The Sugar Addiction

Most of us know (even if it's in the deepest depths of our brains that we often try and ignore!) that too much pop, candy and desserts are probably not good for us.  But what many people don't realize is that the majority of our foods today are LOADED in all sorts of refined and processed sugars.  From common breakfast cereals to the slice of 'whole wheat' toast to the lowfat dressing to the healthy yogurt.....the standard american diet is covered in sugar.  I'm not saying that we can't all enjoy our scrumptious treats, but if we can eliminate the copiuous amounts of added sugar from our typical meals and leave the sweet to those wholesome and yummy desserts we'll be much better off :) Below you will find a list of common names used for sugar on ingredient labels, but first watch this 60 Minutes video on the fattening and sickening effects overzealous sugar use can have on our bodies!

The best way to combat all the added sugar out there is to greatly (and really eventually completely!) reduce processed foods from you diet - that's anything that comes out of a can or box.  If you do have to keep in some processed foods (like crackers, cereals, pre-packaged meals, etc.) make sure you look at the ingredients before buying to see if it contains any of the 'sugar' culprits below.  A good rule of thumb I use is if you can't pronounce or don't know what an ingredient is - don't buy it.  There are plenty of 'healthier' versions out there - trust me!  If you are going to enjoy the occasional sweet (which I of course do and love!  It's all about moderation friends, not deprivation!!!) stick with wholesome sweeteners like honey (preferably raw), 100% maple syrup or desserts made with organic, unsulphured figs or dates (with the pits) or unrefined sugars. Whole fruit of course contains sugar, but eaten in a well-balanced diet can be wonderful for our bodies as many are loaded with important vitamins and minerals.  Just know if you're trying to lose weight a lot of fruit is still going to cause your insulin levels to rise and could promote storage of fats.

Common names for sugar:

  • barley malt
  • beet sugar
  • brown sugar
  • buttered syrup
  • cane-juice crystals
  • cane sugar
  • caramel
  • carob syrup
  • corn syrup
  • corn syrup solids
  • date sugar
  • dextran
  • dextrose
  • diatase
  • diastatic malt
  • ethyl maltol
  • fructose
  • fruit juice
  • fruit juice concentrate
  • glucose
  • glucose solids
  • golden sugar
  • golden syrup
  • grape sugar
  • high-fructose corn syrup
  • honey
  • invert sugar
  • lactose
  • malt syrup
  • maltodextrin
  • maltose
  • mannitol
  • molasses
  • raw sugar
  • refiner's syrup
  • sorbitol
  • sorghum syrup
  • sucrose
  • sugar
  • turbinado sugar
  • yellow sugar