Disease Prevention and ReversalNutritionPlant-based 101

Sneaky Sugar

One night I awoke with a start. I thought I heard footsteps but couldn’t be sure. So I lay motionless, all the while trying to decide whether to call 9-1-1. When I heard nothing for a few minutes, I shakily called out for my housemate who was in the next room over. We turned on the lights, looked around, and found her purse, which had been at the foot of her bed,  was missing. We notified the police and they were soon at the house with their dogs. They searched everything thoroughly and looked around. They then informed that we had just been victims of a cat thief who had made several attacks in our neighborhood. They called him that because he was so quiet, his breaking and entering went largely unnoticed.

Did you know that you probably have a cat thief in your pantry? It can sneak in so quietly, you don’t notice it’s presence. But if you know what to look for, you can get rid of it before it robs you. That thief is what I call “Sneaky Sugar”! Did you know that sugar masquerades under at least 50 different names??!!  It hides out on the labels of many foods that you wouldn’t suspect contain sugar. Some of them don’t even taste sweet!  If you want to keep this thief from stealing vitamins and minerals from your body, you need to know how to recognize it in all its disguises.

To identify sugar accurately, you need to know how to spot it. Check the ingredient list on every package of food. The nutrition facts panel is not as helpful in spotting hidden sugars as it does not make a difference between sugars as found in fruit or other whole foods and refined or processed sugar. You body, on the other hand, makes a big difference between the two. It does not treat refined sugar the same way as sugar packaged in whole foods like fruit. So be sure and check the ingredient list carefully.

To identify sugars in the ingredient list, it helps to recognize the common endings for sugars. For example, simple sugar names usually end in -ose. Names like glucose, dextrose, maltose, fructose, galactose and lactose are all simple sugars. 

Another type of sugar is called a sugar alcohol and those names end in -ol. Sorbitol, Erythritol, and xylitol are examples of this type of sugar. These alcohol sugars are lower in calories than other sugars because they are less available to the body as an energy source. Some are fatal for pets so be careful. And remember, if you are trying to overcome a sugar addiction, these still feed your palate that desire for sweet.

Dry or granulated sugars go by many different names. They include:

  • Beet sugar
  • Cane sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Demerara crystals
  • Florida crystals
  • Diastatic malt
  • Maltodextrin
  • Panela
  • Many more!

Once special case in this category is Date sugar. This is NOT refined. It’s just dates that have been dried and ground up into granules. This is actually a whole food!

Some other sugars are disguised as liquids. All of them are refined and concentrated.These include:

  • Agave nectar or syrup
  • Barley malt
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Corn syrup
  • High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
  • Honey
  • Malt syrup
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses

Did you know that sugar even has some savory food hideouts? Be sure to check for sugar in the ingredients of soups, salad dressings, savory sauces (like pasta sauce), as well as savory baked goods and breads. Who would have thunk?!

Now that you know where to look, I bet you will be able to identify Sneaky Sugar, no matter how quietly it tries to creep into YOUR pantry!

If you would like a list of over 50 names that sugar goes by, you can download it at the link below and take it with you to the grocery store so that you can keep that cat thief, Sneaky Sugar, out of your pantry!

The Many Names of Sugar

You can find a delicious recipe for a Sugar FREE, sweet cinnamon toast topping at the following link. It’s called Lucia’s Cinnamon Toast Sprinkle and it’s a great whole food to sprinkle on your whole grain toast!

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