If you want to lose weight and be healthier, the most important thing to avoid is sugar in all its forms. Avoid white sugar. Avoid honey. Avoid corn syrup. Avoid agave nectar. Avoid sugar-laden sodas. Avoid sugar-laden smoothies.
Beware: You might be eating a whole lot more sugar than you thought you were. Here are 132 so-called foods that are really sugar (or an artificial substitute) in just another form. Note: Artificial sweeteners are as bad for you as sugar itself (for different reasons).
Only a few of these might be okay to use: xylitol, stevia, monk fruit extract, or erythritol.
This list was originally presented by Dr. Robert Lustig at the 2014 James Beard Foundation Food Conference. It is presented in this form by Women’s Health magazine. It has since been added to by me to include new sugar substitutes, artificial sweeteners, and brand name sweeteners.
acesulfame potassium (artificial)
allulose (sugar alternative, use moderately)
aspartame-acesulfame salt (artificial)
barley malt extract
brown rice syrup
cane juice crystals
chicory root syrup
corn syrup solids
dehydrated cane juice
dried fruit purée
Equal (brand name artificial sweetener, aspartame)
erythritol (sugar alternative, use moderately)
evaporated cane juice
evaporated palm sugar
fruit juice concentrate
high-fructose corn syrup
luo han guo extract (sugar alternative, use moderately)
luo han sweetener (sugar alternative, use moderately)
Lyle’s Golden Syrup
maguey sap (sugar alternative, use moderately)
maltitol (sugar alternative, use moderately)
monk fruit extract (sugar alternative, use moderately)
Necta Sweet (brand name artificial sweetener)
Nectresse (brand name for monk fruit extract)
Neohesperidin dihydrochalcone (artificial)
Neotame (brand name artificial sweetener)
nonnutritive sweetener (artificial sweetener)
NutraSweet (brand name artificial sweetener, aspartame)
organic raw sugar
PureFruit (brand name for monk fruit extract)
PureLo (brand name for monk fruit extract)
PureVia (brand name for stevia)
Splenda (brand name artificial sweetener, sucralose)
stevia (sugar alternative, use moderately)
Sugar Twin (brand name artificial sweetener)
Sunett (brand name artificial sweetener, acesulfame K)
Sweet Leaf (brand name for stevia)
Sweet ‘N Low (brand name artificial sweetener, saccharin)
Sweet One (brand name artificial sweetener, acesulfame K)
Sweet Twin (brand name artificial sweetener)
Swerve (brand name for erythritol mixture)
swingle fruit extract
Truvia (brand name for stevia)
xylitol (sugar alternative, use moderately)
Note: Many artificial sweeteners turn healthy bacteria in the digestive system toxic. Concentrations as small as one mg/ml alter gut bacteria in a negative way.
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