Monday, 30 July 2012

List Of Hidden Sugar Foods - The Sweetest Way To Get Fat

Let's not beat around the bush here, the term' hidden sugar' is exactly as as you see it written- secretly added sugar that food companies have piled into our every day products and then pretended it's not there. I can almost hear their 'it wasn't me' whistle.  Apart from the fact that it's a huge breach of consumer trust, the real problem is...  it's making & keeping you fat. 
And then the government cries - "Why is today's society so obese?" "We have to do something quick!"

Now, unfortunately for you, that 'something' will be short in coming because the weight-loss industry is a very lucrative business. Without frustrated, overweight people who are trying very hard to get thin; investing in all the money making pills and specially crafted weight-loss aids out there - they'd be short of forty billion dollars per year - which is what they made last year and yet statistics show Americans alone gained one to two pounds regardless. 

Put gently, we each actually paid an average of $133 on products that were designed to help us lose weight, and instead put on weight.   

My point is, it benefits the food industry if you have a weight issue. If everyone was running about with bodies fit for Baywatch, the weight loss industry would collapse and they'd have to find another problem to sell a fix to. Also notice that the FDA (who regulates what goes into our food) is also the same body who monitors and is involved in the selling of weight loss drugs & all medicines.

In light of this (and the idea that food companies know how to sell hope to desperate people) - let's imagine for a moment that the considerate little label placed on the bottom corner of all foods (showing sugar, calories and carbs) is a complete farce. In fact, if they had to tell you exactly what was in your food you'd probably not buy it - which explains why they market its' good points and disguise the rest. 

How is it possible to hide sugar in foods and get away with it?

Because the FDA law is this amazing little matrix of loopholes and technicalities of language that ensures companies aren't legally required to say what they mean. For example, if you see a food product that contains the word 'light' or 'lite' - be aware that it is not expected to contain less fat, sugar or increase your energy in any way. This label is allowed to simply reflect 'the taste, the colour or texture' and if you have presupposed and associated this word with 'healthy' - that is apparently your problem.... so be careful. 

The idea of hidden sugar may be disregarded by the young, healthy & happy ( I know this because I never used to care about what was in my food years ago & I still sometimes eat fast foods and sugar now!) - but this fact can be a real problem to those of you who have been immensely disciplined, ate all of (what you thought) were low fat, low sugar foods and STILL haven't lost any significant weight. 

Well, let me help:

Firstly here's a trick to find out if there is hidden sugar in your purchases.
Ignore the deceptive nutrition label that tells you there's only a little teaspoon of sugar in it. Instead, look at the list of ingredients

By law, all ingredients must be listed in descending order by weight, including added water. 


  • The ingredient listed first is present in the largest amount.
  • The ingredient listed last is present in the least amount.
If it claims to be low sugar but  the word 'sugar' is listed very high up in the ingredients, then rest assured it is a sugar playground.

In addition, here is the list of foods to avoid - foods that I'm sure you, as I have, believed were healthy, low fat alternatives:

1. Cranberry Juice - Many people rely on this for healthy weight loss, bladder problems or infections and yet a medium 250ml glass contains a whopping 36.3g of sugar. 

2. Tomato Sauce/Ketchup - My greatest craving and yet one serving is equal to six teaspoons of sugar! That's like putting six sugars in your coffee or tea at any one time. Tinned products with tomato sauces are one of the worst hidden sugar culprits. Average 'low fat' beans have 7.2g of sugar per 100g, so a typical serving would contain 15g of sugar!

3. Wholemeal Bread - They tell us it's the 'best bread' for you and for those of us who secretly like white bread and have shoved this grainy goodness alternative down our throats (just to be good)  will be sad to know that it equally contains 8g to 10g of sugar per loaf. Roughly 1.4g of sugar per slice.

4Low Fat Yogurts
With the average low-fat fruit yogurt containing 17.9g of sugar in every 100g, these are not a low-calorie option as you might have been sold. The low fat yogurt I had yesterday had 25.7g per pot. I may as well just buy a bag of sugar and pour it down my face. 

5. High Fibre Cereals
Bran flakes, muesli - anything branded as 'high fibre' can contain a quarter of their weight in  sugar. The sugar content of Kellogg's Special K (Britain's best selling & sexiest 'weight loss cereal') weighs in at 17g per 100g or 8.5g per 50g serving. 

6. Fat -Free Chocolate Milk
Here's a secret - if it says - 'fat free', you can be assured that it is high in sugar to make up for it. And sugar stores in the body as converted fat so it's all the same.  A single 16 ounce container of Nesquik Fat Free Milk has a mental 54 grams of sugar. Try getting your kids into bed with two cups of that in them! * This applies to low fat, low 'calorie' sodas/soft drinks too!*

7. Fruit smoothies
I love fruit and I love smoothies so this one poses a problem for me. The fact is fruit is naturally high in sugar. It is my belief that before man-made sugar became available, fruit was nature's 'treat' for us. In fact, my aunt did a sugar cleanse for ten days - ie. just ate raw vegetables and drank water during that time and she said when she then had a bland bowl of cornflakes, she nearly threw up it was so sweet. We are therefore conditioned to be accustomed to large amounts of addictive sugar... but it's not our normal reaction - and her experience proves that. 
If you want to do smoothies, try vegetable ones... you'll get used to them. 

8. Vitamin Water
You know that water that claims to have 'added vitamins' that the earth's water just cannot possibly give us? Well, a bottle of it on average contains 32 grams of sugar. And not that many vitamins.

I could go on forever but it gets depressing after a while. My advice is to not let the idea that everything is 'bad' consume you. My goal is not to frighten you, it is to make you aware of your options. Knowledge is power and it helps you to make informed and conscious choices based on what is good for you specifically. This doesn't mean you avoid sugar your whole life - that's not probable - but when you go to buy foods ONLY because you think they are doing you good - make sure that they are. 

Wishing you natural & effective weight loss, 


P.s - If you want to understand the labeling on your foods better and to be aware of what you are feeding yourself, your children or guests - please check out my post - 7 Of the Biggest Labeling Lies - Know Your Food


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