Ways Food Companies Hide The Sugar Content Of Foods
WAYS FOOD COMPANIES HIDE THE SUGAR CONTENT OF FOODS
Knowing fully well what sugar does to the system, food companies deceive us by hiding the, sugar content of their foods. Research shows a large part of the sugar people eat is “hidden” inside various packaged and processed foods, which are marketed as healthy.
Food companies use one/all of the following methods to hide the amount of sugar you’re taking at a time.
- ADDING A HEALTH CLAIM TO PRODUCTS
Food manufacturer often put healthy claims on the front of the food’s package. This makes some foods seem like healthy choice, when in fact, they are full of added sugar. The most common examples of “healthy claims” commonly used are; low fat, diet, light, healthy.
- MAKING SWEET VERSIONS OF LOW SUGAR BRANDS
You might know that your favorite brands of food are low in sugar. However, food manufacturers sometimes make a new version of the established brand that contains way more sugar in a new flavor. This can confuse people who assume that the new version is just as healthy as the usual choices
- USING HEALTHY SUGAR INSTEAD OF SUCROSE
Food companies 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, flower of seeds of plants or from animals e.g. honey. Products that contain these sweeteners will often have claims on their labels are “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. This sugars can appear healthier, however the remnants of nutrients these sugars provide is usually very low and unrefined added sugar is still added sugar.
Example of commons sweeteners that are high in sugar but often labelled as healthy are; Honey, Raw Sugar, Cane Sugar, Coconut sugar, Sugar Beet syrup, Agave or Birch Syrup, Maple syrup.
If you see these sweetener on a food label, remember that they are still sugar and should be taken consciously.
- USING MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF SUGAR
Ingredients are listed by weight, with the main ingredients on a product listed first. Food manufacturers often take advantage, they make their products appear healthier by using small amounts of four or five different type of sugar in one product. These sugar appears down the ingredients list, making it look like it is low in sugar. Whereas sugar is one of the main ingredients.
You will see products like this; Candy Bar;100% Chocolate- Ingredients are;Protein Blend, "corn syrup", Chocolate flavor," fructose" , "maple syrup", cocoa, “sugar”, salt, coconut oil, water, natural flavor , maltodextrin".
In this case you may find about 5 different types of sugar in the Nutritional Facts list. This is done by manufacturers to conceal sugar in products.
- CALLING SUGAR BY A DIFFERENT NAME
Sugar is the general name given to Carbs that give your food a sweet taste. However, it has different forms and names such as; fructose, sucrose, glucose, lactose etc. therefore, making sugar spotting on food labels difficult.
There are dry sugar and syrups. Dry sugar ae added sugars while Syrups are thick liquids made up of large amounts of sugar, dissolved in water and are majorly used in drinks and cakes
Examples of Dry Sugar are; Barley malt, Cane Sugar, Corn Sweetener, Date Sugar, Buttered Sugar, Brown Sugar, Coconut Sugar, Dextran, Corn Sweetener, Maltodextrin, Maltose, Palm sugar, Organic raw sugar, Panela, Confectioner’s(powdered) sugar, Evaporated cane juice, Rapadura Sugar, Molasses, Golden Sugar, Muscovado Sugar, etc.
Examples of Syrups are; Golden syrup, Oat syrup, rice syrup, maple syrup, honey, high- fructose corn syrup, Agave nectar, Malt Syrup, etc.
Unfortunately, the list of different name for sugar is much larger than this. We should try to identify names of sugar on products before purchasing them.
- COMBINING ADDED SUGAR WITH NATURAL SUGARS ON THE INGREDIENT LIST
Certain food contain sugar naturally e.g fruits, vegetables etc. When food manufacturers make their products ingredient list, they don’t tell us how much of the sugar in the product is added sugar and how much is natural sugar. They combine all sugars together and list it as a single amount thereby making it difficult for the consumer to identify how much sugar is in a product.
In conclusion, Added sugar can be very hard to detect. The best way to avoid added sugar is to avoid processed food, cook your food at home using natural ingredients not canned foods. If you have to buy a processed food or chocolate bar or drinks, do check the food labels for added sugars
Be sugar smart. Live life to the fullest. Live healthy.