Hidden Sugar: The Hidden Sweetness in Packaged Foods and Drinks

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Hidden Sugar: The Hidden Sweetness in Packaged Foods and Drinks

Last Updated on July 25, 2023 by The Health Master

Hidden Sugar

Refined sugar and products made from it are dangerous for our health, as you might already know.

Experts say that sugar consumption is not only linked to Type 2 diabetes but can also pose a significant risk to your heart.

People who consume sugary products regularly also become susceptible to obesity.

Recent research indicates that the average American consumes up to 60 grams of sugar daily, even without explicitly using sugar in their food.

This excessive sugar intake is often a result of consuming packaged and processed foods that are marketed as “healthy” options.

These products contain high levels of hidden sugars, leading consumers to unknowingly exceed their recommended sugar intake.

Let’s explore the various ways companies make you consume sugar unknowingly and how to identify them.

Different Names for Sugar

Sugar, also known as short-chain carbs, is an ingredient that adds sweetness and deliciousness to various food items.

Sugar can be included in packaged food items using multiple names and forms. Some of the names are easy to recognize, such as glucose, fructose, and sucrose.

However, there are many other names for sugar that are not as familiar and can be challenging to identify.

Some Names of Dry Sugar on Labels:

  • Barley Malt
  • Beet Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Buttered Sugar
  • Cane Juice Crystal
  • Caster Sugar
  • Coconut Sugar
  • Corn Sweetener
  • Crystalline
  • Fructose
  • Date Sugar
  • Dextran
  • Malt Powder
  • Ethyl Maltol
  • Fruit Juice Concentrate
  • Golden Sugar
  • Invert Sugar
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltose
  • Muscovado Sugar
  • Panela
  • Palm Sugar
  • Organic Raw Sugar
  • Powdered Sugar

Sugar Hidden in Liquid Syrups of Soft Drinks

Sugar can also be hidden in food items and beverages under the guise of liquid syrups.

These syrups are heavily made of sugar.

Soft drinks or cold drinks often contain such sugar syrups, and their labels may not explicitly indicate the high sugar content.

Various Names for Sugar in Syrups:

  • Agave Nectar
  • Carob Syrup
  • Golden Syrup
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
  • Honey
  • Malt Syrup
  • Maple Syrup
  • Oat Syrup
  • Rice Bran Syrup
  • Rice Syrup

Different Types of Sugar

Companies often try to present their products as healthy by reducing the serving size on the labels.

They divide the sugar in processed foods into multiple names and forms, leading consumers to believe that the sugar content is minimal.

However, this is not the case, and the actual sugar content may be much higher than expected.

Be vigilant while checking labels to understand the quantity of sugar you are consuming.

Maximum Sugar in Unlikely Places

While we often associate cakes and candies with high sugar content, some seemingly healthy food items also contain a significant amount of sugar.

For instance, some yogurts and breakfast cereals can have up to 29 grams of sugar per serving.

Even granola breakfast bars can contain around 16 grams of sugar per 4 tablespoons.

Hence, it’s essential to read labels carefully when purchasing packaged foods to gauge the sugar content accurately.

Healthy Sugar is Not Always Healthy

Several companies use plant-based sugars, such as those derived from fruits, flowers, or seeds, instead of refined sugar to make their products appear healthier.

However, even these alternatives can be calorie-rich and present other health issues. Agave nectar is an example of such a product.

Though it may seem healthy due to the absence of refined sugar, it can still be high in calories and pose health risks.

The Trick Behind Packaging

Companies often use deceptive packaging tactics to make their products appear healthier.

They reduce the font size of the serving size on labels to give the impression that the product contains minimal sugar.

However, they still divide the sugar into various forms, making it challenging to understand the actual sugar content.

Additionally, non-processed foods often have natural sugars, which are beneficial for health.

Watch Out for Packaging Changes

Keep an eye on any changes in the packaging of your favorite products.

Sometimes, companies sneakily alter the ingredients, adding more sugar without making it explicitly evident on the label.

Stay cautious and recheck the labels if you notice any modifications in the product’s appearance.

Remember, being mindful of the sugar content in the foods and drinks you consume is crucial for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Read labels carefully, identify the different names for sugar, and opt for non-processed foods whenever possible.

A balanced and informed approach to sugar intake can significantly benefit your overall health and well-being.

Translated in English by The Health Master

Disclaimer: This article contains information derived from Nav Bharat Times. Our team utilized an AI language model, to rewrite and present the news / article in a unique format.

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