Added sugar is another “sneaky” ingredient to watch out for on ingredient labels, and may be in more foods than you might think.
Harvard Health Publishing explains that while obvious offenders such as sugary drinks and candy are important to avoid in excess, added sugars can also be found in seemingly innocent products such as crackers, salad dressing and pasta sauce. As Debbie Krivitsky, a registered dietitian at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital, explains, “It’s the added sugar that’s the problem. Not the natural fruit sugar, which contains fiber to slow absorption, but added sugar, such as honey, molasses and corn syrup.” When looking at the nutrition label, the site’s experts recommend looking for the ingredients that end in “ose”, such as dextrose, fructose and maltose, as well as syrups and juices.
Added sugar can contribute to weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, and a number of other health issues. Because they are immediately digested, they can cause your blood sugar levels to spike. According to Dr. David M. Nathan, a professor at Harvard Medical School and director of the Diabetes Center and Clinical Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, “It challenges your pancreas to pump more insulin. If the pancreas can’t keep up with this application, blood sugar levels rise, which can lead to more problems with insulin secretion and ultimately diabetes.”