Sugar and it’s over 50 names

Sugar and it’s over 50 names

When we think of sugar, or added sugar we tend to think of desserts and sweets. Unfortunately the sad truth is that sugar is found in foods that you wouldn't necessarily expect! For example, you will find added sugar in pasta, bread, yoghurts, energy bars, dried fruits, tomato sauce, salad dressing......to sum it up - added sugar is a hidden ingredient that you will find pretty much in most of the processed foods. The food manufacturers go to a great extend to hide the added sugar in products from the customers by using many different names for sugar. But why do they do this......it certainly can't be because added sugar is so healthy!?

How much sugar is considered healthy?

Before we jump into looking at all the different names manufacturers use on the nutrition labels for  sugar, let's have a look at what is the recommended intake of sugar. In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that it is reducing its recommended sugar intake for adults in half - which means from its original 10 percent to 5 percent of total daily calories. This is about of max 25 grams of daily intake, or six teaspoons for adults. Just to give you an idea - in a can of coke there is about 35 grams of sugar.......you do the math!

Is all sugar unhealthy?

When we talk about sugar, we have to distinguish between the natural sugar we find in fruits, vegetables and dairy products, and the added sugar we find in the processed foods. The natural sugar is part of and promotes a healthy diet, as they are full of vitamins, mineral and fibre. The problem arises with all the added sugars. Because very often we are not aware of the amount of added sugar a given product contains, our intake of added sugar could be way over the recommended level. We have all heard that too much (added) sugar intake can increase the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease, and it can cause tooth decay, among many others.

Added sugar and it's over 50 names

Added sugar don't have any nutritional value, and it doesn't provide any nutritional value to our bodies and health.....they are simply empty calories. This is why it is important that we are aware of the names that manufacturers are hiding added sugar under on the products' nutritional labels. As a rule of thumb anything that ends on 'ose is probably added sugar, but of course the list doesn't stop there. According to an article that Women's Health magazine published in Nov 2014 (www.womenshealthmag.com) manufacturers use 56 different names for (added) sugar on the nutrition labels of their products:

  • Agave Nectar
  • Barbados Sugar
  • Barley Malt Syrup
  • Beet Sugar
  • Blackstrap Molasses
  • Brown Sugar
  • Buttered Syrup
  • Cane Juice Crystals
  • Cane Sugar
  • Castor Sugar
  • Caramel
  • Carob Syrup
  • Confectioner's Sugar
  • Corn Syrup
  • Corn Syrup Solids
  • Crystalline Fructose
  • Date Sugar
  • Demerara Sugar
  • Dextrose
  • Dextran
  • Diatase
  • Diastatic Malt
  • Evaporated Cane Juice
  • Ethyl Maltol
  • Florida Crystals
  • Fructose
  • Fruit Juice
  • Fruit Juice Concentrate
  • Galactose
  • Glucose
  • Glucose Solids
  • Golden Sugar
  • Golden Syrup
  • Grape Sugar
  • High-Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Honey
  • Icing Sugar
  • Invert Sugar
  • Lactose
  • Malt Syrup
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltose
  • Maple Syrup
  • Molasses
  • Muscovado Syrup
  • Organic Raw Sugar
  • Panocha
  • Raw Sugar
  • Refiners' Syrup
  • Rice Syrup
  • Sorghum Syrup
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar
  • Treacle
  • Turbinado Sugar
  • Yellow Sugar

Some additional names you might want to watch out for are:

  • Cane Crystals
  • Corn Sweetener
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Grape Juice Concentrate
  • Mannitol
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Sorbitol
  • Table Sugar

How to reduce our added sugar?

The simplest and most effective way to reduce added sugar is to eat primarily whole foods. Whole foods are foods that have not been processed (or as little as possible), and don't contain any additives. The effect will be even bigger if you prepare most of your meals yourself, from scratch. Try to stay away from "ready food" that you find in the freezer section of your grocery store that you just need to heat up. Another big one is to drink still water, instead of soda or juices. I love juices, so what I will do is simply prepare it myself from fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, you can try making desserts and sweets yourself, there are so many healthy options out there, without any added sugar.

My experience with added sugar

I love chocolate and sweets, so in order to keep my sugar intake under control meanwhile I will do some desserts myself. Or if I want something sweet when I am on the go, then I look for raw options without added sugar. One final option is to have a piece of fruit, or a glass of water. That would usually do the trick:)

I truly believe that sugar is addictive.....at least for me it was! When I decided to cut back (or eliminate to 95%) added sugar from my diet, the first few days were super difficult - chocolate and sweets was basically all I could think about! But after a few days, I felt much better and it wasn't focus so much on the "need" to have something sweet. Since I have reduced my added sugar intake, I have noticed only positive changes:

  • I have a much better, clearer and smoother skin
  • I am not getting as tired as I used to during the day
  • I am opting for a healthier options, which leads to feeling much more energized the whole day

I think that it is our own responsibility to take care of our health, and also what we put into our body! It is about educating ourselves, and taking the time to listen to our bodies in order to make the best and healthiest choices for ourselves.

Stay healthy,

Anna

Photo by : © aboikis / Fotolia.com

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