How to Find Hidden Sugar in Your Food

How much sugar do you consume?

How much sugar do you consume?

Did you read Tuesday’s blog post about the difference between good carbs and bad carbs?  In her Clear.md video, Deb Vevea RD does a great job of explaining that we should limit our consumption of food that contain empty calories.  Those are often foods that contain a lot of added sugar and few nutrients.  The problem is that finding sugar in your food can be complicated.

Find Added Sugar in Your Food

The best way to find hidden sugar in your food is to look at the ingredients list on the package.  You’ll usually find this list below the Nutrition Facts label, but it can also be placed elsewhere on the package.  Manufacturers don’t always identify sugar with the term “sugar.”  This list, compiled by the USDA, provides a list of names that you might see.  All of these terms are simply other words for sugar.

Brown sugar Invert sugar
Corn sweetener Lactose
Corn syrup Maltose
Dextrose Malt syrup
Fructose Molasses
Fruit juice concentrates Raw sugar
Glucose Sucrose
High-fructose corn syrup Sugar
Honey Syrup


Which Foods Contain Added Sugar?

So where will you find added sugars?  Start by looking at soft drinks and other sweetened beverages.  But even if you are not a soda drinker, you should check the labels of your foods.  You’ll also find added sugar in many foods that you might not expect, like commercially prepared peanut butter and ketchup.

If you want to lose weight, or simple eat a healthier diet, reducing the amount of added sugar in your foods is one of the most important changes you should make.  If you’re not sure how much sugar you should consume each day, make an appointment with a registered dietitian to get a number that is personalized based on your health profile.

Have you checked out the North Memorial Healthy Weight Loss website?  It’s a great source of easy tips for healthy eating, exercise and diet support.  You can also connect with us on Facebook and Twitter

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