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Are sugars in fruit and berries healthier than added sugars?

The body cannot distinguish between added sugars and naturally occurring sugars from fruits and berries.

When we talk about sugar, we generally mean the white sugar (sucrose) that we use every day or that is added to food products. But sugars are also found naturally in many fruits, berries and vegetables. The human body does not differentiate between sugars that are naturally present in food and added sugars, as they have the same chemical and physical characteristics and are therefore digested in the same way.

Most national dietary guidelines differentiate between added sugars and naturally occurring sugars from fruit, berries and vegetables. Food and beverages containing added sugars should only be consumed occasionally/sparingly/in moderation. On the other hand, a high intake of fruit, berries and vegetables is recommended, since these foods provide vitamins and minerals.

In accordance with EU regulations on foods labelling, the product’s total content of sugars per 100 grams must be stated in the nutrition declaration, i.e. both the added and naturally occurring sugars.

The types of sugars included in the product must be stated in the product ingredients list. If the sugars are added to an ingredient used in the product, it is the name of that ingredient that is to be included in the ingredients list.

In all cases, the total amount of sugars contained in a food or drink must be stated in the nutrition declaration on the label.