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The secret names of sugar

Sugar is everywhere—and sometimes, we don't even know it! As the obesity rate in the United States continues to rise, we are more frequently encouraging patients to reduce the amount of sugar in their diet. Any sugars that our body does not use as energy get stored as fat.

Identifying the sugar in foods can be a challenge, as sugar comes in many forms and is labeled many different ways. Here are some tips to help you spot the sugar in foods.

Sugars often end in "-ose." Common examples include fructose, sucrose, glucose, dextrose, lactose, maltose.

Be wary of anything listed as a "syrup." Essentially syrup is a fancy form of processed sugar. Common examples include corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, cane syrup, maple syrup, golden syrup, etc.

Avoid ingredients containing the word "juice." Cane juice, cherry juice, etc. Many of these juices are processed or "concentrated" down to the point that essentially just sugar remains.


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