Kids really enjoy hide and seek. For those who don’t know the rules, one child must cover their eyes with their back to the playing area and count to 100. On completing that, they call out loudly, “Coming ready or not!” Whilst they are counting, all the other children hide out of sight.
The counter must try to find the hidden children and tag them before they sneak from their hiding place and make a dash to the ‘home base’ where the counting occurred. Those who manage to tag the tree, wall or door without being tagged, win. There are dozens of variations in the rules, often dependent on the age of the children playing. Even toddlers and babies enjoy a variation of the game; in which their parent ‘disappears’ behind a hand, bed, door or blanket.
Nutritious Hide and Seek
Sugar has learned how to play hide and seek. For the consumer, eating what they think are healthy foods, this can be a disaster. In this insidious version of hide and seek, an ingredient many are trying to limit for their children and families is not found quite as easily as the children in Hide and Seek.
For example, if you were asked to list 10 foods that contained high levels of sugar, your list may contain
The list is not complete; it is designed to look harder for where sugar is hiding. A simple way to do this is to remember that sugar is addictive Manufacturers who process foods know this, and try to increase the consumption of their products. Drink a sports drink, and most have sugars in them, not to increase their usefulness in providing energy, but to induce craving for more of the drink.
Fruit juice with its hidden sugars shows us the best way to avoid these sugars. Instead of drinking your fruit, eat it fresh, writes Yasmin Noone on SBS. This simple rule applies to many foods. The more processed they are, the higher the content of simple sugars. Another way to highlight this is to use rice as an example. Raw brown rice is higher in protein, fibre and has a lower glycaemic index than its highly processed cousin, white rice. White rice moves through the digestive system more quickly, is less filling (so we eat more) and is in fact very closely related to sugar because it is a simple starch. This quickly becomes glucose in the bloodstream and causes fast insulin responses to balance the blood sugar levels.
Just like sugar does.
Hiding in Name Only
Sugar is the master at morphing into something that makes it sound like it is not really sugar. Just like the wolf in sheep’s clothing, the wolf seems to be a sheep. But it is not. It is simply waiting to do its damage when it is least expected. Sugar uses some 56 different names on the ingredient lists printed in point 2 font on the packets of the products you buy each week.
Take a really close look; bring your magnifying glass with you on your shopping trip, and examine the ingredients. Notice how many times names such as:
corn sweetener, ethyl maltol, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose (fruit sugars), fruit juice concentrates, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, invert sugar, lactose (milk sugars), maltose
appear in those labels and what amounts or percentages they are used.
A quick guide that may help is that the ingredients that make up the largest percentage of the food, are listed first. If ‘Sucrose’ is the first listed item on a packet of marsh-mellows or fairy floss, you know that the 100gm pack has more sugar than any other ingredient – regardless of whether it is good or bad for you.
For those who pay attention to where and how their food is grown, harvested and handed, it is worth noting that organic evaporated cane juice sounds healthy enough. Yet when its re-evaporated it is cane sugar. Organic cane sugar.
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