This post has been updated with a comment from Kind.
Ignorance is bliss for many Americans and their eating habits, but with new rules on the nutritional labels of our favorite sugary foods, the harsh reality may be hard to swallow.
In May, the FDA announced significant changes to the black and white side bar we’ve either grown to appreciate or grown to ignore. The most glaring difference is the requirement for companies to separately list any added sugars (those that don’t exist naturally, like in fruit, before processing).
You may think this is a no brainer, but many foods like Kind bars have hidden behind a healthy facade of fruit, nuts and whole grains. After being inappropriately dinged for the levels of fat in their bars coming from nuts, makers of Kind snacks now have to face up to an uncomfortable reality: These bars can contain upwards of 13 grams of sugar, with 10 grams added from sources like glucose syrup, honey and good, old-fashioned granulated alone.
But according to Bloomberg, Kind has responded to FDA's changes with healthier alternatives, having already reduced its Almond & Apricot bar’s added sugar content from 10 grams to five. From a nutritional standpoint, this is quite a significant difference and an inspiration – if the FDA has anything to do with it – for other major food manufacturers to follow suit.
But don't expect your favorite candy companies to back down any time soon. You just may be a little more horrified to realize that a sour apple lollipop contains only added sugar and no real trace of apple. And if this is the case, you should really start reading ingredients. You are what you eat and you don't want to be something we could all do without.
Update: The folks at Kind reached out to defend the added sugar used in their bars. “We are very proud of our nutritious and delicious products, which are recommended by thousands of nutrition experts as healthy snack options. Additionally, our best-selling Nuts & Spices line of bars all contain 5g of sugar or less and, following our recipe update, no snack in our portfolio will contain more than 14g of total sugar per serving,” said Stephanie Perruzza, MS RD and Health and Wellness Specialist at Kind.
For those interested in a breakdown of Kind's sugar sources, feel free to check out their helpful The Sugar in our Snacks chart.