Surprising Ways Sugar Sneaks Into Your Kitchen and Leaves You Feeling Exhausted

By Cynthia Brace

For a few weeks, you’ve resisted the 2 teaspoons of sugar in your coffee, afternoon candy bars, sour patch kids to avoid the sugar crash, but still feel exhausted and foggy-brained.

The reality is, sugar is hidden in the majority of packaged foods.

Look at the label below for example. Take a guess how many different types of sugars are in this one bar?

Okay so maybe I should backtrack a bit.  If you’re not familiar with how to read a food label (or Nutrition Fact’s panel), the first thing you look at is the serving size (that’s just under the nutrition facts).

This is really important so that you know what the numbers in the food label are referring to.  In this case, it’s one bar.  For other items such as cereal, you may see something like 1/2 cup, which is completely ridiculous.  When have you ever had 1/2 cup of cereal?

The numbers below the serving size will indicate how much of that ingredient are in that serving size.  In the case of the label above, there are 7 grams of sugar.

In the case of cereal if you’re having double or triple the serving size amount you need to double or triple the numbers on the label.

The problem with the sugars section in a food label is that it combines all natural and added sugars.

Natural sugars are things like apples in applesauce.  Added sugars are sugars that are added to a product that aren’t naturally occurring.


Once you’ve looked at the amount of sugar in the product, you need to see where it’s coming from.  That’s where the ingredient list comes in.

The first ingredient indicates that there is more of this in the product than anything else.

So if you’re looking at an applesauce label and it says apples as the first ingredient, that’s what you should expect as the main ingredient.

All the other ingredients after that are in smaller amounts as you go down the list, so there is very little of the last ingredient.

Here is where the food industry can fool you.  They sometimes only put a small amount of what is labelled “sugar” in the product and then put all other sorts of different forms of sugar with so that they end up lower down on the list.

If all of the added sweeteners in certain products were just labelled “sugar,” it would most likely be the first ingredient.

So if you guessed there are 5 forms of sugar in the one bar label above you guessed right (sugar, corn syrup, fructose, maltodextrin, barley malt).

Don’t forget that 4 grams of sugar equal 1 teaspoon.

So in this one bar, you’re getting almost 2 teaspoons.

Most people don’t consider drinks as “food” so they don’t read their labels.

Drinks, even so-called healthy ones, can fill you up with natural and added sugars and contribute to a sugar crash.

Always look at the labels of juices, sports drinks and vitamin water (which can have up to 32 grams of sugar in one bottle! That’s 8 teaspoons!)

How much sugar does your favourite packaged snack have?

Let me know in the comments below!

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