How to calculate sugar in food items?

Nutrition information is provided on product packaging, usually in the form of a table. How do we use it?

Food producers are obliged to list ingredients in descending order, starting with the most prevalent ones. Sugar can be found under multiple names:

To calculate how much sugar a product contains, you need to find the items ‘carbohydrates’ and ‘of which sugars’ in the table on the label. Most often, this value is expressed per 100 g or 100 ml of the product. The actual weight of a cookie or bar is often different from that value, so we need to use proportions: if our sweet snack weighs 50 g, it contains half of the values given in the table. If the numbers are not too friendly, it is a good idea to use a formula. For instance when we have a croissant weighing 77 g and containing 17 g of sugar per 100 g. How do we handle this? Using a formula:

Amount of sugar stated on the label per 100 g/ml x product weight (or volume) / 100 = amount of sugar in the product


Sweetened carbonated beverage 10 g sugar per 100 ml A can contains 250 ml

10 x 250/100 = 25 (this is the amount of sugar per can in grams)

If one teaspoon of sugar equals 5 g, you can easily realise that this particular drink contains as many as 5 teaspoons of sugar.

We should follow this rule with many different products if we are unsure about the sugar content. Over time, this calculation will become a habit and will not be troublesome at all, especially if we consciously choose to avoid products containing too much sugar.