Exposing the Hidden Sources of Sugar

spoon of table sugar

I think there might be a couple of reasons why food manufacturers choose not to include the word “sugar” in the ingredients list, even though it’s in the product. One possibility is that they just want to be accurate. Or, maybe they hope that consumers who are trying to avoid sugar, might not recognize it as such – and buy the product anyway. This is a frustration for many of my patients (and me!) who are shopping and find themselves picking through the list of ingredients on 6 different kinds of spaghetti sauce before they find one without any added sugar. Once you start checking, it is pretty shocking how many prepared foods have added sugar. And for no good reason that I can tell. For example, I was buying tomato sauce the other day and guess what? The normal sauce had no added sugar but the low-salt version did!! Does tomato sauce with less salt really need to taste sweeter? I just wanted it to taste less salty…

Anyway, I thought I’d put out a list of the ways sugar is disguised on food labels:  sucrose, dextrose, fructose, maltose, lactose, glucose, agave, honey, syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, brown rice syrup or rice malt, molasses, evaporated cane juice, cane juice, fruit juice concentrate, maltodextrin, and corn sweeteners.

These are ALL forms of sugar! So read labels carefully and try to be patient when it takes much longer than it should to find what you want.

Posted in Nutrition