How to Spot a Sugar Sneak Attack

How to Spot a Sugar Sneak Attack

Our nutrition editor shows you the warning signs written on food labels that indicate products rife with superfluous sugar and extra calories.

Hi, I’m Joanna Golub, the Nutrition Editor at Runner’s World magazine, and here’s another quick bite.

Fiber is key for good health because it can help keep you feeling full, control your weight, and ward off certain diseases.

Some nutrition labels break out the two different kinds of fiber: soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fiber actually can help reduce your cholesterol levels, while insoluble fiber is key for keeping your digestive system moving smoothly.

Deciphering the amount of sugar in a product can be a bit trickier. That’s because nutrition labels don’t distinguish between naturally occurring sugars and added sugars.

When you eat naturally occurring sugars, like those found in milk and fruit, you’re getting the benefit of other healthy nutrients like protein in milk, and vitamins and fiber in fruit.

Added sugars – like corn syrup and plain old table sugar – are basically empty calories, and provide no additional health benefit. The only way to get an idea of how much added sugar is in a product is to read the ingredient list. If sugar, or any of its many pseudonyms (maltose, dextrose, high fructose corn syrup and agave nectar, to name a few), is listed as one of the first few ingredients, then you know the product is not a very healthy choice

Carbohydrates are of course a key part of a runner’s diet. Just make sure yours are high in fiber and low in added sugar.

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