Way back when I too was trying to lose weight. Lost and overwhelmed by all the info out there I would read the food labels. Low fat was good, no fat must be better or so I thought. No sugar and No fat was the ultimate winner and definitely ended up in my cart. Today I know this was a mistake.
The FDA defines “Sugar” on a nutrition label has having been derived from sugar cane or sugar beets.
So you can have a product that says sugar free on the label…many instant puddings do this…yet there is nothing but sugar in the product. How? Well the other “sugars” are not derived from sugar cane or beets and do not have to be listed as sugar on the label.
Check out this label.
Sugar will be listed as 0 grams. Yet there are 8 or so grams of carbohydrates in a serving (amount will vary depending on flavor you are looking at.) The entire box will have 32 grams of carbs or so yet no sugar.
Digging deeper maltodextrin is one of the first three ingredients…this is sugar…regardless of what the FDA says.
Ingredients: MODIFIED CORNSTARCH, MALTODEXTRIN, TETRASODIUM PYROPHOSPHATE AND DISODIUM PHOSPHATE (FOR THICKENING), CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, SALT, CALCIUM SULFATE, XANTHAN GUM, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES (PREVENT FOAMING), ASPARTAME† AND ACESULFAME POTASSIUM (SWEETENERS), TETRAPOTASSIUM PYROPHOSPHATE, DIPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, YELLOW 5, YELLOW 6, ARTIFICIAL COLOR, BHA (PRESERVATIVE). †PHENYLKETONURICS: CONTAINS PHENYLALANINE. *AMOUNT IN DRY MIX.
Ten out of Ten times fat free means more sugar and remove fat. Instant pudding usually says fat and sugar free. Well there is no fat because the product is mostly corn starch and maltodextrin (sugars though not by definition.) Sugar content is upped to make up for the change in taste due to lack of fat.
Another great example and one we use in our seminars is licorice. One of the most popular brands says right on the label “As always a low fat candy,” no kidding….it is all sugar!
If the label has no sugar yet there are carbs in every serving and little or no fat and protein you can bet there is sugar, just not be definition.
If you are looking to curb that sweet tooth try a protein powder and make pudding. We like the Beverly International Ultimate Muscle Protein for this. Very low carb, sugar, and fat. Yet high in protein. Great in the evening as a snack!