by Virginia Eaton
Unless you’ve been living completely off the grid, you know that sugar is the new dietary villain, almost as vile as cigarettes — and for good reason. Sugar is addicting and adding on the pounds isn’t the only way that sugar harms the body. Insulin levels are disrupted by sugar, your mood is altered by sugar, and depending on the type of sugar, your liver can be damaged in the same way as over consuming alcohol.
Unfortunately, avoiding sugar isn’t as easy as one would think! Reading labels doesn’t always reveal ‘sugar’ because manufactures hide it with a host of names.
Given all the guises of sugar, even when the label declares, “No Added Sugar”, that doesn’t mean that sugar has not been added. There are lots of ways to sweeten up processed and manufactured food and just because it’s with fruit juice or evaporated cane syrup doesn’t mean your body hasn’t been given a big dose of the sweet-stuff!
Here is a list of sugar found in food in spite of, “No Added Sugar” being in bold lettering on the label:
Brown rice syrup
Cane juice crystals
Evaporated cane juice
Fruit juice concentrate
High-fructose corn syrup
Organic raw sugar
All of the above items are sugar in disguise. Many of these forms of sugar contain fructose, which should be avoided when not consumed in its natural habitat—fruit. When removed from fruit, fructose is often unintentionally consumed in large quantities (think super-size sodas and slushy-type drinks) and can be detrimental to the body in the same way as alcohol.
Fructose is not processed in the blood using insulin like glucose; it has to travel to the liver to be broken down for use or storage. When you consume large amounts of fructose on a regular basis your liver can become stressed to the point of developing fatty liver disease, which is the non-alcoholic version of cirrhosis of the liver, from which alcoholics eventually suffer.
Manufactured foods that often contain fructose are:
Fancy coffee drinks
Condiments such as catsup, salad dressing and BBQ sauce
Reading labels is a good habit but, unfortunately, food companies have been given such latitude on how they label their ingredients that you won’t know how much or what type sugar you’re consuming unless you know the how sugar is being disguised.
Be smart, don’t just look at the front of a food package where the marketing is taking place; turning your wrist and interpreting the ingredient label on the other side could save your waistline and maybe even your life.