While I'd like to think that food manufacturers want the American public to eat healthfully, one glance at a nutrition label tells a different story. Especially when it comes to the ingredient everyone loves to hate: sugar. Hiding in unassuming foods like white bread, salad dressing, and pasta sauce, both sugar and added sugar come in many forms—most of which sound more like a science experiment than an edible ingredient. According to New York–based dietitian Brigitte Zeitlin, these are the 11 words commonly found on nutrition labels that are basically code for sugar:
- Evaporated cane juice
- Any syrups, nectars, juices, or purées
Keep in mind that the first six ingredients are commonly found in packaged foods "in order to manipulate the taste and extend the shelf-life" while the rest are typically found in foods marketed as "naturally sweetened."
"These foods are still loaded with added sugars, but because ingredients like molasses and fruit juice are plant-based, manufacturers can get away with calling them 'natural,'" Zeitlin explains.
Have you found a foolproof method for avoiding added sugars? Share your thoughts below!