a full day’s menu as an example! Before we get to that, let’s talk about the changes you will see pertaining to sugar on the list of ingredients.

Original vs. New List of Ingredients

With the changes, what you would see is the list of sugar-based ingredients listed by weight and grouped together in a bracket by descending order- as you see in the example above. This will be helpful for consumers to not only see the sugars that have been added to the food, but also how much sugars are added in comparison to the other ingredients in that food item. For more information regarding those changes to the label, you can visit Health Canada’s website at: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/nutrients/sugars.html

 

Home Sweet Home Virtual Event #CSIHomeSweetHome

During the Home Sweet Home event I had the pleasure to be a part of last week lead by the Canadian Sugar Institute and registered dietitian Andrea Holwegner at Health Stand Nutrition, we prepared a full day’s menu demonstrating the 100 g of sugar/day based on a 2000-calorie diet. The full menu with pictures and recipes is below so follow along to see what that looks like. Although pictures are taken by myself, the recipes have been developed by registered dietitian Andrea Holwegner.

Breakfast: Blueberry Pecan Baked Oatmeal Cups served with Plain 2% Greek Yogurt (3/4 cup) topped with ½ cup blueberries and 1 tbsp. 100% maple syrup

 Blueberry Pecan Baked Oatmeal Cups Recipe (Makes 12 baked oatmeal cups)

 Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (or any other of your favourite nuts)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1/4 cup real 100% organic maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries

 Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease or line a 12 cup muffin tin with muffin cups.
  2. Mix oats, pecans, salt, baking powder, and spices. In a separate bowl, mix eggs, milk, syrup, and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients over dry, and mix well to combine. Fold in blueberries.
  3. Fill muffin cups about halfway, and bake until just set – about 30 minutes. Cool for 10-15 minutes and remove from tin.

Can be kept in the fridge for 3 days, or in the freezer for a month. Serve warm on their own or with plain Greek yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup.

 

Lunch: Asian Chicken Salad and a Tall Iced Coffee with 2% Milk

Asian Chicken Salad Bowls  (Makes 4 servings)

 Ingredients:

Salad:

12 ounces (340 g) cooked chicken breast, thinly sliced or diced
3 cups cooked rice noodles (6 ounces dry)
2 cups carrots, grated or julienned
2 cups cucumbers, julienned or sliced in matchsticks
2 cups yellow or red pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 cup green onions, diced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup peanuts, crushed

Vinaigrette:
1 tbsp natural peanut butter
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp soya sauce
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp ginger root, grated or minced
Hot red chili peppers (optional)

Directions:

  1. Stir-fry or grill chicken breast until cooked (alternatively as a time-saver use leftover chicken from the day before) and slice.
  2. Cook the rice noodles, rinse and set aside in a bowl.
  3. In separate piles on a cutting board slice/prepare carrots, cucumbers, peppers, green onions, and cilantro.
  4. Stir together vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl.
  5. Toss rice noodles with a small amount of vinaigrette and place in four bowls.  Top each bowl with chicken, carrots, cucumbers, peppers, green onions, cilantro, and peanuts and drizzle a bit more vinaigrette.

 

Snack: Strawberry Avocado Salsa with Tortilla Chips

Strawberry Avocado Salsa  (Makes 4 servings)

 Ingredients:

  • 8 oz (1 1/2 cups) strawberries, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh, chopped cilantro
  • 1 large avocado, peeled and diced
  • Juice of one lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • If desired, add a jalapeno pepper, diced

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in bowl, drizzle with lime juice and toss.
  2. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Chill in fridge until ready to serve.

We’re serving our salsa with tortilla chips.

 

Supper: Easy Chickpea Burger and Apple Poppyseed Coleslaw

Easy Chickpea Burger  (Makes 4 generous-sized burgers)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 – 14oz can)
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp oil

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients, except oil, in food processor, pulse until slightly chunky, add some liquid (water or milk is great) if needed, to have a moist but not wet mixture.
  2. With wet hands, shape into patties, and let rest about 10 minutes. Heat oil in a frying pan, to medium, and cook the patties for about 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Then flip patties over, and repeat on other side.
  3. Serve with your favourite buns and toppings, or refrigerate/freeze for later meals.

We’ve served our burger on a multigrain bun and topped it with lettuce, tomato, and pickle, ketchup, and mustard!

 

Apple Poppyseed Coleslaw  (Makes 6 servings)

 Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 4 cups cabbage, thinly sliced/shredded (or packaged coleslaw salad blend)
  • 1 large carrot, julienne/grated
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • 2 apples, chopped
  • 3 tbsp finely diced parsley

Dressing:

  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl stir together the poppy seed dressing.
  2. In a large bowl assemble the salad ingredients.
  3. Toss the dressing over the salad and refrigerate for an hour or more before serving.

 

Dessert: Dark Chocolate, 70% (3 squares, 30 g)

 

What a 100 g of sugar/day look like: nutritional analysis for the full day’s menu

Final Remarks and Food for Thought

There is a lot of confusion about sugar and it is nice to see the new guidelines set in place to help consumers become more aware in order to make better food decisions. I want to add that this post is NOT intended to promote sugar, but simply to help educate consumers about the difference between natural and added sources, educate about the new guidelines regarding sugar and educate about moderation as well as areas such as sports where sugar plays a role. This post is not saying that a 20% D.V for sugar is recommended, but you could consume up to 20% especially from natural sources and that would align with a healthy eating pattern. Most importantly, I always tell my clients to focus on moderation not deprivation. It was such a pleasure being a part of this workshop and the opportunity to educate about sugar and the new guidelines so thank you to the Canadian Sugar Institute and Andrea Holwegner for including me in the Home Sweet Home Event. #CSIHomeSweetHome

 

Yours in Health,

Hannah Deacon, B.Sc., RD, PTS

By |2020-06-27T19:29:12+00:00June 27th, 2020|Uncategorized|2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Arun July 15, 2020 at 6:37 am - Reply

    A much-needed post. An excellent decision by the Candian Government. I have completely cut the use of processed white sugar in my kitchen. I make use of natural alternatives for sugar like organic raw honey, cane sugar etc. I prefer adding fruits, dates or other natural products to improve the taste of smoothies and salads.

    • 13w6a July 24, 2020 at 5:06 am - Reply

      Thank you so much for your feedback. I am happy you found it helpful! I absolutely love fruits for smoothies and salads!

      In health,
      Hannah Deacon, B.Sc., RD, CPT

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