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Watch Out for Those Hidden Sugars in Your Food

By Stephen R. Farris

If you suffer from type 2 diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, or obesity, the last thing you want to be surprised by is too much or more added sugar in the foods you purchase and consume. Having too much sugar in your diet is just plain bad for your health.

On average, according to studies, the American public may consume as much as 15 teaspoons of added sugar (roughly 60 grams) each day. It's not the fact folks sit there at each meal, grabbing the sugar container and just pouring it on their food. No, it's usually the hidden sugar that is added during the process stage for food products.

That's why it's important to check those nutritional labels on food products before you make your purchase because there may be added sugar besides what's already in them.

What's in a Name?

With sugar, there are many names associated, which include a few of them listed below.

  • Barley malt
  • Beet sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Cane sugar
  • Corn sweetener
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Invert sugar
  • Palm sugar

Not Just for Waffles

Most of us relate syrup to something we pour on waffles or a stack of pancakes. However, syrup is another form of sweetener that is sugar-based. Some of those syrups you'll notice on nutritional labels may include a few of the following types:

  • Agave nectar
  • Golden syrup
  • Honey
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Malt syrup
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Rice syrup

There's no Sugar in Spaghetti

It's obvious that candy, cake, and ice cream all contain sugar. Unfortunately, there are a lot of foods you wouldn't suspect to contain sugar, and one of those happens to be ... spaghetti. Other foods you might consider to be healthy and sugar-free may include that breakfast cereal you eat every morning, or that container of yogurt you love to eat. Hidden sugar is everywhere these days. That's another reason it's important to pay attention to those nutritional labels.

The Big Seller: Health Claims on Labels

Buyers should beware of nutritional labels and packaging that claim to be low-fat, natural, healthy, or light, as these can be misleading due to the fact that they usually contain hidden or added sugar in the product. Most manufacturers bank that you'll read the claim and simply grab the product off the store shelf without as much as reading the nutritional label. Be sure you do before making the decision to purchase food products that claim to be healthy for you.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Burnsville, Minn.

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