5 Sneaky Sources of Hidden Sugar to Steer Clear Of

February 2, 2016
by Thrive Market

We created the Health Hacks on a Budget video course series to make it as easy as possible for everyone to save time and money while living a healthy life. In this series, we share simple recipes, easy tips, and educational information to help you and your family thrive.

Whether it's naturally occurring fructose or refined sugar that's added to everything from sodas to salad dressings, sugar can be a hard substance to avoid—so why try?

Sugar, natural or processed, causes a spike in insulin—and too much sugar can cause the body to store sugar as fat instead of use it for fuel. The result: Weight gain, which can increase risk of heart disease, diabetes, and chronic illness.

All the while, eating refined sugar even elicits a craving for more—it's as addictive as cocaine!

The difference between natural and processed, added sugars? Natural sugars, called fructose or glucose, come in foods that have additional nutritional benefits. For example, an apple has plenty of fiber and vitamins to go along with its fructose content. All these nutrients provide energy and fuel to the body and contribute to a lasting full feeling.

Processed sugars, on the other hand—like what's added to candy bars and breakfast cereals—have no other nutrients. Our bodies break down added sugars into carbohydrates to use for energy, but that's about it.

Check out the ingredients list on packaged foods to help you eliminate added sugars from your diet. They aren't always labeled transparently, so look out for processed sugar's many aliases, including dextrose, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, maltose, and many others.

To learn more about sugar and how to healthily swap it out, our host Sara Snow breaks it all down in this video.

This is one video in a series that's free for all Thrive Gives recipients. See the rest of the videos here. Applying for a free membership through our Giving program is easy—just click here.

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