If we’re looking for something that’s hiding in our food, it’s helpful to know what we’re looking for, right? For example, if a wolf is hiding in sheep’s clothing, we know to look for a funny-looking sheep. In this post, we’ll discuss the wolf of food ingredients – SUGAR – and the variety of names it uses to hide.
There are dozens of ways
that sugar can hide in food labels.
Sugar comes in many forms. And, if manufacturers lumped them all together under the generic term “sugar,” then it would be clear to anyone who takes a peek at the ingredients list, that sugar is the main ingredient.
This is actually a pre-school mentality. Think of a four year old boy stirring around the peas on his plate. When they’re spread out, he thinks that mom will assume he’s eaten some.
But moms aren’t fooled.
And, neither should you be when you read food labels. Here are two simple steps to become better-informed when it comes to added sugars in your foods.
- First, get clued in to how MUCH sugar is in the food you’re thinking of eating. Read the sugar content in the Nutrition Facts label. How many grams of sugar are there? Is it three or fewer per serving? Is the serving size ridiculously small? Silly serving sizes are another food manufacturer sneaky tactic to make a food appear less sugar-laden. Read the number for the sugar content that’s listed right there underneath the Total Carbohydrate listing. This will help you make more informed food choices.
- Next, read the ingredients list. What’s listed first, second, or third? Because they’re listed in order of volume, it may not appear that sugar is primary if it’s not listed at the top. But this is only part of the story.
Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, sugar can hide in your foods using a whole variety of aliases. Some, don’t even sound all that sugary.
I compiled a list of sugar alias terms for a class I taught several years ago, and have been adding to that list each time I see something new. My original list of 27 names for sugar has now swelled to 60!
Would you like to know what they are?
I’m so glad you’ve asked!
I’ve created a handy dandy downloadable Sugar and Sugar Alias Listing chart to help you make healthier purchases. And, it’s FREE! Click on the link below to download.
Download your Sugar chart today so that you can begin looking for those funny looking sheep (I mean sugars) in your foods today.
The whole topic is sort of catchy. Maybe I should write a song about it? There Must Be 60 Ways to Leave Your … Sugar.
What’s your favorite way? Where have you been surprised to find sugar on the label? Share your thoughts below!
Thank you so much for this reminder about sugar. I really appreciate
the chart. I see that I have eliminated sugar, but there are some
of these on the chart that will help me pay better attention.
Doris – you’re so very welcome! Happy to help 😉
Thank you for this list! My husband used to work for ADM where they make a lot of these sugars listed by another name. He helps when he’s shopping with me, but it’s hard to remember them all. This list will be an enormous help as I continually work on reducing the sugar in our diet.
When I first started reading labels I was shocked to find out that peanut butter had sugar in it. Peanuts are great, why do they need added sugar? So now I buy a brand that is just peanuts and a pinch of salt. Mmmmm delicious!
Other places I’ve been surprised to find sugar: tomato soup, canned kidney beans, dog biscuits, creamed corn, chicken broth… and the list goes on. It’s no wonder that so many Americans have diabetes.
Absolutely, Vickie! And, when we have better information, we’re more likely to make better choices. Sounds like you’re doing a great job!
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