Do sugar-free products contain carbohydrates?

There is a whole range of food and drinks in the store that carry these labels:
  • "sugar-free"
  • "reduced sugar"
  • "light"
  • "no sugar added"
When you remove some or all of the sugar from these products, artificial sweeteners are often added instead to keep the sweet taste. When you see these claims on packages, remember that they do not mean the food is completely carbohydrate-free. These foods may or may not be lower in carbohydrate than the original product. There are also many products now that say they are sweetened with sucralose (Splenda). This also does not mean they have zero carbohydrates. They are probably lower in calories, but they still contain carbs.

While the amount of sugar in these foods may be lower, remember that sugar is only one form of carbohydrate (they may also contain starch, fiber, and/or sugar alcohols). For this reason, keep in mind the general rule: always check the Nutrition Facts Label for the total carbohydrate content.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.