Simple sugars aren’t good for us. We all know that, and so do the food manufacturers who are finding more ways to hide it in our everyday products making it hard to spot in the ingredients list.
What to look out for? Here’s a list of those simple sugars we should be aware of.
- Raw sugar
- Brown sugar
- Rice malt syrup
- Malt syrup
- Fruit juice concentrate
- Coconut Sugar
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Corn syrup
- Maple syrup
- Golden syrup
What about Sugar alcohols?
Sugar alcohols such as erythritol, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol have a lower rate of absorption compared to standard sugars, the % absorber ranges depending on the sugar alcohol used. This means sugar alcohols have less food energy than standard sugars such as sucrose, but how much less does depend on the sugar alcohol used. If we consider regular sugar (i.e. sucrose) has approximately 4 calories per gram sugar alcohol calories can range from as low as 0.21 calories per gram in Erythritol to 2.6 calories per gram as is found in sorbitol. So while sugar alcohols can be a good way to add sweetness without absorbing as much sugar or calories as regular ‘sugars’ the amounts can vary. The other consideration is that because sugar alochols have poorer absorption rates in our gut, more of these compounds move to the large intestine which can cause uncomfortable gut symptoms in some people with food triggered IBS.
Spotting Sneaky Ingredients
- Look out for products where any of the top 3 ingredients are dried fruit as this can mean the product has a higher than desirable level of sugar.
- Ingredients must be listed in order of weight from highest to lowest so as a general guide, avoid products where a ‘sugar’ is at the top of the list.
- Some sneaky companies may use ‘ingredients’ that when broken down are predominantly sugar. You can check this by looking what ingredients appear in the brackets () following a specific ingredient. For example, if you see this on an ingredients list: Yoghurt Coating (Sugar, Vegetable oil, Milk solids), you know the main ingredient is actually sugar.
For 5 Easy Ways To East Healthier Today read this
Paula is a trained Dietitian working to provide ideas and information to make healthy eating easy! Check her out Instagram here