In the hard times of rising infections and diseases, people are becoming more cautious about what to avoid. They have become more diet-conscious by consuming the best food. But in reality, a major proportion of these people are getting fooled by food companies.
Everyone knows that there are various food items or ingredients that are an all-time health damager. These include salt, sugar, oil, and the list goes on. Many people buy products considering they are healthy. But, they are not aware of the unhealthy aspect of the food hidden by the companies.
One of the primary bluff people experience is regarding the hidden sugar in their foods. Manufacturers try to divert the consumer’s mind by highlighting quotes or phrases like ‘sugar-free food’.
There are many ways to avoid being a victim of consuming extra sugar. These include mitigating effects of food psychology, body screening, and spotting hidden sugar in the foods. The following section discusses some easiest ways to identify the additional sugar in different eatables.
Most Useful Tips & Tricks For Identifying Hidden Sugar In Different Food Items
According to studies, a person should consume a maximum of 30 grams of sugar daily. But, people exceed this limit very easily through different sources, especially through hidden and unknown portions. The following points highlight the five most effective ways to spot different hidden sources of sugar in foods easily.
1. Expertise In learning Added Sugar Names
Most people feel free to consume a particular food after seeing the label of the item. The manufacturers provide necessary information about the contents on the labels of pre-packaged foods. Many people go through the label in one go in a few seconds and open the pack. They hardly focus on a few items listed on the label.
Even when a layman reads the label carefully, they will not be able to locate ingredients with the name ‘added sugar’. The interesting thing about finding these added sugars is that they are indirectly mentioned on the labels. There are various names for different types of this hidden sugar. Experts state that there are over 60 variants of this added sugar.
In order to spot the hidden sugar, a person will need to remember or memorize the most common hidden sugar names among these 60+ variants. However, a tip to identify these types is to search for content names ending with the suffix ‘ose’ (such as fructose, dextrose, glucose, etc.). Another way is to look for anything that is named as syrup, nectar, fruit juice mixture or concentrate (corn syrup, etc.).
Some commonly found hidden sugars include caramel, sucrose, panela, barley malt, sucanat, dextrin, ethyl maltol, cane juice crystals, etc. These can lead to advanced diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and obesity, among other dangerous ailments.
2. Ignore Catchy Phrases
When people see a catchy and attractive phrase like ‘no refined sugar’ on a protein bar or food item, they tend to consume it more. They think that the claims made by the brand are true. In reality, it is a false claim made by the companies hiding the reality with some silly reasons.
Companies claiming this sugar-free ingredient use an alternative sweetener in their products. These sweeteners are not completely sugar-free. Some of these are healthier, while some appear harmless but are bad for health. However, consuming these sweeteners will increase the daily sugar consumption. Therefore, it is a tool for attracting customers through food psychology.
These sweeteners are extracted or made from sap, seeds, leaves, fruits, or flowers. When brands claim ‘sugar free’ foods, they mislead the customers. Some of these hidden sugars are coconut sugar, birch syrup, oat syrup, malt syrup, honey, rice bran syrup, etc.
3. Blend Of Natural And Added Sugars
There are no hidden sugars found in whole or natural foods such as oranges, broccoli, bananas, etc. It is impossible for a farmer to add hidden sugar or such elements to natural foods. This is the reason people recommend eating fresh and organic food.
When it comes to artificial or pre-packaged food, manufacturers or marketers mix the natural sugar with the added sugar. This combination will not let consumers know that they are consuming artificial sugar, which is harmful to their health.
4. Addition Of Various Sugar types
Putting different types of sugar in one food in variable quantities is one of the most widely used techniques by companies. The contents of an item are arranged and printed on the label according to its weight. The ingredient with the highest weight is displayed on the top, and accordingly, the lowest weight items are shown at the bottom.
Manufacturers use this way to add different types of sugar in low quantities. In other words, they will usually add 4-5 artificial or added sugars in low volumes. These sugar contents will be displayed at the bottom.
A person will see these contents and interpret them as healthy food. This is because the contents of the sugar are less. But a person should understand that when these different hidden sugars are combined by weight, they result in extensive volumes of sugar.
Topmost Foods Consisting High Volumes Of Hidden Sugar
Most people are unaware of the fact that some foods they term ‘healthy’ are not completely healthy. They contain a high volume of hidden sugar. Some of the most common foods include:
- Breakfast Cereals such as granola bars contain a significant amount of sugar. However, it is not harmful if consumed within a limit. Most bars will include coconut sugar as their main ingredient.
- Flavored yogurts also have hidden sugars of 11 to 13 grams in a pack of 100 grams.
- Healthy snacks like crackers can also prove detrimental to diabetes patients. They contain around 5 to 6 grams of sugar (in 16 biscuits).
- The most interesting item on this list is tomato soup. A person can find over 36 grams of sugar in one can of tomato soup available in markets.
The guide provided above provides a comprehensive view of how people are cheated in the name of healthy foods. They should beware of hidden sugar in various food items they commonly consume. Apart from this, they should perform regular checkups to maintain their health.