Producers hide sugars in food by giving them different names…some that even sound a little more natural like cane crystals, evaporated cane juice, agave nectar and fruit juice concentrate or fruit extracts.
Others you might see? dextrose, fructose, galactose, glucose, lactose, levulose, maltose, sucrose, beet sugar, corn sugar, corn sweetener, high fructose corn syrup, invert sugar, isomalt, maltodextrins, maple sugar, sorghum or turbinado sugar.
You might even find more than one listed. These are all just variations on high-calorie, low-nutrient, added sugar.
Pay attention also to artificial sweeteners: (aspartame, NutraSweet, Splenda, sucralose, and sugar alcohols — any word that ends with “ol,” like xylitol or sorbitol), these “zero calorie” additives can increase cravings for more sugar and trigger gas and bloating.
If a product has a lot of sugar some companies will intentionally use two or more different types so sugar doesn’t end up being number one on the list of ingredients. Sugar isn’t the enemy but it is important to be mindful of your intake.
White sugar is highly processed and has been stripped of other nutrients. Instead of white sugar, look for less-processed sugars such as:
➢ Brown rice sweeteners, which usually include fiber
➢ Honey, which contains beneficial antioxidants
➢ Molasses, which contains trace minerals such as calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium
Please remember even though these types of sugars have more nutritional value than other processed sugars, they’re still sugars, and should be kept to a minimum.
Kimberly Young MS CNS is a practicing nutritionist and educator in Dallas, Texas. Learn about her functional and integrative approach at http://www.kyoungnutrition.com.