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Function and Fitness Blog
Function and Fitness Blog
Coach Jess
5:00 AM

Reading Food Labels: Sugar

You’re trying hard to “clean” up your eating game, but when it comes to those labels, where do you start? This week we’re starting a series on how to read food labels. Today I’m going to sweet talk you - with the 411 on Sugar.

It’s no wonder that food-makers create confusing labels - if our customers are confused they’ll just give up and buy our product. But there are ways we can outsmart these witty marketers - you just have to know the tricks they use.

Why is Sugar so Bad?

Let’s talk about why you need to be on the lookout. Sugar has been linked to diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, and breast, endometrial, and colon cancers. And that’s just to name a few things. If you want to read a little more on exactly HOW sugar is processed by your body, take a look at this article from Women’s Health

As Robert Lustig, M.D., professor of pediatrics in the division of endocrinology at the University of California – San Francisco, explains, "You could make dog poop taste good with enough sugar, and the food industry does.” The truth is food-makers add a ton of sugar to things - even when we don’t need them to! That translates to you getting way more sugar than your body actually needs.

How Much is Too Much?

According to the World Health Organization, sugar should be 5% of your diet - that equates to 6 teaspoons per day. Yup! That isn’t a lot!

All the Different Names for Sugar

Before we eliminate all the unnecessary sugar in our diets, we’re going to need to know what to look for. Here are just a few of sugar’s “altar egos” you’ll want to look for when you’re perusing those labels:
  • Agave Nectar
  • Buttered Syrup
  • Blackstrap Molasses
  • Dextran
  • Dextrose
  • Diastase
  • Diastatic Malt
  • Fructose
  • Galactose
  • Glucose
  • Invert Sugar
  • Lactose
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltose
  • Muscovado
  • Rice Syrup
  • Sorghum Syrup
  • Sucrose
Now that you know what you’re looking for you can tackle the sugar part of reading your labels!

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