8 Ways Food Companies Hide the Sugar Content of Foods (Plus 36 Sneaky Names to Watch For)

This article was originally published by our friends at Authority Nutrition.

Eating a lot of added sugar is really bad for your health.

It’s been linked to diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease (1, 2, 3, 4).

What’s more, research shows that many people are already eating way too much added sugar (5,6, 7, 8, 9).

The average American may be eating around 15 teaspoons (60 grams) of added sugar per day (10).

However, most people aren’t pouring tons of sugar on their food.

A large part of the sugar people eat is “hidden” inside various packaged and processed foods, many of which are then marketed as healthy.

Here are 8 ways that food companies hide the sugar content of their foods.

1. Calling Sugar by a Different Name

Sugar is the general name given to the short-chain carbs that give your food a sweet taste. However, sugar has many different forms and names.

You may recognize some of these names, such as glucose, fructose and sucrose. Others are harder to identify.

The fact that companies use these different types of sugar, especially ones with more unusual names, makes spotting sugar on food labels difficult.

Dry Sugar

To stop yourself from accidentally eating too much sugar, look out for these added sugars on food labels:

  • Barley malt
  • Beet sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Buttered sugar
  • Cane juice crystals
  • Cane sugar
  • Caster sugar
  • Coconut sugar
  • Corn sweetener
  • Crystalline fructose
  • Date sugar
  • Dextran, malt powder
  • Ethyl maltol
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Golden sugar
  • Invert sugar
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltose
  • Molasses
  • Muscovado sugar
  • Panela
  • Palm sugar
  • Organic raw sugar
  • Rapadura sugar
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Confectioner’s (powdered) sugar

Syrups

Food manufacturers also add sugar to foods in the form of syrups. Syrups are usually thick liquids that are made up of large amounts of sugar dissolved in water.

They are used to sweeten a wide variety of foods, but they are most often found in cold drinks or other liquids.

Common syrups to look out for on food labels include:

Unfortunately, the list of different names for sugar is even longer. For a more detailed review of the names that sugar can go by, check out this article.

Bottom Line: Sugar has many different names and forms, which can make it difficult to spot sugar on food labels.

2. Using Many Different Types of Sugar

Ingredients are listed by weight, with the main ingredients listed first. This means that the more of something there is in a food, the higher up on the list it appears.

ingredients-list-highlighting-different-types-of-sugar

Food manufacturers often take advantage of this. To make their products appear healthier, some use smaller amounts of three or four different types of sugar in one product.

These sugars then appear further down on the ingredients list, making a product look like it’s low in sugar when sugar is actually one of the main ingredients.

For example, some protein bars — despite being considered healthy — are very high in added sugar. There may be as much as 7.5 teaspoons (30 grams) of added sugar in a single bar.

Below is an example of an ingredients list taken from a protein bar. The different sugars are indicated in bold.

  • Protein blend (soy protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, calcium caseinate)
  • Corn syrup
  • Fructose
  • Chocolate
  • Flavored coating (sugar, fractionated palm kernel oil, cocoa, whey, nonfat milk, soy lecithin, natural flavor)
  • Cocoa
  • Water
  • Coconut oil
  • Natural flavor
  • Soy lecithin
  • Maltodextrin
  • Guar gum
  • Cocoa
  • Salt
  • Carrageenan

The ingredients list makes this bar look like it contains more protein than sugar, since the first ingredient on the list is a protein blend.

However, there are four different types of sugar in this bar.

This means that, despite containing 20 grams of protein, this bar contains 29 grams of sugar. That’s two more grams of sugar than a Snickers bar.

So if you’re looking at food labels, be aware that there may be more than one type of sugar listed on the label.

Bottom Line: Food manufacturers can sometimes use three or four different types of sugar. These are often added in smaller amounts and can make a product look lower in sugar than it is.

3. Adding Sugar to Foods You’d Least Expect

pasta-sauce-in-jar

It’s common sense that a piece of cake or a candy bar probably has a lot of sugar in it.

However, some food manufacturers add large amounts of sugar to foods that are generally not sweet. Examples include breakfast cereals, spaghetti sauce and yogurt.

Some yogurts can contain as much as 6 teaspoons (29 grams) of sugar in a single container.

Even whole-grain breakfast bars, which may seem like a healthy choice, can contain as much as 4 teaspoons (16 grams) of sugar in one bar.

Many people don’t realize these foods contain added sugar, and are therefore unaware of how much they’re consuming.

So if you’re buying food or ingredients that have been pre-packaged or processed, make sure you read the label and check the sugar content — even if the food is labeled as healthy.

Bottom Line: Sugar can be added to all sorts of foods, even ones that don’t taste sweet. Make sure to check the labels of packaged or processed foods.

4. Using “Healthy” Sugars Instead of Sucrose

coconuts-and-coconut-sugar-in-bowl

Food companies also make some of their products appear healthier by swapping sugar for an alternative “healthier” sweetener.

These unrefined sweeteners are usually made from the sap, fruit, flowers or seeds of plants. They may also be made by animals — like honey, for example.

Products that contain these sweeteners will often have claims on their labels, such as, “contains no refined sugar” or “refined sugar-free.”

This means that they don’t contain white sugar, which has been processed to remove the molasses.

These sugars can appear healthier, since some are thought to have a slightly lower glycemic index than regular sugar and may provide a few nutrients.

However, the amount of nutrients these sugars provide is usually very low and “unrefined” added sugar is still added sugar.

There is also currently no evidence that swapping one form of sugar for another will provide any health benefits, particularly if you are still eating too much sugar.

Here are a few examples of common sweeteners that are high in sugar, but often labeled as healthy:

  • Agave syrup
  • Birch syrup
  • Coconut sugar
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Raw sugar
  • Cane sugar
  • Sugar beet syrup

If you see these sweeteners on a food label, remember that they are still sugar and should be eaten sparingly.

Bottom Line: Food manufacturers sometimes replace white table sugar with unrefined or “raw” sugar. This can make the product appear healthier, but unrefined sugar is still sugar.

5. Combining Added Sugars With Natural Sugars on the Ingredients List

brunette-using-magnifying-glass-to-read-food-label-on-can

Certain foods, such as fruit, vegetables and dairy products, contain naturally occurring sugars. Unlike added sugar, these aren’t really a health concern.

This is because naturally occurring sugars are difficult to eat in large amounts. Additionally, eating whole foods that contain them provides other beneficial nutrients.

For example, a cup of milk contains 3 teaspoons (13 grams) of sugar. Yet you also get 8 grams of protein and around one-quarter of your daily requirements for calcium and vitamin D (11).

The same size serving of Coke contains nearly twice the amount of sugar and no other nutrients (12).

One of the problems with food labels is that they don’t list how much of the sugar in a product is added sugar and how much is natural sugar. They combine all the sugar together and list it as a single amount.

This makes it really tricky to identify how much sugar is found naturally in the food and how much is added.

Unfortunately, there is no foolproof way to identify how much sugar in food comes from added sugar.

Bottom Line: Added and naturally occurring sugars are often listed together on food labels. For this reason, it can be hard to work out how much sugar comes from harmful added sugar.

6. Adding a Health Claim to Products

It’s not always easy to tell which products on the shelf are healthy and which are not.

Food manufacturers often put health claims on the front of foods. This can make some foods seem like a healthy choice, when in fact they are full of added sugar.

The most common examples of this are in products that are labeled as “healthy,” “low-fat,” “diet” or “light.”

These products are indeed often lower in fat and calories than the regular versions. However, food manufacturers often add more sugar to make them taste good.

Bottom Line: Products with health claims such as low-fat, diet or light can have more sugar than the regular versions.

7. Having a High Number of Servings per Pack

breakfast-cereal

Food packaging often comes with nutrition information prominently displayed per 3.5 ounces (100 grams) and also per portion.

A common trick in the food industry is to make the listed portion size really small.

Usually, this means there may be several servings in a packet.

The amount of sugar in each of these small servings might appear low when, in fact, most people would eat two or three times that amount in one serving.

To avoid this trap, look at the portion size listed and the total weight of the product.

If there are lots of servings for a small amount of food, you might mean end up eating more sugar than you had planned.

Bottom Line: Food manufacturers can make products seem like they contain less sugar than they do by listing small portion sizes.

8. Making Sweet Versions of a Low-Sugar Brand

You might know that some of your favorite brands of foods are quite low in sugar.

However, food manufacturers sometimes piggyback on an established brand and release a new version that contains way more sugar.

This is quite common with breakfast cereals, where a whole-grain cereal that’s low in sugar may appear with added flavors or different ingredients.

This can confuse people who assume that the new version is just as healthy as their usual choice.

Bottom Line: Brands of food that are low in sugar can have other products that are much higher in sugar. This attracts loyal customers who may not realize the new version isn’t as healthy as the original.

Take Home Message

Added sugar can be really hard to spot.

The easiest way to avoid added sugar is to cook most of your food at home and avoid highly processed foods.

That said, not all convenience foods are unhealthy or contain lots of added sugar.

If you’re buying pre-packed foods, make sure you learn how to spot added sugar on food labels.


Fasting?

Breakfast, blood sugar, & inflammation

Recent research has shown that Inflammation is responsible for 7 out of 10 Deaths in the United States. But it doesn’t have to be the same way for you.

In fact, in a fairly short amount of time, you could start to experience better sleep…less stomach issues…more energy and stamina…less muscle and joint pain…a drop in weight…lower stress levels…and much, much more!

Learn how to Prevent—Even Reverse—Most Major Diseases by “Turning Off” Inflammation!

==> Naturally Fight & Reverse Damaging Inflammatory Effects in Your Body!


Best stretch before bed (1 minute)

Did you know that one of the best times to stretch is right before bed? However…

What stretches should you do? Here’s a 1-minute stretch routine you can do before bed...

=> Best stretch before bed (takes 1-min)

Enjoy!

Lisa, Yoga Coach
eatlocalgrown / wisemindhealthybody


Stop Snoring in 3 Minutes - Starting Tonight

...easy, 3-minute exercise that completely cured his horrendous snoring! We can both finally sleep!

Today is a good day. Tonight will be even better. Why?

Because you're about to learn easy throat exercises that cure (not just treated) your stubborn snoring – in 3 minutes – starting TONIGHT!

...even if straps, sprays and even torturing CPAP masks have failed you in the past.

Most people heal their snoring in just a few minutes per day using these powerful throat exercises. And they're so easy, you can do them, regardless of your age or physical shape.

Use them anytimeanywhere... even while stuck in traffic or watching TV.

Plus the results are permanent!

To learn more and test-drive the easy snoring and sleep apnea exercises for yourself, click here...

To a good night's sleep,
Rick + Lisa
eatlocalgrown / wisemindhealthybody


The #1 "bodyfat-eating" hormone...

weight loss solved

Did you know that your bodyfat can become "calorie-resistant"?

True. And it's completely unaffected by even the strictest diets... and most intense exercises.

However, there's good news- Calorie-resistant bodyfat can be now removed...

It's a little-known, calorie-burning hormone we all have... just waiting for the right spark to come alive. It's not thyroid, leptin, ghrelin, insulin, adiponectin, HGH or any other "fat loss" hormone you may know. Read more to find out precisely how to unleash its calorie-burning power:

==> How to Activate Your #1 "Bodyfat-Eating" Hormone...

To your health!

PS - Studies show that it can also reduce your risk of diabetes by 53.7%, a heart attack by 83.3% and stroke by 51.4%. Here's more of the scientific proof...


#1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat

I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat. This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.

If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.

Is it…

a) Abs

b) Chest

c) Glutes

d) Hip Flexors

Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!


How to Wipe Out Chronic Inflammation (Free Book)

inflammation

In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.

See, every year 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease. Cancer claims another 584,000...stroke 130,000...Alzheimer's disease nearly 85,000 — and the list goes on.

Truth is, we now know... chronic inflammation is responsible for 7 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States! Hundreds of studies and scientific reviews prove it.

inflammation book

Fortunately, newer research shows you can prevent-even reverse-most major diseases by "turning off" inflammation. And in our new book, we show you how to do just that.

If you or a loved one is suffering from a debilitating condition-and you"re not sure what the culprit is-now's the time to find out...while you can still do something about it!

Get the Free Inflammation Book

--> Grab your FREE copy of this groundbreaking soft cover book today (while supplies still last.)


Free Paleo / Keto Cookbook

Over the past year, my friend Dave over at PaleoHacks has been working on a super secret cookbook project with our good friend Peter Servold ­­ a Le Cordon Bleu trained Chef and owner of Pete's Paleo...

And today, this new incredible Paleo Cookbook is finally available to be shipped right to your door for FREE!

paleohack chart

The cookbook is called Paleo Eats, and it's filled with over 80 chef ­created, insanely tasty Paleo recipes ­­ which means they are free from gluten, soy, dairy, and refined sugar.

Get your FREE copy of Paleo Eats Here. (Grab this today, because they only ordered a small batch of these cookbooks for this freebie promotion, and they will sell out FAST!)

>> Get The Free Cookbook

Enjoy!


Sponsored Health Resources

In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.

NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!


1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…

--> "Red" Smoothie Helps Alabama Girl Shed 80lbs!


2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.

--> Get the 1 Day Cleanse (better than 7-day detoxes!)


3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.

--> #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat


4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!

--> Your Birth Date + Name - Free Report


5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!

--> The best way to get maximum effects of Turmeric


6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.

--> Why Some People LOOK Fat that Aren't


7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.

-->  Unlock Your Hip Flexors


Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.

Rick D.
wisemindhealthybody.com