how-to-read-food-labels

Sugar Content Is Hidden By Food Companies – How?

Find Out How Sugar Content Is Hidden By Food Companies!

Hello All!!!

By now you must have understood that consuming a lot of added sugar can have an adverse effect on your health. Excess sugar consumption is linked to type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

You may be making a conscious effort to cut down on sugar, but your efforts can go down the drain as food companies hide the sugar content of their products. So, you may be unknowingly consuming sugar.

how to read food labels

Here’s How Sugar Content Is Hidden By Food Companies:

1) Naming sugar differently

Sugar is said to have several different forms and names. The common ones we know about are glucose, sucrose and fructose. Food companies are using sugars with unusual names so that you cannot spot it out on the labels.

saccharin good or bad

Watch out for the following added sugar on food labels:

Let us talk of dry sugar first

  • Barley malt
  • Brown sugar
  • Beet sugar
  • Buttered sugar
  • Cane sugar
  • Cane juice crystals
  • Caster sugar
  • Corn sweetener
  • Crystalline fructose
  • Coconut sugar
  • Date sugar
  • Ethyl maltol
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Dextran, malt powder
  • Invert sugar
  • Golden sugar
  • Molasses
  • Palm sugar
  • Rapadura sugar
  • Panela
  • Organic raw sugar
  • Muscovado sugar
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltose
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Confectioner’s (powdered) sugar

Now we shall move on to syrups. Syrups are thick liquids made by dissolving large amounts of sugar in dissolved water. They are used mostly in cold drinks and liquids.

agave-nectar1

Common ones are as follows:

  • Agave nectar
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Golden syrup
  • Malt syrup
  • Carob syrup
  • Oat syrup
  • Maple syrup
  • Rice bran syrup
  • Rice syrup

2) Adding different kinds of sugar in a food product

On the ingredients label, the chief ingredients are mentioned first. That is, the ingredient that is the most in the food appears higher on the list.

Food manufacturers try to make their product appear healthy by using smaller amounts of 3-4 types of sugar in a single product.  This way the sugars will appear down on the list. And this makes the product appear as if it is low in sugar even when sugar is one of the main ingredients in it. This is common in protein/energy bars that are touted as healthy.  Another way of how sugar content is hidden by food companies!

3) Adding sugar to food products that are not categorized as sweet

Okay, so your pastry has a lot of sugar in it. Agreed! However, there are some food manufacturers who add lots of sugar in foods that are not in the ‘sweet’ category. The examples are yogurt, breakfast cereals and sauces.

Can you believe that your yogurt can have 6 teaspoons of sugar in one serving? Most people are unaware of this and end up downing sugar unknowingly. So, please check the label of your packaged food carefully.

4) Replacing sucrose with so called healthy sugars.

Food companies try to make their products seem healthier by replacing sugar for a healthier sweetener. Such products have claims such as – “No refined sugar added’’. However, it just means that they don’t have processed white sugar. Another clever way how sugar content is hidden by food companies.

The alternative unrefined sugars may appear healthy but the hard fact is that they are still added sugar. There is no existing evidence stating that swapping white sugar with alternative unrefined sugars has health benefits.

coconut sugar is it a healthy choice

You will find agave syrup, coconut sugar, honey, raw sugar, maple syrup, cane sugar, birch syrup, sugar beet syrup on the labels. So, be cautious.

5) Combining natural sugars with added sugars on the ingredients list

Natural sugar is present in fruits, dairy and veggies. This kind of sugar is not a health concern. So, foods have added plus natural sugar. The problem is that food companies don’t list the two kinds of sugars separately. They combine both and list them as a single ingredient. This way you cannot make out how much sugar in the food is natural and how much is added.

6) Making tall health claims

low-fat-products

Beware of foods that say ‘fat-free’, ‘low fat’, ‘diet’ and the like. This is because in such products, food companies add a lot of sugar to make up for the loss in taste due to removal of fat.

The bottom line

It may be difficult to spot added sugar. Hence, you should cook your own food at home and depend less on processed stuff. If you happen to buy packaged food, try to spot the sugar in it buy reading the label.

Hope now you know how sugar content is hidden by food companies!

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