The Secret’s In the Sauce: How Food Manufacturers Hide Ingredients in Plain Sight: Part 4

At this point, after a rather brief explanation on the ways that food companies manipulate food labels, some of the tricks used and the reasons behind them should add cause for concern. Of all the tricks, the games of hide and seek and the lack of warnings, there is one ingredient that is arguably more protected, manipulated and disguised over all other ingredients and additives combined. It should come as no surprise that this highly coveted and protected ingredient could only be one substance, sugar.

There is literally sugar in everything and our bodies have adapted to the high doses of sugar in our diet. The body will still produce glucose when consuming foods with little to no sugar. This is done to satisfy the brain, which has been tricked into craving the quick fix of this false fuel over proper dense nutrition and fuel sources such as protein.

It is no secret that the days of simply checking the food label on a product and then making a decision based on the total amount of sugar is gone. There was a time when this decision was much easier to make. If sugar or any sweetener was one of the top three or four ingredients, you knew immediately that this product was loaded with garbage and back on the shelf it went. We all know how this story goes from there. Food manufacturers caught on to our simple practice and the ultimate game of hide the sugar began. Not only did the food manufacturers master the craft of hiding sugar, they did it right in front of our eyes and we failed to catch on until it was too late.

From the sweet to the savory, sugar is in almost everything. It is estimated that added sugars are hiding in 74% of all packaged foods. From yogurt to bread, energy bars and pasta sauce, you can bet the farm that somewhere in there, added sugars are hiding. By the time we discovered that sugar was basically included in everything and virtually impossible to escape, food manufacturers had us lined up perfectly within their crosshairs. On average, Americans consume roughly 66 pounds of added sugar every year. This statistic alone is devastating to the overall health of our country. In most cases, this statistic doesn’t even take into consideration the sugars we voluntarily consume through traditional outlets like sodas and desserts.

The most recent list of acceptable ways to label sugar in products is up to 61. There are 61 different names for sugar, which really means that added sugars can be added 61 different ways to a product. It is straight out of the food manufacturers dream to have such a large list. This allows them to thin the total amount of sugar in so many different ways that sugar shouldn’t ever show up in the first five to ten ingredients listed on a label, yet that product could still be completely loaded to the brim with the sweet stuff.

Until the FDA comes back in and helps revise the rules of labeling foods, it is no easy task to figure out exactly what we are eating. To the untrained eye, it would be virtually impossible to tell the difference between healthy foods and food filled with sugar, toxins and unnecessary additives that have been proven to be detrimental to our health. Now, more than ever, do your homework. Take the extra time to study these labels and see if you can seek out the hidden dangers in some of the foods we eat daily. As I stated before, as of right now, we are on our own. Hopefully sometime in the near future, The FDA will drop the hammer on all the manipulative techniques the food companies use to hide ingredients, share half-truths and ultimately get us hooked on their products. As long as cash is king, these companies will do whatever it takes to continue playing this unfair game of hide and seek.