Breaking free of a sugar addition is no easy task. Sugar goes by many names, is in almost everything non whole food at the supermarket, and can completely take over your life if you don’t start cutting back. Remember, nothing worth it is every easy…especially eliminating sugar from your diet.
Sugar is one of the most commonly used food addtives in America, because it “improves” the taste of foods and drinks.
Added sugars are most commonly regular table sugar, or sucrose, or high-fructose corn syrup, which is found in sodas, breads, and other processed foods.
Commonly found with added sugars are industrial oils, trans-fats, refined vegetable oils, and other inflammatory fats which only make matters worse.
The average American consumes about 3 pounds of sugar a week and about 130 pounds a year. Other sources claim 61 pounds per year. Either way, it’s A LOT!
In a Harvard study scientists found that a high-sugar drinks spiked blood sugar levels, insulin production, and the sugar craving centers in the brain. While reviewing the brain scans, they found the pleasure and addiction centers of the brain were lit up more than with cocaine and other stimulants.
It’s easy to see, added sugar is one of the top dietary killers driving the obesity and disease epidemic.
At this point, you probably don’t need anymore convincing that you need to at the very least cut back on your sugar consumption, so I won’t bore you with more studies or physiology.
The hardest part about avoiding sugar after you’ve made the decision to cut back, is identifying it by reading nutrition facts.
The ingredient list is the most important thing on a product, so this list of sugar names will be easy to identify and avoid once you realize the first thing to do is turn your product over and read the ingredient lists!
The 65 Different Names of Sugar
Food manufactureres call sugar many things and often try to “hide” sugar in products to trick you into thinking it’s healthy or sugar-free. Below you will find an extensive list of some of the names for sugar that most commonly show up on ingredient lists. Beware, some actually sound healthy, but don’t be a sucker (loaded with sugar). Sugar is just that, sugar.
- Agave nectar
- Barley malt
- Beet sugar
- Blackstrap molasses
- Brown rice syrup
- Brown sugar
- Buttered syrup
- Cane juice
- Cane juice crystals
- Cane sugar
- Carob syrup
- Caster sugar (superfine sugar)
- Coconut sugar
- Corn sweetener
- Corn syrup
- Corn syrup solids
- Crystalline fructose
- Demerara sugar
- Date sugar
- Diastatic malt
- Ethyl maltol
- Evaporated cane juice
- Fruit juice
- Fruit juice concentrate
- Glucose solids
- Golden sugar
- Golden syrup
- Grape sugar
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Invert sugar
- Malt syrup
- Maple syrup
- Muscovado sugar
- Oat syrup
- Raw sugar
- Refiner’s syrup
- Rice bran syrup
- Rice malt
- Rice syrup
- Sorghum syrup
- Sugar alcohol
- Tapioca syrup
- Turbinado sugar
- Yellow sugar
Here are a few more helpful tips to avoid sugar:
- Any ingredient that ends in -ose, is sugar
- If you see any form of sugar listed in the first 3 ingredients, don’t buy it.
- If the product has 2 or more forms of sugar, don’t buy it.
- Artificial sweetners are not a good alternative as they can lead to weight gain, neurological problems, and hormonal imbalances.
Reducing the amount of sugar in your diet is critical to live a healthy life. These are a list of foods you should stay away from:
- Soft drinks
- Fruit juices
- Baked goods
- Canned fruits with syrup
- Dried fruits
- Any food labeled “low-fat”, since these foods usually compensate with added sugar
How Much Sugar Should You Eat
The American Heart Assosciation recommends that women limit their sugar intake to about 6 teaspoons a day, which provides about 100 calories (equal to a little less than 1 can of soda).
Personally, I make it a point to not listen to any nutrition advice from the government, so I’ll just say take the AHA’s advice with a teaspoon of sugar.
In my program The Flat Belly System, where I teach women to balance their meals in order to balance their hormones, I suggest avoiding any sugar (except for fruit) for the first 3 weeks, then allowing sugar in things like coffee or tea once a day, which comes out to about 2 tsp. a day.
If you’re going to eat sugar, try to stick to these: raw honey, coconut sugar, palm sugar, organic raw sugar, organic maple syrup, and fruit.
If there’s just one thing you takeaway from investing your time in this article, it’s sugar CAN be an addictive food, BUT you can continue to enjoy a limited amount when incorporated into a healthy lifestyle.