Sugar Comes in Many Forms

Sugar is sugar, right? Yes, to a certain extent.  No matter what form it comes in, it affects our bodies in similar ways. But, most people don’t realize the many different forms sugar can take. Manufacturers have gotten VERY crafty at tricking us to think there is less sugar in a product than there really is. We all see cane sugar on a label and know what it is, but do you recognize these other forms of sugar?  

many names for sugar

Take for instance this ingredient label. This is the label for a popular granola bar that is often given to kids as a snack. All forms of sugar are circled in red:

sugar labelIt’s surprising how many forms of sugar can be in a simple granola bar!

It is also important to know that ingredients are listed in descending order by weight. Therefore, if you see any type of sugar listed among the first few ingredients, the product is likely to be high in added sugar.

Let’s talk a little about sweeteners that are found in nature like honey, agave, and maple syrup. These natural sweeteners, while preferred over chemically made sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup, are still considered added sugars and it would still be best to limit their consumption.  

With sugar being in every corner of the grocery store, how can we possibly limit our consumption? The ideal answer: avoid processed packaged foods. Focus on whole foods and prepare your meals and snacks at home as much as possible. And when you can’t prepare things from scratch, choose processed and packaged foods that say “no sugar added” or are “unsweetened” on the label. Remember, labels can be misleading, so it is always best to read the ingredient list. You can read more on how to reduce your sugar intake here.

At the end of the day, sugar is sugar, no matter how it is sourced. Because our body only needs the glucose that we get from eating grains, fruits, vegetables, and milk, there is no need for added sugars in our eating pattern. Let’s get off the sugar and onto whole foods!  Our bodies will thank us for it.

To learn more about replacing or reducing sugar in your eating pattern, schedule a consultation with a PreviMedica nutritionist by calling 855.773.8463 or emailing

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