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It’s incredible to me how many additives and preservatives are put in our food these days. I am a compulsive reader of food labels and quite honestly, things are getting scary back there! One of the best ways you can make sure your diet is on point is to know exactly what it is you’re putting in your body. For that reason today I wanted to share with you a little history about why your food labels look the way they do as well as inform you of some of the common aliases by which sugar is known. This one should be a fun one!
Over the years there has been quite a history between the FDA and health offices (we’ll refer to them collectively as the “government”) and food industries who produce the products we consume. Here’s a (very) brief summary of what I’ve learned about it:
Back in the early 20th century we learned that a diet high in fat was linked to heart disease, diabetes, and an overall shorter lifespan. The government mandated that food manufacturers had to disclose the fat content in their food and, delicious as they were, people didn’t eat food high in fats anymore.
To combat this dip in sales, the big food companies came up with another way to get us to buy their products… sugar! They started to label foods as “fat free” to get people to buy them and loaded them with sugar so people would keep buying them. I mean hey, they tasted great!
Well, the government came out with more tests linking sugar to a multitude of health problems including obesity, heart disease, dental issues, and liver problems and started a campaign to inform the general public. Now when people saw “sugar” on the label, they knew to at least think twice before purchasing.
So what does the food industry do now? Well sugar is bad, so we need to “eliminate” it from our labels. We now enter the “sugar free” era where food industries are doing one of two things – using artificial sweeteners (a terrifying concept if you think about it… we need something to flavor our food that’s not sugar. We can’t find anything like that occurring naturally so we’ll manufacture it in a factory), or simply calling sugar by a different name. Unfortunately both are occurring at an alarming rate.
So in an effort to raise some awareness as to what exactly you’re consuming, here are 20 other names you may see instead of “sugar” as you look on the back of your food labels. Knowing what it is is the first step to identifying any potential problems you may have in your diet and taking steps necessary to make some changes where they may be due.
1. Corn Syrup
2. High-Fructose Corn Syrup
6. Agave Nectar
7. Barley Malt
8. Brown Rice Syrup
9. Brown Sugar
10. Cane Sugar
12. Fruit Juice Concentrates
14. Rice Syrup
16. Corn Sweetener
19. Malt Syrup
Keep in mind this list is by-no-means comprehensive; there are upwards of 60 different names (that I’m aware of!) that sugar goes by. This is a list of the most-common that you may of may not be at least somewhat familiar with.
Knowing what it looks like is one of the first steps in eliminating it (if not significantly decreasing it!) from your diet. Start reading labels, start identifying areas for improvement, and start seeing results!
Do you have a question that I can help you out with? Let me know about it! Leave a comment below or email me at ToneandTightenFitness@gmail.com
Make it happen,
By Jared Beckstrand
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