Meaning of carbohydrate "of which sugars"

Discussion in 'Food, Nutrition and Recipes' started by ofwhichsugars, Jan 24, 2019.

1. ofwhichsugars · Newbie

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I read a thread about the meaning of "of which sugars", but I still don't quite understand.

Let me just ask a simple question.

If a product has 32% carbohydrate, and 47% of which sugars.... what does this mean?

Are the sugars an extra category of carbohydrate, or are they just a subset of the overall carbohydrates?

If I had 32% carbohydrates and 47% of which sugars, would the total carbohydrates be 32% or would they be (32% + 47%) = 79%?

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Last edited: Jan 24, 2019
2. Antje77 LADA · Moderator Staff Member

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Not possible, as the sugars are a carbohydrate and are included in the 'of which sugars'.
Tha other way around is possible, a product has 47% carbs, of which 32 percent are sugars. That means 32% of your product is sugar, the remaining 15% of carbs are starches or such.

If you look to decreasing your carbs, it's the total carbs you want to look at. It doesn't really matter much what they are made of.

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3. NicoleC1971 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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The latter :
To make the maths simpler (grade C in 1988 maths o level!):
Product is 50% carbs of which 50% are sugars means that 25% of the product is sugar.
Or per 100g. 50g = carbs and of that 25g. are sugar.
Out of interest why does it matter to you?

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4. LittleGreyCat Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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Your numbers don't make sense for UK labelling.

You would expect, say, 17% carbohydrate of which 7% sugars.

So total carbohydrate of 17%, 7% quick hit sugar and the other 10% will be more slowly converted to sugar.

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5. Antje77 LADA · Moderator Staff Member

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Oh, I see this is your first post, so welcome to the forum!
I'll tag @daisy1 for you who'll post some very informative stuff about diabetes

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6. Spl@ Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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I have wondered this too.

I figured it showed the total carb then the amount that is actually sugar.

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7. ofwhichsugars · Newbie

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Actually, it does make sense in the context of UK labeling.

For example, look at the McDonald's website for their medium coke...

Carbohydrate (g) 16% RI
of which sugars (g) 47% RI

What does this mean? That there is 16% total carbohydrates or 16% + 47% = 63% total carbohydrates?

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8. achike Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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The Nutrition information is per 100g of which carbohydrate is 32% (32g). Out of the 32g carbohydrate, sugar is 47% (15.4g).

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9. Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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I cannot understand your thinking on this. If the total net carbs are 50% and of which sugars are 50%, then all those carbs are sugars. Surely?

@ofwhichsugars You can ignore the of which sugars. It is the total carbs that matter (unless you are in America). Sugars are included in the carb amount, hence the words "of which".

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If I was reading that I would read it as the product comprise 16% carbs and 47% of those carbs are sugars I.e. just under half of the 16% or ~ 7.5% sugars.

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11. achike Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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CORRECTION: The Nutrition information is per 100g of which carbohydrate is 32% (32g). Out of the 32g carbohydrate, sugar is 47% (15.04g).

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12. Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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You are all reading it wrongly. https://www.mcdonalds.com/gb/en-gb/product/coca-cola-medium.html
You have looked at the percentage of the recommended daily intake, not the amount of carbs and sugar in the coke.

A portion of the coke has 42g of carbs of which 42g is sugar. So it is all sugar. It does not show what percentage per 100g it is. It merely quotes the amount per portion.

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#12

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That’s how I read it. That would be 15% of 100g

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14. achike Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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15g is 15% of 100g

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#14

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Exactly.

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16. miahara Type 3c · Well-Known Member

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My understanding, and what I've been basing my diet and buying on, is that the data on the BACK of packages is what counts. And it is the CARBS that is the key, as carbs are sugars when digested and the 'of which sugars' is included in the total carb content but that pure sugar content of the carbs is also quoted separately.
Ignore the sugars and concentrate on the carbs.

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17. Mbaker Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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Ignore the of which are sugars, divide the total amounts of carbs by 4 to get the "real" sugar content. Some would say minus fibre i.e. net carbs in places like the States.

This for me is slight of hand as the of which are sugars can show as green on the packaging, but inside your body, the total carbs turning to sugar, could be causing havoc with your insulin requirements.

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18. Tipetoo Type 2 · Expert

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This is what I do, I disregard anything in the sub listings I have marked in bold as it is to me unnecessary info.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 Big Mac burger

per serve
Kilojoules 2176 kj
Calories 520 kcal
Protein 26.9 g
Fat 28.6 g
Saturated Fat 11.3 g
Carbohydrate 37.4 g
Sugar 6.4 g
Sodium 993 mg

https://www.fatsecret.com.au/calories-nutrition/mcdonalds/big-mac/1-serving

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19. Rokaab Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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As @Bluetit1802 was trying to explain you were looking at the wrong thing really, ignore the RI bit, look at the per portion/grams/volume.
So for the McDonalds Coke (medium sized on the UK site) it shows
Carbohydrate (g) per portion=42 %RI=16%
of which sugars (g) per portion=42 %RI=47%
So for the medium its 42carbs in total, and of those carbs, 42 are sugars - ie all of it.

But yeah for the purposes of diabetes, all you need to know is the total carbs.

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20. Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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Thank you. I am glad you agree with me.

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