Did you know that there are currently over 50 names for sugar? Yep, you read correctly, 50. That means there are 50+ ways for food manufacturers to sneak it into just about everything - often without you knowing it. Because of this, it’s super-important to be familiar with the various names for sugar so you can spot when it has been covertly added to foods you are purchasing and consuming.
So why is this such a bad thing? Well, in my opinion, sugar is pretty low on the nutritional ‘bang-for-your-buck’ scale - it’s packed with calories, and that’s about it. Aside from a few exceptions, most sugar sources have no vitamins, minerals, or really anything good in them at all.
Additionally, consuming too much sugar can lead to several health issues - more on this in a future post...
The American Heart Association currently recommends that added sugar be limited to just 6 teaspoons per day for women, and 9 teaspoons per day for men - that's only 24-36 grams of added sugar per day, respectively. To put this in perspective, one 12-ounce can of regular soda contains about 40 grams of added sugar, or about 10 teaspoons! This recommendation not only applies to sugars added to foods, but also to those naturally found in honey, syrups, fruits juices, and fruit concentrates. That said, it’s important to understand that foods like whole fruits and vegetables don’t count towards your daily added sugar allotment.
Look over this list, and be familiar with the different names for sugar before you take to the grocery aisles. But keep in mind, some less refined sugars, like maple syrup, can fit into a healthy lifestyle, as these contain a few vitamins, minerals, et cetera. Pro Tip: it's good practice to avoid purchasing foods containing added sugars so you can control the amount of sugar you are eating.
Remember, shop smarter, not sweeter!