Don't be Tricked by your Treats!

Jenny Crissman MS L. Ac.

Let's talk about Sugar ! Don't be fooled by a name or a label!!

Instead of eating whole food, real unprocessed food, the contemporary American diet typically consists of highly processed grains, chemicals and hidden sugars! This may not be your diet but even with the best of intentions we must be diligent.

Added sugars hide in 74 percent of processed foods and lists in under more than 60 different names!1

The FDA and USDA have tried to define the term “added sugars” or those that are not naturally occurring in some foods ( for example , fruits) . But you have to be a food detective to decipher a label and actually figure out what percentage of calories sugar really represents in packaged foods.

Not only do food companies use some of the tricky sugar synonyms in the ingredient list, but they are also using several of them in one product. They add several different types of sugar in smaller portions to disguise the total content in your foods. Food labels are made with the primary ingredients listed first and the rest in descending order. If food manufacturers use more types of sugar in less quantity, it places those ingredients lower down on the products list and makes us believe that the amount of sugar in the product is actually smaller than it is!

A good example is a “Nutrition Bar”-

Chocolate Chip Cliff Bar:

Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Rolled Oats, Soy Protein Isolate, Organic Cane Syrup, Organic Roasted Soybeans, Rice Flour, Dried Cane Syrup, Organic Oat Fiber, Unsweetened Chocolate‡, Organic Soy Flour, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Date Paste, Cocoa Butter‡, Molasses Powder, Organic Soybean Oil, Barley Malt Extract, Salt, Vanilla Extract, Soy Lecithin, Natural Flavors, Cinnamon.

Vega One – All in One Meal Bar:

Complete protein blend ( organic sprouted whole grain brown rice protein, pea protein), organic brown rice syrup, organic tapioca syrup, chocolate liquor, organic cane sugar, brown rice krisps, organic dates, organic cashews, cocoa butter, organic agave syrup ( Vega blend...)

Kashi Honey Almond Flax Bars:

Rolled Whole Grain Blend (Hard Red Wheat, Oats, Rye, Triticale, Barley), Roasted Salted Whole Almonds, Brown Rice Syrup, Soy Protein Isolate, Soy Grits, Dried Cane Syrup, Chicory Root Fiber, Whole Flax Seeds, Cane Syrup, Rice Starch, Corn Flour, Honey, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Oat Fiber, Natural Flavors, Evaporated Salt, Kashi Seven Whole Grains & Sesame Flour (Whole: Oats, Hard Red Wheat, Rye, Brown Rice, Triticale, Barley, Buckwheat, Sesame Seeds), Molasses, Soy Lecithin, Peanut Flour, Whey Protein Isolate.

Another Good Example is Crackers-

Wheat Thins Original:

Whole Grain Wheat Flour, Unbleached Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Folic Acid), Soybean Oil, Sugar, Cornstarch, Malt Syrup (From Barley And Corn), Salt, Invert Sugar, Monoglycerides, Leavening (Calcium Phosphate And/Or Baking Soda)...

It is important to realize the term "Nutrition Bar" or other products touted as “ All Natural”, could are irrelevant most often. Learn to look for other names for hidden sugar!

One of the easiest ways to recognize sugar is by recognizing the -OSE suffix. When you find label words that end in -OSE there is a good chance it is sugar.

Sugars ending in -OSE:

Sucrose, Maltose, Fructose, Glucose, Dextrose, Galactose, Lactose, High Fructose corn syrup, Glucose solids...

And just because it doesn’t end in -OSE doesn’t mean it's not sugar. There are plenty of other names that may or may not sound like sugar!

The following are all sugar:

Cane juice, Dehydrated cane juice, Cane juice solids, Cane juice crystals, 

Dextrin, Maltodextrin, Dextran, Barley malt, 

Beet sugar, Corn syrup, Corn syrup solids, Caramel, Buttered syrup, Carob syrup, Brown sugar, Date sugar, Malt syrup, Diatase, Diatastic malt, Fruit juice, Fruit juice concentrate, Dehydrated fruit juice, Fruit juice crystals, Golden syrup, Turbinado,  Sorghum syrup, Refiner's syrup, Ethyl maltol, Maple syrup, Yellow sugar

6 Healthy Sugar Alternatives: 


Coconut Palm Sugar

Raw Honey


Artichoke Syrup

Lucuma Powder

The list for products and labels containing hidden sugars is endless. So all I can ask is that you start to read your labels and educate yourself on what the ingredients really are. Re-up your commitment to paying for nutrients and not added sugar!