Noshu founder Rachel Bajada provides us the rundown on hidden sugar content material and how one can uncover the true sugar content material of your ‘well being meals’ and ‘wholesome’ pantry staples; as a result of though they may declare to be ‘sugar-free’, it may not really be the case…
Orange juice has lately come beneath the highlight for its excessive sugar content material. Lengthy marketed as a wholesome different to comfortable drinks, the current announcement sees some common juices now scoring as little as 2.5 on the Health Star Rating because of their excessive sugar and low fibre content material, on par with soft drinks like eating regimen coke.
With fruit juices discovered in lots of households throughout Australia, it begs the query: what different ‘wholesome’ pantry and fridge staples are in truth excessive in hidden sugar content and the way do we all know the distinction?
As a result of rising strain on producers to create better-for-you merchandise, hidden sugars are more and more showing on ingredient lists as they’re usually used to disguise the actual quantity of sugar actually added to a meals by making them seem more healthy than they are surely.
Having created Noshu, Australia’s true sugar-free meals firm, I’ve seen all of the methods of the commerce utilized by meals producers to disguise added sugars. From rice malt syrup in a jar marketed as a method to ‘give up sugar’, thus far paste, agave syrup, fruit concentrates and glucose – there are actually over 40 names for added sugar.
Again in 2013 after I began creating our product vary, I used to be each upset and extremely motivated by the restricted vary of obtainable meals made with out chemical sweeteners, nasty components and sugars in disguise. So how does one reduce by means of the advertising to grasp what sugars are literally in our meals, masquerading as health foods?
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10 hidden sugars to look out for
The best method to get a deal with on how a lot sugar is in your meals, is to go straight to the sugars per 100g column on the vitamin data panel. Meals with lower than 5g per 100g (5 per cent) whole sugar get a tick as very low sugar choices.
I’d think about something within the 5 to 10 per cent vary as average, given Australian labels don’t but have a declared breakdown of how a lot of that sugar is added, versus naturally occurring.
Many uncooked snack bars and bliss balls are as much as 40 per cent sugar, simply from dried fruit like dates and sultanas as they don’t learn like added sugar on the elements checklist. Positive, this may be ‘naturally occurring’ from fruit, however you continue to must take this under consideration in your every day consumption.
As a fast information, listed here are the highest 10 mostly added ‘sugars in disguise’ to look out for:
Rice malt syrup
Rice malt syrup or brown rice syrup is a pure sweetener constructed from brown rice. Rice syrup could also be hailed as fructose-free, but it surely has a really excessive GI of as much as 85 and is generally made up of two easy sugars – glucose and maltose.
Agave syrup is a pure sweetener constructed from the Mexican native plant Blue Agave Tequilana Weber. The juice extracted from blue agave is very processed and incorporates as much as 90 per cent fructose.
Coconut sugar is a pure sugar constructed from coconut palm sap. While it could have barely extra minerals and be much less processed than white desk sugar, it’s nonetheless sugar.
Excessive-fructose corn syrup
Not as widespread on Australian meals labels however nonetheless primarily present in American and imported meals labels. One of many worst offenders, this sugar is very processed and is generally fructose.
The Glycaemic index makes use of glucose as its foundation – for which Glucose has a GI of 100 and every little thing else is measured in opposition to it. Glucose syrup is in most muesli bars, nut bars and snack bars to bind elements collectively and add sweetness while offering nearly no nutritive worth.
A single medjool date incorporates round 16g (4 teaspoons) of sugar. Sure, it’s from fruit and comes with fibre and vitamins, but it surely contributes a really excessive fructose load and is usually used to bind and sweeten snack bars with out an ‘added sugar’ label.
To not be confused with IMO or tapioca fibre, it could sound better-for-you as a root vegetable, however is only a liquid sugar with little dietary worth.
Pure fructose could make you consider fruit – so it should be higher than sugar, proper? Mistaken. Fructose needs to be metabolised by the liver the place it’s used as a carbohydrate to create fats.
Just lately added to a ‘no added sugar’ formulation by considered one of Australia’s iconic powdered chocolatey beverage manufacturers, maltose is a disaccharide constructed from malted cereal grains. It isn’t at all times required to be declared as an ‘added sugar’ on Australian meals labels, regardless of nonetheless being a type of sugar derived from grain.
Honey is an Australian family favorite and one of the widespread, pure breakfast spreads and different sweeteners. It might probably have glorious well being advantages particularly whether it is uncooked and unprocessed, however it’s nonetheless greater than 80 per cent sugar – of which is generally fructose, so nonetheless must be handled as a type of added sugar.
Different low-GI sweeteners
In fact, most of the most typical different names for sugars are naturally occurring and may be consumed carefully, the bottom line is in realizing they’re there and recognising that they nonetheless contribute to your every day sugar consumption.
Some low GI, different plant-based sweeteners with out the empty energy that I like to recommend embrace stevia, monk fruit extract, erythritol, xylitol and chicory inulin. These pure sweeteners usually are not ‘hidden sugars’, are plant derived elements and are usually protected for diabetics – so you’ll be able to get pleasure from candy treats with out the excessive sugar load.
Rachel Bajada is the founding father of Australian sugar free meals firm, Noshu Meals and has a meals science background. Noshu Sugar Free and Low Carb merchandise may be present in Coles, Woolworths and impartial grocers, nationally.