Finding Added Sugars

Taking control of your health is about focusing on carbohydrate foods that are high in nutrients and fiber. That’s why added sugar in any form should be avoided in the weight loss phases of Atkins. No matter what it’s called sugar has virtually no nutritional value.

What’s the Difference?

Naturally occurring sugars, found in dairy products or in fruit or vegetables, for instance, are an organic part of the food, and they are perfectly acceptable. An example: sugar free ice cream has some naturally occurring sugars from the milk and cream with which it is made. That same ice cream might also include some strawberries (which contain fruit sugar). Both sugars are natural, making the ice cream suitable for healthy lifestyles.

Added sugars lurk in many foods and not just in the form of sucrose (table sugar). Added sugar is often disguised with misleading names in packaged foods. These include cane sugar and evaporated cane juice, brown sugar, beet sugar or any other ingredient ending in “sugar,” as well as syrups (or syrup solids) such as maple, corn or cane. Many ingredients ending in “ose” are also sugars, although exceptions include sucralose and cellulose.

To complicate matters, a natural sugar, such as fructose, is considered an added sugar from a regulatory point of view and can also take the form of an added sugar when it’s included in processed foods. The Nutrition Facts panel tells you the number of grams of sugars in a serving, but because it lumps together all sugars, it does not distinguish between integral and added sugars. Instead, you’ll need to go to the ingredients list. If you see fructose listed instead of fruit, for example, even though that sugar has a natural source, you’ll know it’s an added ingredient you should limit your exposure to. Here are various aliases for added sugars:

  • Brown sugar
  • Cane syrup
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup
  • Corn syrup solids
  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Galactose
  • Glucose
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Invert sugar
  • Lactose
  • Malt
  • Maltose
  • Malt syrup
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Raw sugar
  • Rice syrup
  • Sucrose