So… what are “hidden sugars” and which foods and drinks contain them?

As a society we eat far too much sugar in our diets… never mind the sugars that we are totally unaware of.

Sugar is everywhere! In cereal bars, flavoured yogurts, fruit bars, juices and even products labelled “no added sugar”. Sadly many products containing hidden sugars use very misleading forms of advertising, so it is imperative that you take the time to read the Nutritional Label on the product.

So, what are the most common names to look for on food labels when trying to avoid these hidden and bad sugars?

Most hidden sugars are bad for your body and you can identify these on product labels as their names usually end in ” ose” for example, SUCROSE, DEXTROSE, MALTOSE, and GLUCOSE.

There are 56 different names for sugar! The 10 most common foods that we like to eat and that contain hidden sugars are; BREAKFAST CEREALS, ALL KINDS OF BREAD, SMOOTHIES, FROZEN YOGURTS, SUSHI, COMMERCIAL SOUPS AND SAUCES, CONDIMENTS, SALAD DRESSINGS and TINNED PRODUCTS.

However not all sugars are bad for you.

Eating sugar from natural foods, like fruit, does have benefits for your body. Fruit has FRUCTOSE in it, which, in its natural and raw state contains fiber, vitamins and minerals. So NATURAL SUGARS are far better for you than PROCESSED and UNREFINED sugars. Fruits with the least amount of sugars are; apples, guava, bananas, pears, papaya, cherries, pomegranates, mangoes, grapes, figs, lemons, limes and all the berries like blueberries, strawberries, cranberries and so on.

Another big problem in eating hidden and bad sugars is the effect on your blood glucose, or blood sugar levels in your body. There is a massive increase in TYPE 2 DIABETES which develops from excessive consumption of theses sugars. Also OBESITY is globally on the rise, leading to a whole host of different health problems.

I hope you are now more aware of the different kinds of sugar; those that are natural and have nutritional value and those that are hidden in food items, to make them taste better, but unfortunately negatively impact your body and overall health. Take the time to read the nutritional labels the next time you are doing your food shop, especially if you frequently buy items from the ten most common foods with hidden sugars that we mentioned above, and see if you can identify any of the names for BAD sugars and aim to reduce them in your diet.