Added sugar has taken the spotlight as the ingredient to avoid in the modern diet. On average, Americans eat about 17 teaspoons of added sugar each day. Most of this is hidden within processed foods, so people don’t even realize they’re eating it. All this sugar may be a key factor in several major illnesses, including heart disease and diabetes.

Sugar goes by many different names, so it can be difficult to figure out how much of it a food actually contains. During processing, sugar is added to food to enhance flavour, texture, shelf life, or other properties.

Added sugar is usually a mixture of simple sugars such as sucrose, glucose or fructose. Other types, such as galactose, lactose, and maltose, are less common.