What's The Deal With: Hidden Sugars
- Written By:Dr. Jaime Schehr N.D, R.D
"What's The Deal With" is a series from Dr. Jaime Schehr (N.D., R.D) that explores the latest health news, buzzy ingredients, and answers your most asked wellness questions.
Did you know that 74% of packaged foods in grocery stores contain added sugar? And if that’s not shocking enough, there are more than 60 different names for sugar listed on food labels. But don’t be fooled, not all of these foods are “sweets”—sugars are often hidden in savory foods including bread, ketchup, salad dressing, and pasta sauce. So to say the standard American diet is slightly sugar obsessed may be an understatement. (And this doesn’t even include artificial sweeteners, which in my opinion are often even worse!)
Also Known As…
The most commonly used names for sugar on ingredient lists include sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, dextrose, maltose, rice syrup, Maple syrup, honey, agave, molasses, evaporated cane juice, fruit juice concentrate, malt syrup, corn syrup, galactose and glucose.
How to Avoid Excess Sugar
So, what can you do to avoid these without becoming paranoid or overly obsessed? First thing is to pay attention to food labels. When sugar is included in one of the first three ingredients, the food will likely be high in added sugar. Choose plain over flavored when possible and fresh over processed.
What the Science Says
A study commissioned by the World Health Organization showed a link between increased sugar intake and weight increases. And when sugar’s eliminated, there’s a reduction in obesity. It’s also been linked to a rise in non-communicable disease and its effects on the mind are thought to be similar to alcohol. Added sugar consumption has also been linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease mortality in US adults.
Sugar is arguably the food most contributing to disease, the most addictive and most over- marketed food!!! For this one less is more—and reducing even just small amounts of sugar in your diet can make a big difference!
Dr. Jaime Schehr, a nationally recognized expert in integrative medicine and nutrition holds duel licenses as a Naturopathic Physician and Registered Dietitian.