Reading the label: identify the different kinds of sugar
The sharp increase of sugar in the average person’s diet has become the centre of a huge debate about health and nutrition.
As scientists continue to establish links between sugar and obesity, diabetes and a myriad of other health concerns, we’re left with the sometimes difficult task of trying to reduce sugar in our diets.
The trouble isn’t necessarily with cakes and pastries – though a nice indulgence, most people can easily avoid desserts and other obviously sugary treats and save them for an occasional treat.
The trouble comes when you start browsing the aisles of your local supermarket – processed foods are often filled with sugar, and food manufacturers are finding clever ways to hide sugar in plain view by using different forms of the familiar sweet substance we all know and love.
If you need help to find ways to cut sugar from your diet, a good place to start is the NHS website, which has an extensive section on sugar.
What to watch for
Reading food labels is an important part of cutting down your sugar intake, and though the information might seem a little daunting at first, doing it regularly will help you cut down on your sugar intake.
Look for the “Carbohydrates (of which sugars)” line on the nutrition label – this will tell you how much is in each serving of what you’re buying.
Ingredients are often listed in order of how much they are used in a recipe – so if sugar is one of the first ingredients listed you know there is a high amount of sugar added to that food.
Different names for the same thing
Just because you don’t see “sugar” on the label doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
As a rule of thumb, words like syrup, sweetener and any word ending with “ose” typically is another word for sugar. Some words to watch out for include:
- Hydrolysed starch
- Corn syrup or high-fructose corn syrup
- Dextrin or Maltodextrin
- Fruit juice concentrate
Sugar free can be just as confusing. Many sugar free foods have sugar alcohols in them or artificial ingredients to make them sweet, and in many cases these are as bad as or worse than sugar. Some to watch for:
Do you read food labels looking for sugar?
Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor
Latest posts by Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor (see all)
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!