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Uncovering Sneaky Sugar

By Sara Butler

Added sugar is mighty tough to avoid. It’s hiding everywhere, even in foods that aren’t considered sweets! Even with the best intentions, added sugar can be hard to find on nutrition labels unless you know where to look and what to look for. Luckily for you, here are the ways you can try to find that sneakily added sugar in some of your favorite foods!

Where to Look

Just looking at the nutrition label isn’t enough. That’s due to the fact that nutrition labels don’t have added sugar listed on them. These change in 2018 when new labels debut, but right now you need to look at the full list of ingredients to uncover the truth.

Ingredients are always listed in order of amount, so if sugar is in the top three ingredients on the list, then it’s got a lot of sugar in it. Also be on the lookout for sugar listed more than once on the list, even if it’s farther down. You may be surprised by just how many ways – and under how many names – manufacturers sneak sugar into products.

What to Look For

There are a lot of ways sugar is listed on nutrition labels that aren't simply “sugar.” These sneaky synonyms are used to make a product seem a bit healthier than they really are. If you find the following on the nutritional label, it’s simply sugar in disguise:

  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Maltose
  • Glucose
  • Saccharose
  • Sucrose
  • Agave
  • Honey
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Molasses
  • Malt
  • Syrup
  • Nectar

Even if some of those things seem “natural” to you, such as molasses and honey, they’re still sugar. Pure and simple!

Artificial Sweeteners

Some people want to avoid artificial sweeteners too. You can do this by looking for the following ingredients on food packaging:

  • Aspartame
  • Saccharin
  • Sucralose
  • Stevia
  • Acesulfame-K

Sugar can be difficult to spot, but if you know what to look for, then you’re well on your way to cutting the extra from your diet. Just make sure you read all labels because sugar is lurking in things you may not even realize. Tomato sauce, pasta sauce, salad dressing, and even bread all have extra sugar added to them, so be on the lookout on those labels too in order to restrict how much sugar you’re getting without even realizing it!

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Durham, N.C.


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