Natural Sugars Vs. Added Sugars

Do you know the differences between natural sugars and added sugars? Let's explore the differences between them, and discuss why it's important to be aware of both.

Natural sugars are those found in whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, along with some legumes and grains.

What are Natural Sugars?

The USDA defines added sugars as “caloric sweeteners that are added to foods as ingredients during food preparation, at the table, or during food processing”.

What are Added Sugars?

Whereas natural sugars come as part of a healthy “package” containing other nutrients your body needs, added sugars are devoid of any benefits other than calories.


Added & natural sugars are made from a type of carbohydrate and are broken down into monosaccharides.


Foods with natural sugars are usually low in calories and rich in nutrients. Foods with added sugars tend to be quite the opposite!

Why Know the Difference?

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Carrie Forrest is the creator of Clean Eating Kitchen, a healthy recipe website. She holds a master's degree in public health.