Myth 1: Juice doesn't have added sugar since it's made from fruit.
Juice, especially from concentrate, is considered a sugary beverage. This type in particular will have added sugar in it, not to mention the fancier 'cold pressed' versions that are often completely devoid of all other nutrients and are just delivering sugar to your body! Try eating fruit in its natural form instead of juice; add 1/4 cup of juice to sparkling water or tap, or look for fresh-squeezed versions and treat yourself to a 1/2-cup serving instead.
Myth 2: If it doesn't say 'sugar' on the ingredients list, it probably doesn't have too much of it.
Not so! When browsing ingredients labels, look out for anything that ends with the words sugar (like coconut sugar), sweetener, or syrup, as well as words ending in '-ose' (like dextrose), agave, honey, malt, molasses, evaporated cane juice, and fruit juice concentrate. These are all hidden sugar bombs.
Myth 3: If it doesn't taste sweet, it's not 'sugary.'
As a dietician, I am actually less concerned about the added sugar my clients know they're eating, like sweets, versus the sugar that's sneaking into our diets in the form of beverages, cereal, pasta sauce, and salad dressings (just to name a few). That's why it's so important to check food labels and to make sure you read ingredients carefully.
Common savory culprits, like sauces and dips, are just as susceptible to food processing, so check labels before purchasing.
Myth 4: If you're avoiding sugar, you can't have dessert.
This one is my favourite myths to bust! Here's what I love about dessert — it's completely, 100% transparent in that what you see is what you get. When I reach for a piece of chocolate, I'm making a conscious decision to have a treat. And when I reach for the other foods I love — fruits and veggies are my diet mainstay — I'm eating as close to nature as possible. But it's those sneaky sources of sugar that are the ones that we all have to watch out for. When you limit these, you can truly have your cake and eat it too.
By Jaclyn London, Registered Dietician