The Many Names of Sugar
Travel is a large part of the life of a professional athlete. Many use fictitious names to check into hotels and other places so that nobody knows that they’re in the building. (Hello, Ron Mexico!) Sugar acts in the same way. Big food companies like to use clever names, forms, or derivatives of sugars and sweeteners to hide the fact that the sweet stuff is there.
As a part of the Defeat the Sweets No Sugar Challenge, we’ve put a lot of focus on reading the labels (specifically the ingredients) of the foods we consume on a daily basis. One of the most popular, yet harmful ingredients of most foods is sugar. Sure, high fructose corn syrup is on your radar. But what about fruit juice concentrate? Turbinado Sugar? Those can’t be that bad, right?
According to The World Health Organization, our recommended daily intake of sugar is only six teaspoons. Anything more can be addictive, even destructive to your body. This is all sugar, in any form. The main way this sneaks up on you is not knowing exactly which ingredients are “sweet.”
“You could make dog poop taste good with enough sugar, and the food industry does,” says Dr. Robert Lustig, professor of pediatrics in the division of endocrinology at the University of California – San Francisco. He put together a great list of 56 words that are commonly used to describe sweeteners in food. Women’s Health put together a great infographic that clearly shows those ingredients.
Check all of your food that comes in a package, bag, box, etc. Do any of these ingredients look familiar to you?
Remember to read the Nutrition Labels and to keep your head up. The transition from a sugar-filled to a sugar-free lifestyle can take some time. Begin to substitute your packaged snacks with whole fruits and veggies. Prepare your own food and cook at home more frequently. Most of all, pay attention to what you’re putting in your body.