Fortunately, the ingredients in foods are required on nutrition labels. They are listed in descending order based on weight. However, some of the ingredients that are disclosed on the ingredient list are disguised with unfamiliar names. But we can figure out some of them.
For example, sugars can be listed individually by several different names. Any word that ends in “-ose” is a sugar, such as sucrose, dextrose, fructose, maltose or glucose. Multidextran is also a sugar. You are probably aware of the common sugars like molasses, brown sugar, cane juice, maple syrup or honey. There is a fairly extensive list at the end of this essay if you are interested in other names for sugar. If you see several sugars listed on an ingredient label there is lots of hidden sugar in the food. Food manufacturers are tricky, aren’t they?
Fats and oils are called monoglycerides or diglycerides. You probably recognized triglycerides as a fat that is measured when we have blood drawn. Lecithin is a fat made from soybeans. When you see these words you know there is added fat even if the front of the package says “No Fat”. Interesting.
Dairy products are concealed in foods as whey, casein and lactose.
What’s the bottom line? The best choice may be to find foods with no oils or animal products and few additives. Foods that are overrefined and overprocessed are best avoided. If you cannot pronounce an ingredient or have never heard of it, you might want to put it on the shelf. (That’s good advice). I hope this helps, but, as always, it is up to you to…