Sugar masquerades under many different names, all of which are undetectable and almost impossible to recognize by the public eye. Crystalline fructose, dextrose, maltose, someone help us understand! Let’s discover what hidden sugars are camouflaged in your favorite food items that many manufacturers don’t want us to know.
What is Hidden Sugar?
Have you ever considered how much sugar you take in on a daily basis? Apart from reading how many grams of sugar are in your foods, also consider the sugars in food that lack any written nutrition facts. Fruit, for example, is full of sugar, but is never advertised as being just 4 grams of sugar… instead foods like granola bars, cookies, snack items, juices, etc are the only ones revealing their info. These foods may sound healthy to some degree, are often high in sugar, but not advertised as such on their food labels. Hidden sugar in everyday foods is not uncommon, as many labels give other “names” for sugar to deceive you. Nonetheless, sugar found in naturally grown and harvested foods like fruit, veggies, and grains are your energy to take on the world! We like these sugars and can do without the rest.
Perhaps some consider naturally occurring sugars “hidden” because we do no think of these calories or count them when analyzing our daily sugar consumption. But the real hidden sugar is what is written our food labels ingredients list, on the nutrition facts of your granola bar, cookies, snacks, drinks, and so much more. Disguised by unpronounceable and foreign names, hidden sugar can easily make up all your ingredients if you aren't careful.
Some of the most common names for sugar listed in our food labels are...
- Corn Syrup
- High-Fructose Corn Syrup
- Fruit Juice Concentrates
- Rice syrup
- Invert Sugar
- Barley Malt
- Malt Syrup
- Cane Crystals
- Crystalline Fructose
- Evaporated Cane Juice
What Foods have Hidden Sugar in them?
Foods with hidden sugar in them are abundant in today’s America. Always on the go, quick and easy snacks/meals are highly popular which, unfortunately, have tons of hidden sugars. Just a few of these foods are cereal, granola, yogurts, pastas, baked mixes/goods, sauces, condiments, canned goods, chips or snack items, granola bars, and almost any beverage besides water. Crazy, but many of these foods are considered to be good for us when in fact, they are loaded with hidden sugar, causing us to think that we are eating better when really we are still addicted to the high sugar content of the food item.
Here is a list of common foods with high amounts of hidden sugars.
Hidden sugar can be disguised as sugar in its natural form under a less popular name, like grape sugar and honey, but mostly chemically produced sugars with unfamiliar names. Refined sugar foods chemically alter cane sugar to extract its juices, popular as a binding agent and flavor-improver in foods.
To stray away from foods that have refined sugar, use this simple rule of thumb:
Most foods found in the middle of the grocery store are highly processed and have hidden sugar within their ingredients. Shop the outskirts of the store, sticking to items you could grow yourself and would not need to add chemicals or alter its true form.
Overcome Hidden Sugar in Your Food Labels
- Be wary of food labels with other names for high fructose corn syrup. Often disguised as: maize syrup, glucose syrup, fructose syrup, tapioca syrup, fruit fructose, crystalline fructose, HFCS, and fructose.
- Make a mental note when reading food labels to always add more grams of sugar to what your nutrition label states. Things like fruit concentrate and fruit juice are not considered sugar on the ingredients list.
- Keep in mind the hidden sugar in foods list. This way you can avoid these foods altogether or opt for unsweetened foods (like plain greek yogurt instead of flavored and plain oats instead of instant oatmeal) and make them delicious by adding a touch of Grape Nectar.
- Steer clear of foods obviously high in sugar (soda, candy, elaborate coffee beverages) to give yourself a cushion when starting to explore where hidden sugar is found in “healthier” food options.
- Note that the ingredients listed on your food labels are listed from what ingredient weights to most to what ingredient weights the least, not by how many grams of each are in your food.
- Use natural sweeteners like Grape Nectar that foster sugar from earth’s fruits instead of chemically produced and manmade entities.
What can I use to sweeten my food while still avoiding hidden sugar?
That's simple, Grape Nectar! Domaine Santé host an honest product that contains zero hidden sugar and is 100% naturally occuring sugar from one single food: wine grapes. Adding just three grams of sugar and ten calories per teaspoon, need not worry about diabetes or a blood pressure because Grape Nectar’s glycemic index is only 24! Forgo hidden sugars and munch on real food sweetened by #NOTYOURAVERAGESWEETENERGet your Grape Nectar today!