The Skinny on Hidden Sugar
- Agave or maple syrupBeet sugar
- Cane juice
- Barley malt
- Dates or date sugar
- Raw sugar
- Fruit juice concentrate
Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter if these hidden sugars are unrefined or from natural sources, they are still broken down and absorbed into the body as sugar. That’s why we need to pay attention to ingredients, even when choosing plant-based foods.
Another way to spot hidden sugar in food is to watch out for the compound effect when reading ingredients on labels. This means reading through all of the ingredients and spotting the various forms or names of sugar layered throughout, not just at the beginning. That’s because the FDA requires manufacturers to list ingredients in order of predominance, or from highest volume to lowest in the food. To help mask the sugar content, some food manufacturers list the different sources of sugar as separate ingredients on the label. This can help them avoid having to put sugar as one of the top ingredients in their foods by volume. That’s why it’s important to read through all the ingredients and pay attention to all of the alternative names for sugar mentioned throughout.
Finally, the best way to check for hidden sugars is to be more mindful when eating foods. If a processed food tastes sweet, it’s likely that there is added sugar or a sweetener present. While it doesn’t necessarily mean that the food is unhealthy, it is a good reminder to pay close attention to the ingredients to see if there is any hidden sugar.
In summary, reducing our sugar consumption is one of the best things we can do to support our health, improve vitality, and lose weight. However, it’s not always easy to identify sources of sugar in our diet, especially if they are presented as natural foods or healthy-sounding ingredients. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to food labels and be mindful when choosing what we eat.
Looking to reduce your sugar intake? Explore our menu of delicious, plant-based, no sugar added snacks and meals. Our latest seasonal menu, including a complete list of ingredients, are always posted on Plantable.com.