It's Hard Cider Season: Watch Out for Extra Sugar

iStock

Ah, autumn! Changing leaves, cooler temperatures, pumpkin spice everything, apple cider... If hard cider is one of your "treats" this season, a study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry suggests that you may be getting "tricked" into consuming added sugar that’s not disclosed on your beverage’s label.

Hard ciders, which are made by fermenting apples or apple juice concentrate, are becoming more popular in the United States. Although apples contain plenty of natural sugars, hard cider makers may add sugar to sweeten the drink further or hasten fermentation, and while they’re required to include the number of grams of sugar per serving on the nutrition facts label, they don't have to distinguish between natural and added sugars.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends limiting added sugars — which can increase the risk for health problems like diabetes and high blood pressure (hypertension) — to 25 grams per day. For this study, researchers at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque tested 23 popular brands of hard cider (6 imported brands, 17 domestic brands) to determine whether they contained undisclosed added sugar. According to the researchers, 60 percent of the domestic ciders and 20 percent of the imported ciders they tested contained added sugar.

Sourced from: Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry