Hidden Sugars on Ingredient Labels – Know What to Look For
In today’s YouTube video Krista and Lori mentioned that there are ingredients a company can list on their product’s label that are a form of sugar and still claim that product is sugar free. Below is a list of those ingredients. You can take a screen shot and keep it on your phone or you can print the PDF by CLICKING HERE. Read more about hidden sugar below.
While reading the ingredients on the label of any food you buy is of utmost importance, it’s also important to learn a little about what you may see in that list. Simply looking for the word “sugar” isn’t enough. Manufacturers use several tactics to market their product as low in sugar, while it may actually be high in sugar.
Many different forms of sugar that go by many different names are used by manufacturers. They are required to list the product’s ingredients on its label, with the main ingredient listed first and the ingredient that makes up the smallest amount of the product listed last. To appeal to a market that is increasingly health conscious, many manufacturers include multiple forms of sugar that appear throughout the list of ingredients. In this way, they can maybe put “sugar” way down in the list but include multiple other versions of sugar closer to the top. Even so-called healthy protein bars can, and often do, contain much more sugar than consumers would expect. Reading every label is crucial if you want to reduce your sugar intake. Many products like ketchup, yogurt, and marinara sauce (products you wouldn’t dream contain sugar) include some form of sugar in their list of ingredients.
Also beware of phrases like “contains no refined sugar” or “refined-sugar free.” These claims mean only that they don’t contain white sugar. They can, and often do, contain many other forms of sugar. These phrases are put on a label so a company can portray their product as healthy. Words like “healthy” or “natural” also don’t mean that a product is low in sugar.
When reading labels, also pay attention to the portion size. If the amount of a certain product you typically eat is double what the label lists as a serving, then you will be consuming double the amount of sugar listed in the nutrition section.
One last thing to be careful of when shopping – labels that say “low sugar”. If a company makes two versions of the same product – a regular cereal bar, for example, and a “low sugar” cereal bar – the “low sugar” version may just have less sugar than the regular version. It could still actually be high in sugar, just not as high as the regular version.
The article at the link below talks about all of these ingredients and goes in depth on this subject.