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Sugar free labels

It is quite upsetting to know you cannot trust most of the labels you find on products. In many cases the listed ingredients on the labels are not only misleading, but also false. This is particularly true for the many health claims you find on the front packaging, which lure you into buying the products thinking they are healthy. The most misleading nutritional claim of all is “sugar free” or “no added sugar”.

It is unbelievable how many names sugar goes by — many of which are not recognizable. In fact many different types of sugar are purposely added to products to hide the actual amount.

What’s helpful is to gain knowledge about the most common hidden sugars and to be able to recognize them on the labels.

The not so obvious sugars are in form of syrups, such as golden syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, agave nectar, malt syrup, maple syrup, oat syrup, rice bran syrup, and rice syrup.

But the nasty hidden sugars are the so called added sugars, such as fructose, glucose, fruit juice, lactose, corn sweetener barley malt, molasses, cane juice crystals, crystalline fructose, dextran, malt powder, ethyl maltol, concentrate (liquid sugar), galactose, disaccharides, maltodextrin and maltose.

So even though many products are labeled “sugar free” or “no artificial sweeteners”, it does not always mean that there is no sugar in the product or recipe. It means there is no sucrose, but it could have and often has fructose, dextrose, dextrin, malitol and high fructose corn syrup, all of which triggers you to eat more.

Make sure to check the labels of the products you consume the most, because with the hidden sugars, you can easily add up to almost 1 kg per week.