01 December, 2010

Is There Sugar Hiding in Your Food?

Say you're trying to reduce or eliminate added sugars from your diet.  But wait...what are "added sugars"? 

According to the USDA, "added sugars are sugars and syrups that are added to foods or beverages during processing or preparation.  This does not include naturally occuring sugars such as those that occur in milk and fruits." 

The best way to determine if there are added sugars in the (packaged) foods you eat is to check out the ingredients on the label.  How many different sugar names can you find in the label shown below?  I count five different sugars, and yet, nowhere on the label does the word "sugar" appear!  Tricky, huh?

  1. Agave nectar
  2. Barley malt
  3. Beet sugar
  4. Brown rice syrup
  5. Can juice crystals
  6. Caramel
  7. Carob syrup
  8. Corn syrup or corn syrup solids
  9. Date sugar
  10. Dextran
  11. Dextrose
  12. Diatase
  13. Ethyl maltol
  14. Evaporated cane juice
  15. Fructose
  16. Fruit juice concentrate
  17. Galactose
  18. Glucose or glucose solids
  19. Golden syrup
  20. High fructose corn syrup
  21. Honey
  22. Lactose
  23. Malt syrup
  24. Maltodextrin
  25. Maltose
  26. Maple syrup
  27. Molasses
  28. Panocha
  29. Raw sugar
  30. Refiner's syrup
  31. Rice syrup
  32. Sorbitol
  33. Sorghum syrup
  34. Sucrose
  35. Turbinado sugar
There are more alternative sugar names than the 35 listed, but I think I got the most common names.  Any ingredient on a package that has the word "sugar" or "syrup" is a red flag for added sugar.  So take advantage of the abundance of information we have these days, and read your labels!

Good luck in your search for hidden sugars.


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