The Sugar Shack
There is a lot of misinformation when it comes to food labels. Lots of brands like to market things as sugar-free, fat-free, gluten free, whatever the latest craze may be. But don't be fooled by these misleading advertisements - especially when it comes to sugar and sugar-free products. It's in pretty much everything we eat and buy.
No Sugar Added
Yay! No sugar added! It's a lie people! No sugar added simply means when the product was being made, there was no EXTRA sugar added except the sugar that occurs naturally. What's natural sugar you ask? It's foods or ingredients that turn into sugar (glucose) once it is digested in the body. The biggest culprit being carbohydrates. Carbohydrates or carbs are breads, flour, rice, milk, yogurt, pasta, potatoes. Basically everything we love to eat! Carbs turn into sugar (glucose) every time we eat them and affect your blood sugar levels almost immediately. So while no sugar added is tempting, you also have to consider the flour or butter used to make what you eat that turns into sugar within the body.
Like No added sugar, sugar-free can also be misleading. There is a common myth that sugar-free foods and drinks are healthier for you. Well my friends that's not so true. While sugar-free options have reduced calories or no calories at all, they may not equate to sugar-free in the body if the food is loaded with carbs. So eating an entire box of sugar-free cookies or a 2-liter bottle of diet soda is just as bad is eating a brownie or having a regular soda. People also tend to eat more of these foods because the guilt of "regular" sugar is not there. So while you sugar-free seems the like better option, often times it is not.
Artificial sweeteners are what make products sugar-free. They are either made from sugar or made from products that are not present within nature. They typically make food sweeter than regular sugar which can alter taste so you do not want to eat healthier foods like veggies! There are five artificial sweeteners approved by the FDA -acesulfame K, aspartame, neotame, saccharin, and sucralose. These artificial sweeteners are not always digested by the body and scientist still do not have a clear picture of the long term effects of using these products in our foods. Yikes!
The Name Game
So now that we know that sugar is in pretty much everything we eat, we need to know the most common names for sugar in the things we buy. We found 61 common names for sugar. Yes you read that right, 61 names for sugar. So beware and remember to check the ingredients!
P.S. If you need a good laugh, read the reviews on Amazon about sugar-free gummy bears.