Hidden Ingredients to Avoid – Sugar

In general, we consume way too much added sugar. I’m not talking about sugar from fruits. I’m talking about sugar that has been added to the foods and drinks we consume. The American Heart Association recommends that men not consume more than 9 teaspoons, or 36 grams of added sugar per day. The number for women is 6 teaspoons or 25 grams. Think about this. A single 12 oz can of Coke has 10 teaspoons of added sugar. That’s terrible. Sugar is known to cause or contribute to the following:

acne

cancer

depression

diabetes

fatigue

headaches

heart disease

high blood blood pressure

hypoglycemia

obesity

Is that enough to make you rethink the amount you’re consuming?

Here’s the twist when it comes to sugar. It’s not always written out on the ingredients list as sugar. And, the FDA does not require a separate line for added sugar. So when you look at the amount of sugar on a label, you can’t differentiate between naturally occurring, if any, and added sugars. This is more reason to limit your intake of processed foods. But, if you’re going to eat something packaged, you have to become a savvy consumer. Here’s a list of what you need to be on the lookout for. It’s extensive, but knowledge is power, and that power can ultimately save your life!

Agave nectar

Barbados sugar

Barley malt

Beet sugar

Blackstrap molasses

Brown rice syrup

Brown sugar

Buttered syrup

Cane juice crystals

Cane sugar

Caramel

Carob syrup

Castor sugar

Confectioner’s sugar

Corn syrup

Corn syrup solids

Crystalline fructose

Date sugar

Demerara sugar

Dextran

Dextrose

Diastatic malt

Diatase

Ethyl maltol

Evaporated cane juice

Florida crystals

Fructose

Fruit juice

Fruit juice concentrate

Galactose

Glucose

Glucose solids

Golden sugar

Golden syrup

Grape sugar

High-fructose corn syrup

Honey

Icing sugar

Invert sugar

Lactose

Malt syrup

Maltose

Maple syrup

Molasses

Muscovado sugar

Organic raw sugar

Panocha

Raw sugar

Refiner’s syrup

Rice syrup

Sorghum syrup

Sucrose

Sugar

Treacle

Turbinado sugar

Yellow sugar

As previously stated, some foods have naturally occurring sugar. That’s your fruits and even lactose in dairy products. Those sugars do create calories, and if you are trying to lose weight, that’s a consideration that needs to be made. But, the foods those sugars come from also contain nutrients that are very valuable to your body. The sugars we are discussing here are added sugars. It’s just what it sounds like, sugars that are added to foods/products to change or enhance the flavor. Some of these are natural, like honey, others are chemically created, like high fructose corn syrup. The main takeaway is that we have to start decreasing our intake in total. All of the evidence is there.

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Resources:

http://www.responsiblefoods.org/sugar_names

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/Nutrition/Sugar-101_UCM_306024_Article.jsp#.WKR9PTLMyCQ