Sugar: The Hidden Ingredient


Refined sugar is a toxic food which is unfortunately finding its way into pretty much everything we buy. Aside from the obvious products sugar is found in such as candy, soda, chocolate, cakes and cookies – products which sadly still remain rampant in shops and schools today – sugar is also found in seemingly “innocent” products.

Manufacturers know just how addictive sugar is and because so many of us crave something sweet with every meal, it is increasingly being used in what should be savory products.

If you want to avoid sugar, it is obvious you need to stop buying soda and junk food. But it is less obvious to check every single product you buy, oftentimes products that you least expect sugar to be used in.

Next time you’re in the supermarket check your products carefully before paying for them – you’ll be surprised by just how much sugar is contained in products you thought were 100% natural. Often, tomato paste has glucose added to it – look for the ones without this addition; you might need to go to a health food store. Make sure you’re buying a brand of peanut butter which is 100% peanuts, nothing else added. And those delicious jars of sauce you use to cook your chicken in? Forget it. The second or third ingredient will be sugar. It’s not much better than eating cake for your dinner, really.

Stopped buying soda and opted for fruit juice? Fruit juice, though it may be 100% natural, is still loaded with natural sugars and can still provide the same sugar rush as candy. Not to mention that it’s bad for your teeth too. Certainly freshly squeezed orange, tomato or carrot juice would take preference over apple juice which is notoriously high in natural sugars.

What about those healthy whole wheat crackers you buy for your mid-morning snack? It sounds like a nutritious option but many brands will still pack their crackers with added sugar (and salt, preservatives and other flavorings). Make sure to carefully check the ingredients to ensure you’re getting a product with minimal added ingredients.

As you can see, shopping for healthy foods isn’t so simple and it requires a trained and patient eye to find the products that we can truly feel secure eating.

Joanna Simons
Joanna is a natural health coach specializing in nutrition and natural beauty products.