Why Zero Added Sugar Matters for Your Health
3 minutes read

Why Zero Added Sugar Matters for Your Health

By: Melissa Mitri, MS, RD

In our modern era of convenience and hyper-palatable food, added sugars have infiltrated our food supply. Despite their sweet allure, added sugars pose a myriad of health risks ranging from obesity to type 2 diabetes to impaired heart health.

It’s important to first differentiate the more harmful added sugars from the harmless natural sugars found in whole foods like fruit, starchy vegetables, and dairy.

Added sugars are added to packaged products to increase their level of sweetness, balance out bitter flavors, and enhance their overall taste in hopes you’ll want to keep eating more. (Yes, this is intentional!)

Because of the known health risks of added sugars, many consumers are seeking no added sugar products as healthier choices to satisfy a sweet craving.

Keep reading to learn the risks of consuming too much added sugar, how to reduce added sugar in your diet, and healthier sugar alternatives to try.

Where is Added Sugar Found?

While many people think of added sugar as being in sweets and more obvious sources, it is also found in many seemingly healthy products. There is really no beneficial amount of added sugar, so it’s best to reduce it as much as possible.

Here are the most common added sugar culprits to look for:

  • Candy and sweets such as cake, cookies, pastries, and ice cream
  • Flavored yogurt
  • Breakfast cereals - even ones that say “made with whole grains” or “heart-healthy”
  • Condiments and sauces like salad dressings, ketchup, and tomato sauce
  • Packaged snacks like granola bars 
  • Sweetened coffee drinks such as flavored coffee, lattes, and frappuccinos
  • Sugary beverages like soda, juice, energy drinks, sweetened teas, and sports drinks
  • Canned fruit packed in syrup or juice
  • Baked goods like muffins, croissants, and donuts
  • Frozen meals and instant noodles like ramen

The American Heart Association recommends limiting daily added sugar intake to 24 grams (about 6 teaspoons) for women and 36 grams (about 9 teaspoons) for men.¹

Health Risks of Added Sugar

Several research studies have shown that added sugar contributes to inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation can increase the risk of several diseases, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.² 


Excess consumption of added sugars can lead to weight gain in multiple ways. First, it adds a lot of calories to foods, which can quickly add up by the end of the day.

Second, most foods high in added sugar are also low in essential nutrients. These calorie-dense, nutrient-poor foods only satisfy you for a short period of time, causing you to crave more. This can lead to overeating and increased cravings, which can make it difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

Sugar can also be chemically addicting for some people, and there is scientific evidence to confirm this. When this happens, you may find yourself wanting more and more every time you have it.³

Your taste buds also get used to eating very sweet foods high in added sugar, and over time you’ll desire a heightened level of sweetness (i.e. more sugar) to reach that same level of satisfaction. This can become a vicious cycle!

Type 2 diabetes

Too much-added sugar can also increase the risk of diabetes due to its effect on blood sugars, weight, and inflammation. Sugar can raise blood sugar and cause frequent spikes, prompting insulin resistance over time.⁴

This insulin resistance can impair the body’s ability to regulate metabolism and energy storage effectively, keeping blood sugars elevated and further increasing the risk of weight gain.

If you already have diabetes or pre-diabetes, opting for no added sugar versions of your favorite treats, like Keto Foods ice creams, can help you reduce your overall sugar intake.

Heart health

Diets high in added sugars are also linked to heart disease risk factors. In particular, added sugars can increase levels of triglycerides, LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol), and overall inflammation.⁵

All of these are risk factors for high blood pressure, one of the biggest influencers of heart disease and stroke risk.⁶

Tips for Reducing Added Sugar

There are plenty of ways to reduce your added sugar intake and still enjoy the food you love. Here are a few helpful places to start:

Read the nutrition label and look for “added sugar.” It will be listed right below the total sugars line. Seek out products with less than 7 grams of added sugar per serving to keep your daily intake in check.

Swap out soda or juice for water, naturally flavored water, or seltzer.

Choose plain varieties of yogurt over flavored. You can add your favorite fruit, such as berries, for natural sweetness.

Reduce the amount of sugar added to your coffee, or try sugar alternatives such as allulose or monk fruit instead.

Look for natural sweeteners on product labels such as allulose, monk fruit, and stevia that contain minimal to no calories. You can try applesauce, dates, mashed banana, or honey if you're seeking natural sweetness to add to baked goods.

Reducing Sugar Intake for Optimal Health

Cutting back on added sugar in the diet yields amazing benefits - whether you are trying to prevent diabetes, control your weight, or support overall health. And there are plenty of options out there if you want to experience sugar-free benefits, you just have to read the nutrition label.

When seeking a quality product to satisfy a sweet craving, look for ones with little to no added sugar on the label. If you love a good creamy ice cream, Keto Foods ice cream pints and bars contain zero added sugar. They are naturally sweetened with monk fruit, allulose, and stevia.

They are also a good source of filling fiber, which is not the case for many ice cream brands.

So if you’re looking for a sweet treat that won’t send your blood sugar through a tailspin, try Keto Foods ice cream bars and pints today!


This information is not intended to prevent, diagnose, prescribe, or treat any illness or condition, nor does it take the place of sound medical advice. You should always seek out your own medical care and determine the best diet and course of treatment for your unique health needs.









  • Living a zero added sugar lifestyle can help reduce the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and inflammation. By eliminating added sugars, individuals can improve their overall health, well-being, and longevity.

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