Sneaky, Sneaky Sugars & How To Avoid Them

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Since we've become more inclined to check the ingredient labels on our groceries, we've also adopted a turning up of our noses at certain things. Seeing terms like "natural flavors" and "yellow 3" have created a knee-jerk reaction, and we put those puppies right back on the shelf. Essentially, we've unintentionally created a list of ingredient deal breakers. But, items containing the likes of "agave nectar" and "beet sugar" surely wouldn't be on there; they sound so natural they must be healthy, right? Not according to Jonathan Bailor, who believes sugar is sugar, no matter its name. In fact, there's a wealth of sugars out there we're positive you've never seen before (hello, Musocvado and Turbinado Sugars) — and some of them are downright space-age material (we're looking at you, Galactose).

Bailor offers three basic points to remember when encountering your sneaky sugars. First, it's important to remember options that seem healthy can sometimes have the same amount of sugar as things we think of as unhealthy. For example, cereal that claims to be "heart smart" can have just as much sweetener as a breakfast pastry. Even though it's good for your heart, it's not any fewer calories than a croissant. No, we're not giving you permission to swap out your Cheerios for a bear claw (sorry, girl).

Another thing to keep in mind is that "natural" marketing is just that — marketing. Bailor suggests, for example, the "natural" connotations of agave nectar. Sure, it sounds like a better option than regular old sugar, but it's about 90-percent fructose. For reference, that's double the amount of high-fructose corn syrup. Except, Bailor's final point is to avoid high-fructose corn syrup altogether. Need convincing? In a study Bailor cites, rats fed high-fructose corn syrup consistently got fatter and sicker than rats fed the exact same amount of sugar. So, that's that.

Check out the full list of 57 sugars you can be on the lookout for during your grocery hauls. And, ya know, don't drink soda. (Huff Post)