We got the idea for this post in the middle of our SnoRidge CrossFit workshop. We were about an hour into the afternoon, and Dallas was talking about how (and why) sugar and artificial sweeteners make you less healthy. That led to a discussion of all the sneaky ways big business, marketing campaigns and advertisers find to appease the sugar tantrums in all of us. Which prompted one attendee to ask, “Do you have a comprehensive list of sugars somewhere on your site? A way to identify the different forms of sugar we may see in a list of product ingredients?”
Huh. Well, no, we didn’t… but that was an awesome idea, so now we do.
Today’s post is dedicated to calling out all of the sneaky ways SUGAR may try to hide in the foods you eat, and shining a light on the misleading claims that are made in support of one form of sugar or another. They (the high fructose corn syrup people, the agave people, the Stevia people) claim because a sugar is “natural” or “low on the glycemic index” or “non-nutritive” that it’s somehow healthy for us. On top of that, they sneak it in under the guise of a label that sounds vaguely plant-like and harmless, or in plain sight under its scientific name, easy to overlook because you just plain don’t know what it is. The truth? Sugar is sugar is sugar, regardless of the form it may take or the claims it might make. And on no planet does added sugar ever make you healthier.
Below is a list of the most commonly employed sneaky ways “they” find to sweeten the foods we eat. Don’t be fooled. Educate yourself, read your labels and avoid regular consumption of products with added sugar, in any form.
Just Plain Sugar
- ______ Sugar (brown sugar, cane sugar, raw sugar, beet sugar, confectioner’s sugar, etc.)
- ______ Syrup (high fructose corn syrup, malt syrup, refiner’s syrup, rice syrup, etc.)
Science-y Names for Sugar
- Agave Nectar
- Coconut Nectar
- Coconut Sugar
- Date Sugar
- (Evaporated) Cane juice
- Fruit Juice*
- Maple Syrup
- Rice Malt (extract)
- (Sweet) Sorghum
*Admittedly, it can be hard to know where to stop in your quest to remove added sugar from your diet. Fruit juice is basically just sugar, which is why we’re including it here. Does that mean your apple juice sweetened chicken sausage is out? That’s your call. We’re just here to present the information – what you do with it is up to you.
Artificial (Non-Nutritive) Sweeteners
- Sweet ‘n Low
- Hydrogenated Starch Hydrosylate (HSH)