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How Sugar Hides in Our Food

Have you ever felt shame or guilt for craving sugar?

You shouldn’t! It’s addictive, and the food industry knows it.

To illustrate this, let’s make some tomato sauce. We take tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, fresh basil, salt, and pepper.

Now. Check the ingredient list on the tomato sauce you buy in the grocery store. What do you find?

I’ll bet you will find sugar in it. Unless, you’ve consciously chosen a tomato sauce without it. Our point being, it’s EVERYWHERE.


Sugar Stimulates Appetite

The addiction to sugar is no coincident, because it’s a survival mechanism.

To survive winter (in Africa that means drought and little or no food) we needed to store what’s most essential to our survival:

Energy and water, also known as “fat”.

To stimulate fat storing, we needed to consume a lot of sugar.

Back in the day (a couple of hundred thousand years ago), nature only provided sugar for a short period of time.

When fruit and berries were in season, we needed to eat a lot of it. To make sure of that, the body developed a craving for sugar.

Sugar stimulates your appetite, which causes you to eat more, so you can store energy and water.


How Sugar Hides In Your Food

The food industry uses clever ways to hide how much sugar is in their products. Here are five  ways of how they do it:


1. Health Claims

One of the things they do to make their products appear more healthy is to add health claims:

  • “Low-fat”
  • “Diet”
  • “Light”
  • “No refined sugar”
  • “Sugar-free”

When it says “low-fat” on the product, that means it has little or no fat, but it can still contain a lot of sugar or other additives.


2. Combining Natural Sugar With Added Sugar

Sugar is not created equal.

Whole foods like fruit, berries, and honey, contain natural sugar. It’s not added. When you eat them, you receive lots of nutrients and enzymes that are good for the body.

This is because we have evolved to eat it. Our body recognizes these natural sugars and knows how to digest it.

Let’s say you want something healthy, so you buy a fruit smoothie. The first couple of sips taste fantastic, but on the third sip, you realize it’s much too sweet.

You take a look at the label and find out there is added sugar. Now, you’re getting both the natural and added sugar.

This makes it harder to know how much sugar you’re actually consuming.


3. Using “Healthy” Sugars

Another trick is to use unrefined sugars like:

  • Agave syrup
  • Coconut sugar
  • Raw sugar
  • Honey

When the food industry uses these types of sugar, they often write on the product “no refined sugar.”

It’s meant to convince us that it’s more healthy than it actually is.

It’s still added sugar, and can trigger your appetite, as well as the storing of fat.


4. Using Different Types Of Sugar

The ingredient list is organized by weight, meaning the main ingredient is listed first.

If the food manufacturer wants to move the sugar further down the ingredient list, they use different types of sugar instead of one type.

It makes the product appear to have less sugar.


5. Sugar Has Many Names

Have you ever read an ingredient list and not been able to pronounce the majority of the names?

You’re not alone!

It’s a way to confuse you! You’re more likely to give up and buy something you crave if you are fed up with trying to understand what it all means.

Most companies will put sugar in products you wouldn’t expect. An example being, how most types of bacon have “dextrose”, or another fancy way of saying “SUGAR”.

Do you know how different names there is for sugar?

We found 65! Did your jaw just drop? Ours did too, once we stopped counting.

Luckily, we have organized this list of sugars for you. Click here for your free copy.

Also, we have a challenge for you:

  1. Take this list with you the next time you go grocery shopping.
  2. Find an item you wouldn’t think has added sugar, and cross reference it to our list.
  3. If it does have added sugar, then share it with a friend or family member.

You will be shocked, they will be shocked, but everyone will be more aware.

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4 thoughts on “How Sugar Hides in Our Food”

  1. Very useful info, Jorgen.
    I’m trying to find a perfect recipe of chocolate without sugar. Do you think any added honey or
    stevia are a bad idea? Are they better than coconut sugar?
    Is there any chance to make a chocolate that will meet all the WildFit requirements?

    1. Jørgen Gundersen

      Hi Alex.

      It depends on your goals and what lifestyle you want to have.

      Chocolate is not a WildFit necessity. You can certainly find chocolate that you can enjoy once in a while.

      Honey is a great option as sugar.

      Hope this helps. Have a great day!

      – Jørgen, WildFit Team

  2. I’m on the Wildfit program now, and I shared this email eith my daughters. I’m only at day 41, but I know this is a good path for feeding your body to allow it to heal and be at it’s optimal health to fight off the bad stuff…. obesity, cancer, diabetes etc. Thanks for posting this email.

  3. Pingback: Prediabetes Diet: How To Avoid Further Health Problems – Mindvalley Blog

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