Top 6 Sugar Gimmicks
Tuesday, May 8, 2020
Given all the hue and cry around SUGARS, it's no surprise that a lot of brands have jumped on the "NO SUGAR/ LOW SUGAR" bandwagon.
BEWARE. The guidelines for sugar nutrient content claims are a little complex. Claims like 'No Added Sugar' or 'Zero Sugar' are constantly being used by a lot of fly-by-night brands trying to position their offerings as healthy.
Here’s a de-construction of the top 6 misleading claims related to Sugar/Carbs.
1. The "No added Sugar" gimmick.
A ‘no sugar added’ claims means no sugar has been ‘added,’ but that doesn’t mean the product is not high in sugars in the first place as it does not count on other ingredients, which may contain hidden sugar.
The big trick is not in implying that one or another of them has added sugar, but in implying that somehow “no added sugar” interprets to “no sugar’’ in the product.
So, solution is always looking for “Total Sugars” or “Sugars” and not “Added Sugar”. “Added Sugar” is a meaningless claim. Why on earth would any supplement company add Sugar to their products anyways? Most products are mischievously labeled as “No added sugar” while they still contain ample amount of Total Sugars from other ingredients.
2. All-natural ingredients
Many terms are tossed around with far too much ease these days – natural, organic, gluten-free, made with real fruit, a good source of, etc. There are so few rules that actually regulate the use of these terms that most manufacturers can put whatever they think will sell a product, particularly in the natural and organic categories, which have become pretty much meaningless. Keep in mind that if a manufacturer has to tell you what benefits a food product has, most likely it doesn’t. The gluten-free label is often slapped onto foods that shouldn't even have gluten in the first place.
3. The "zero Sugar" fake claim
This one's a classic. Sugars (note the plural) are mono and disaccharides. These include dextrose, sucrose and fructose. Sugar (singular) on the other hand is sucrose (table sugar).
Many companies label their products as "0g Sugar" (Note: "no sugar") which means that only sucrose (white granulated sugar) is absent from their total carb count. The gimmick- they don’t want to reveal their "Total Sugars".
4. Whey Protein Concentrate a.k.a RAW WHEY being labeled as ZERO SUGAR!!!
The simple fact is that WPC contain 10-12% lactose. Lactose is a 'milk sugar', made up of monosaccharide glucose and galactose. Our survey showed that 8 out of 10 brands on the market label their WPC products (a.k.a RAW WHEY) as 0g Sugar!! How?
5. Flavored products being labeled as ZERO CARB!
Another classic Science-based companies who analyze every aspect of their formulations know that even the minor ingredients like Flavors are over 80% carbs. How all the flavored products on the Indian market end up being labeled as ZERO CARBS is anyone’s guess.
6. The "Sugar-free" Claim on label
"Sugar-free" is improperly used to describe foods that don't contain "white sugar." But just like there are numerous types of tea, similarly there are numerous types of sugar. There’s honey, Jaggery, evaporated cane juice, corn syrup, barley malt, brown rice syrup, coconut palm sugar, fruit juice or its concentrates, maple syrup, molasses, date puree – just to name a quick dozen. but ultimately they all are SUGAR.
And sugar by any other name is just as sweet, equally caloric gram for gram, spike up the insulin level and not measurably better for you than the white stuff you know as "table sugar," "white sugar" or "refined sugar." So even if the exact word "sugar" does not appear on an ingredient list, that doesn't mean a food or recipe is "sugar-free".
Innocent buyers are fooled by such misleading and meaningless claims that manufacturing companies are kept using on label. PROCEL will continue to bring you regular information on the inside workings of the supplement industry.