To be careful about prepared or processed foods you eat, means you must become religious about reading food labels. Even stores that only carry “clean” foods, carry items with natural preservatives, such as sugar and sodium or food from non-organic sources. Read every label, including where the foods were grown and consider their packaging (are they shelf stable in non-reactive glass or frozen in a plastic bag?
Don’t forget to read the list of ingredients and remember: If you find ingredients that you wouldn’t add if making this at home, put it back on the shelf and look for a cleaner version.
Here’s are just a few examples of how sugar may be “hidden” in prepared foods:
Sugar (and its other names)
Corn syrup: Made from cornstarch. Mostly glucose. Can have maltose
Dextrose: Commonly known as corn sugar and grape sugar. Naturally occurring form of glucose
Fructose: Sugar found in fruit and honey. Sweetest natural sugar
Galactose: Sugar found linked to glucose to form lactose, or milk sugar
Glucose: Also called dextrose. The human body’s primary source of energy. Most of the carbohydrates you eat are converted to glucose in the body.
High fructose corn syrup: Derived from cornstarch, usually a combination of 55 percent fructose and 45 percent sucrose. Treated with an enzyme that converts glucose to fructose, which results in a sweeter product. Used in soft drinks, baked goods, jelly, syrups, fruits and desserts
Lactose: Sugar found in milk and milk products that is made of glucose and galactose
Maltose: Also called malt sugar. Used in the fermentation of alcohol by converting starch to sugar
Sucrose: Commonly called cane sugar, table sugar or simply sugar