Sugar (And All Its Names)
A simple google search can turn up all kinds of articles about how too much sugar is harmful to our bodies. It’s been connected with various diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, fatty liver, and more. And, I’m pretty sure I’m not alone when it comes to sugar crashes and how much they suck!
Unfortunately, it can be pretty easy to consume more sugar than we mean to, since sugar gets snuck into products under all kinds of different names. And, if you’re addicted to sugar and trying to break that addiction, it’s important to cut out ALL sugar, because even a little can keep you hooked—just like having one cigarette is going to make it that much harder to quit smoking.
How can we know what to watch out for if it can be called approximately a bajillion different names?
Here’s what to look out for when checking ingredients:
- Agave nectar, Barbados sugar, Barley malt, Barley malt syrup, Beet sugar, Brown sugar, Buttered syrup, Cane juice, Cane juice crystals, Cane sugar, Caramel, Carob syrup, Castor sugar, Coconut palm sugar, Coconut sugar, Confectioner’s sugar, Corn sweetener, Corn syrup, Corn syrup solids, Date sugar, Dehydrated cane juice, Demerara sugar, Dextrin, Dextrose, Evaporated cane juice, Free-flowing brown sugars, Fructose, Fruit juice, Fruit juice concentrate, Glucose, Glucose solids, Golden sugar, Golden syrup, Grape sugar, HFCS (High-Fructose Corn Syrup), Honey, Icing sugar, Invert sugar, Malt syrup, Maltodextrin, Maltol, Maltose, Mannose, Maple syrup, Molasses, Muscovado, Palm sugar, Panocha, Powdered sugar, Raw sugar, Refiner’s syrup, Rice syrup, Saccharose, Sorghum Syrup, Sucrose, Sugar (granulated), Sweet Sorghum, Syrup, Treacle, Turbinado sugar, and Yellow sugar.
I know…it’s a lot! There are so many different names that sugar can go by!
Obviously, certain forms of sugars may be better or worse, or more natural or less natural than others, but the important thing to remember is the harmful nature of too much sugar.
I’m not against sugar by any means—BUT it can be so easy to get addicted and out of control with, especially considering the way the food industry in the US adds it to so many different products. Just keep an eye out if you’re avoiding sugar or want to break your addiction, since it goes by so many names!
What About Artificial Sweeteners?
So—there’s a lot of controversy regarding artificial sweeteners. Since the FDA has approved them, many think they’re just fine to use. But it seems the FDA’s studies were based on consuming small amounts…not the huge amounts many are having on a daily basis, from diet sodas, candy, “sugar-free” treats, and more.
From rashes, headaches, and dizziness to bloating, diarrhea, nausea, and digestive issues, artificial sweeteners can come with a long list of reported side effects. These side effects might build up over time with regular consumption, potentially causing serious long-term diseases.
While more studies need to be conducted, some scientists believe that there is a connection between artificial sweeteners and certain cancers, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, and systemic lupus. Yikes!
Types of artificial sweeteners you might want to watch out for?
Acesulfame-K (Ace K, Sweet One)
Aspartame (Nutrasweet, Equal, etc.)
Saccharin (Sweet’N Low)
And, Sucralose (Splenda)
There are some better options out there though—consider giving monk fruit-based sweeteners, pure stevia sweeteners, or something like Xylitol a try!