Weekly Clinical Service Dose: 21 Ingredients to Avoid if You’re Living with No Added Sugars
Honey? Nope. Maltose? Nope. If you’re avoiding added sugars, we’ve compiled all of the ingredients that don’t belong in foods on your grocery list.
Certainly, sugar gets a bad rap. That’s because the average American consumes 335 calories worth each day.
Why is sugar added to foods and drinks?
Added sugar provides little to no nutritional value, but it does serve many uses in food processing. For example, added sugar can:
- Improve the flavor, color, or texture of foods and drinks
- Keep jellies and jams from spoiling
- Help fermentation in breads and alcohol
- Keep baked goods fresh longer
The good news is limiting your sugar intake does have a sweet side, nonetheless.
How can I find out how much added sugar is in my food or drink?
Check the Nutrition Facts Label on the food or drink package. Food manufacturers do not have to list naturally occurring sugars and added sugars separately on this label. However, you can see how much total sugar is in each serving.
You can also check the ingredient list, which lists ingredients in order by amount, with the largest amount listed first. See the box below for a list of types of added sugar that may appear on a Nutrition Facts Label. If one of these types is listed among the first few ingredients, the food or drink is probably high in added sugar.
Sugar can have many names.
Check the ingredient list of the Nutrition Facts Label on a food or drink package to look for the following added sugars:
- Agave syrup
- Brown sugar
- Cane juice and cane syrup
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Corn sweetener
- Corn syrup
- Fruit juice concentrates
- Granulated white sugar
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Invert sugar
- Malt syrup
- Raw sugar
You’ll avoid serious health consequences such as obesity, high blood pressure, elevated triglycerides and high blood sugars that can lead to diabetes type 2.
Remember: If the product has no fruit or milk products in the ingredients, all of the sugars in the food are from added sugars.
Naturally occurring sugar is the sugar found in whole, unprocessed foods, such as milk, fruit, vegetables, and some grains.
One of the most common natural sugars is fructose, which is found in fruit. Another common natural sugar is lactose, which is found in milk.
The total sugar of foods containing fruit or milk include added and naturally occurring sugars.
Have a question? Contact us at AskANurse@DirectPathHealth.com