There has been talk in Fussy Foodie Forum about hidden sugars and how it is hard to identify if a product is actually Sugar FREE. So as promised we’ve looked into this. If you’re a tyring to follow a SUGAR FREE diet or just want to be conscious of your sugar intake you will definitely be interested in reading this so you can stand up to those hidden sugars!
The only way to be completely aware of how much sugar is in products we buy, is to understand food labels and what sugars are.
On food labelling, sugar is commonly shown as follows:
- Carbohydrate = 100g, of which sugars are…X
If a product has 10g of sugar or more per 100g, this is considered as a product extremley high in sugar and is in excess of the recommended amount. Products with 2g of sugar or less per 100g are the ones to look out for.
A second way to identify the sugar content of a product is the ingredients list.
This is where you can spot the hidden sugars if you know what to look out for. Manufacturers have recently started to use a combination of different forms of sugar so as to ensure the ‘sugar’ content shows up lower down on the list of ingredients, therefore falsely implying to the consumer that the product is low in sugar.
|Looks healthy but is it sugar free?
INGREDIENTS: Carbonated Water, Organic Corn Syrup, Organic Cranberry juice from concentrate (3%), Natural Flavourings.
Following is a list of ‘other’ sugars to look out for:
Dextrose, Glucose, Glucose Syrup, Lactose, Fructose, Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Fruit Juice Concentrate, Molasses, Maple Syrup, Brown Rice Syrup, Invert Sugar, Sorbitol, Galactose, Polydextrose, Mannitol, Sorbitol, Xyitol, Maltodextrin, Honey and Turbinado Sugar.
These are all forms of sugar used in manufacturing processes, but we may not ordinarily recognise what they are. A particular one to be aware of is High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). It is produced using genetically modified corn and enzymes to produce a sweet syrup high in fructose and some research has shown it could affect metabolism causing consumers to feel hungrier!
Tips for finding hidden sugars:
Anything ending in an ‘ose’ can be a sugar – so check it out
- Choose sugar free jams e.g. St Dalfour Jams & Spreads
- Choose tinned foods & pulses without added sugar
- Buy tinned fruits in fruit juice rather than syrup
- Sprinkle chopped / dried fruit on your morning cereal for a natural sweetner
- Choose unsweetened soya milk
- Products containing dried fruit will have a naturally high sugar content due to the nature of the food. These natural sugars are better for you than processed / refined sugars, however if you are looking to limit your sugar intake be aware of the amount of dried fruit you consume.
I hope this summary helps in identifying sugars in the foods we eat. There is a strong feeling about manufacturers taking responsibility for the health of their consumers and reducing the amount of hidden sugars in their products, the more we stand up to the manufacturers the more they will have to listen and we can finally be Sugar FREE.