Find the Hidden Sources of Sugar

Sugar is everywhere - get Jillian's tips on how to avoid it now.

Let's get something straight — stay far, far away from high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Seriously, this stuff really puts the "junk" in junk food! The people who make it have tried to claim it's the same as sugar, and while it's chemically similar, our bodies process it in different ways. HFCS is processed only by the liver, making it a greater contributor to obesity, diabetes, and more. It's the most abundant source of calories in a lot of foods out there and it's terrible for you because it boosts your fat-storing hormones. Look at your labels and you'll find HFCS in so many foods that line the shelves in our grocery stores. It's found in most soft drinks, processed foods, breads, candy, flavored yogurts, salad dressings, canned vegetables, and cereals. But just because high-fructose corn syrup is evil doesn't necessarily mean halos are hovering over other sugars. There's more sweet stuff out there that you need to avoid!

We still have far too much of the non-corn variety of sugar in our diets, and it's definitely not doing anything good for our health or our waistlines. The average American eats more than 30 teaspoons of sugar a day — that's more than 114 pounds of sugar a year!

While sugar is everywhere, you must do your best to eat it in extreme moderation. The World Health Organization recommends no more than 12 to 15 teaspoons a day, or 48 to 60 grams. Your best bet is to keep that amount as low as possible. Check your food labels — anything with "sugar" should obviously be avoided. However, sugar has many aliases. I'll give you a hint: Anything that ends in "-ose" is a sugar. See what I mean in the list below, and beware of these sweeteners in the foods you eat!

Aspartame
Dextrose
Evaporated cane juice
Fructose
Fruit juice concentrates
Galactose
Glucose
Honey
Invert corn syrup
Lactose
Malt
Maltose
Malt syrup
Maple syrup
Molasses
Rice syrup
Sacharin
Splenda
Sucralose
Sucrose

Now that you know what not to eat, there are some sweeteners that are okay to use, like organic maple syrup, Monk fruit, Nectresse, Stevia, and Truvia. The following are okay — but only in moderation: agave syrup, wild organic raw honey, and cane juice. Keep an eye on what you're consuming and limit yourself.

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