[New Labelling Rolling Out] What Does 100 Grams Of Sugars A Day Look Like?

As we are approaching year-end, healthy eating is again on everyone’s mind. If you are a label reader, you may notice that recently the Nutrition Facts table was updated with some changes. The mandatory vitamins and minerals list went from four nutrients to three. The old label required listing Vitamins A, C, Calcium and Iron; the new label as required by Health Canada is now listing Potassium, Calcium, and Iron. I am indeed excited about this change, with potassium receiving more of a spotlight. Another change is sugar. In addition to listing the total amount of sugar, it is now required to list a %DV (% Daily Value).

New nutrition facts label rolling out in Canada. Slight changes on the mandatory list of micronutrients, as well as the addition of %DV for sugar.

The Daily Value percentage for sugar is 100 grams per day; it is equivalent to 20% of a 2,000 calorie diet. Now, this is NOT a recommended level of intake. In other words, you do not need to aim at eating 100 grams of sugar; but if you are at 100 grams or less at the end of the day, it is consistent with a healthy eating pattern.

Every time I discuss sugar, many of us are worried. Yes, we should be conscious of not eating and drinking too much added sugar. However, natural sugar is also present in many healthy foods; this is not the same as added sugar. For instance:

  • A cup of milk contains 12 g of natural sugar
  • A cup of unsweetened almond milk contains 2.1 g
  • A serving of plain unsweetened Greek yogurt has 6 g
  • 1 cup of fresh berries has 14.7 g
  • 1 cup of sliced, fresh strawberries has 8.1 g
  • 1 cup of pumpkin puree has 8 g

You get the point! Sugar has a place in a healthy diet. So when the Canadian Sugar Institute contacted me and asked if I could create a healthy 100-gram sugar menu, I gladly took up this challenge and am eager to show how a 100-gram-sugar-day can indeed be wholesome.

What does 100 grams of sugar a day look like? It's not what you think. With the new nutrition labelling rolling out, how do you navigate the new nutrition facts label and %DV? and how a 100g-sugar menu can still be healthy?

The following menu provides ~2,000 calories. Not every woman needs 2000 calories a day; some need more, some need less. For an 1,800 calorie-day, your %DV for sugar is 90 grams (20% of 1800 kcal); for a 2,200 calorie day, your DV for sugar will be 110 grams.

Breakfast: Chia Pudding + Grande Latte

Chia seed pudding with beetroot. What does 100 grams of sugar a day look like? It's not what you think. With the new nutrition labelling rolling out, what do you navigate the new nutrition facts label and %DV? and how a 100g-sugar menu can still be healthy?

Nutrition Info for Breakfast (Chia Pudding + Latte):

  • Calories: 501 kcal
  • Sugar: 33.4 g
  • Protein: 30 g

Click here for Chia Seed Pudding recipe.

Lunch: Buddha Bowl with Black Rice Noodles

Vegan buddha bowl with black rice noodles. Gluten-free as well. What does 100 grams of sugar a day look like? It's not what you think. With the new nutrition labelling rolling out, what do you navigate the new nutrition facts label and %DV? and how a 100g-sugar menu can still be healthy?

Ingredients: Black rice noodles + edamame + Brussels sprouts + marinated crimini mushroom + balsamic apple-tomato salad

Nutrition Info:

  • Calories: 521 kcal
  • Sugar: 14.7 g
  • Protein: 15.3 g

Afternoon snack: Avocado Toast with Hemp Hearts

Avocado toast with hemp hearts. What does 100 grams of sugar a day look like? It's not what you think. With the new nutrition labelling rolling out, what do you navigate the new nutrition facts label and %DV?

Ingredients: 1 piece of whole wheat sourdough bread + 1/2 avocado + 1 Tbsp hemp hearts

Nutrition Info:

  • Calories: 311 kcal
  • Sugar: 0.5 g
  • Protein: 10 g

Dinner: Oven-Baked Maple Salmon with 7-Grain Rice

Oven-baked maple salmon dinner. What does 100 grams of sugar a day look like? It's not what you think. With the new nutrition labelling rolling out, what do you navigate the new nutrition facts label and %DV?

Nutrition Info:

  • Calories: 406 kcal
  • Sugar: 22 g
  • Protein: 28.7 g

Click here for Oven-Baked Maple Salmon recipe.

After-meal Dessert: Vanilla Greek Yogurt + Kiwi

Ingredients: 3/4 cup of vanilla Greek Yogurt + 2 small kiwis

Nutrition Info:

  • Calories: 244 kcal
  • Sugar: 31.4 g
  • Protein: 15.6 g

My one-day menu provides 1,983 calories and 102 grams of sugar.

Take Home Message

As you can see in the pie chart below, healthy meals can contain sugar and there’s nothing scary about that. As long as you are conscious about eating whole foods most of the time, even a 100-gram sugar meal plan is consistent with a healthy eating pattern!

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