The Hidden Sugar That Is Hurting Your Health
Making yourself aware of hidden sugar is a great step towards your health goals.
Many nutritious and sweet-tasting foods have natural sugar. Milk products and fruit, for example, bring you vitamins, minerals, and fiber along with natural sweetness.
Added sugars, on the other hand, just add calories.
Plus sugar is one of the most addictive substances, suppresses your immune system and leaves you susceptible to many diseases.
Marcia Pelchat, PhD, a scientist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, tells us that sugar taps into a powerful human preference for sweet taste. Sugar is noteworthy as a substance that releases opioids and dopamine and thus can be quite addictive.
However, artificial sweeteners aren’t the answer either.
So what do we do?
Americans consume an average of 88 grams or 22 teaspoons of added sugars each day. That’s an increase of 20% over the past 3 decades!
The American Heart Association now recommends that women consume no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day, and men consume no more than 9.
It can be hard to distinguish between added sugars and natural sugars when reading food labels. However, you can recognize added sugars by reading the ingredient list and knowing the many names that sugar goes by.
The Sugar List
- Agave nectar and syrup (Often with High Fructose Corn Syrup – a.k.a. HFCS)
- All-natural evaporated cane juice
- Amber liquid
- Anhydrous dextrose
- Apple butter and syrup
- Bakers special
- Barley malt and malt syrup
- Beet molasses, crystals and syrup
- Blackstrap molasses
- Blonde coconut
- Brown rice syrup
- Brown sugar
- Buttered syrup
- Candy floss
- Cane, crystals, juice, juice crystals and juice powder
- Carob syrup
- Chicory (HFCS)
- Coarse sugar
- Coconut, palm, sap, syrup and sugar sugar
- Coco sugar and sap sugar
- Concentrate juice (Often with HFCS)
- Concord grape juice concentrate
- Corn sugar, syrup, syrup solids and sweetener (HFCS)
- Cornsweet 90 ® (really HFCS 90)
- Creamed honey (Often with HFCS)
- Crystal dextrose, Crystalline fructose and Crystallized organic cane juice
- Dark molasses
- Diastatic malt
- Dixie crystals
- Dried evaporated organic cane juice
- Evaporated organic cane juice
- Evaporated corn sweetener (HFCS)
- Ethyl maltol
- First molasses
- Florida Crystals
- Free Flowing
- Fructose, Fructose crystals and Fructose sweetener (HFCS)
- Fruit fructose, Fruit juice, Fruit juice concentrate, and Fruit syrup (Often with HFCS)
- Glucose, Glucose Solids, Gluctose fructose, and Glucose-fructose syrup (HFCS)
- Golden molasses and Golden syrup
- Gomme syrup
- Granulated fructose and Granulated sugar cane juice
- Grape juice concentrate
- High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and High Fructose Maize Syrup (HFCS)
- HFCS 42 and HFCS 55
- High dextrose glucose syrup
- High maltose corn syrup (Often with HFCS)
- Hydrogenated starch and Hydrogenated starch hydrosylate
- Hydrolyzed corn starch
- Honey, Honeycomb and Honey powder
- Inulin (HFCS)
- Invert Syrup
- Isoglucose (HFCS)
- Jaggery powder
- Light molasses
- Liquid dextrose, Liquid fructose and Liquid fructose syrup (Often with HFCS)
- Liquid honey, Liquid maltodextrin and Liquid sucrose
- Malted barley, Malted barley syrup, and Malted corn syrup
- Maltitol and Maltitol syrup
- Malitsorb and Maltisweet
- Malt syrup
- Maple Syrup
- Meritab 700
- Orgeat syrup
- Palm syrup
- Pancake syrup
- Potato maltodextrine
- Pure cane syrup
- Raisin syrup
- Raw agave syrup
- Refiner’s syrup
- Rice maltodextrine
- Rice Syrup and Rice syrup solids
- Raw honey
- Second molasses
- Simple syrup
- Soluble corn fiber
- Sorbitol and Sorbitol syrup
- Sorghum, Sorghum molasses and Sorghum syrup
- Sucre de canne naturel
- Sulfured molasses
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Sweet sorghum syrup
- Syrup Syrup
- Unsulphured molasses
- White, White crystal and White refined
- White grape juice concentrate
If sugar or any of the following ingredients are listed as one of the first three ingredients in a food item, the food is HIGH in sugar!
Here’s the bottom line:
Avoid artificial sweeteners, including aspartame, acesulfame, sucralose, sugar alcohols such as malitol and xylitol (pretty much anything that ends in “ol”), as well as natural artificial sweeteners like stevia.
Stop confusing your body. If you have a desire for something sweet have a little sugar, but stay away from “fake” foods. Eating a whole-foods diet that has a low-glycemic load and is rich in phytonutrients and indulging in a few real sweet treats once in a while is a better alternative than tricking your body with artificial sweeteners – which leads to wide-scale metabolic rebellion and obesity.
Please share your thoughts below.
To Your Health,
Elise Ho, Ph.D., D.N.Psy
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