Stealthy sugar is bad for health. Visit Arizona’s Family Chiropractic in Gilbert to discover more about your overall health and fitness.

How Stealthy Sugars Can Harm Your Body

By: Dr. Brice Neff DC

If you sweeten your coffee every morning you’re likely getting some added sugar. However, many products in our refrigerators and cupboards have deceptive servings hidden under more oblique titles. This is why added sugars are sometimes described as stealthy or sneaky. You may not even need added sugar in your diet, yet it sneaks in whether you acknowledge it or not. Sugar exists in a range of ways, and if you’re uncertain about what to look out for, you may be consuming far more than you think. Even products thought to be healthful may include stealthy sugars. Here’s what you need to know to keep sneaky sugars away from your dish. 

Sources Of Added Sugars

Sugar may be found in various settings, often in plain sight. If you eat any of these items daily, you need to be on the watch for stealthy sugar, so ensure to read the nutritional tag:


Yogurt is healthy, but it’s also high in sugar. One box of flavored yogurt may carry up to 22 grams of added sugar.

Spaghetti sauce

According to the producers, sugar is added to spaghetti sauce to bring out its inherent richness. Canned spaghetti sauce has around 7 grams of stealthy sugar per portion.

White bread

White bread is made by removing the nutrients, minerals, and fiber from wheat grain, and sugar is added to several consumer white loaves to make them more appealing.


Sugar levels in ketchup sauce, mayonnaise, and peanut butter may be higher than you thought. A tablespoon of ketchup contains about 4 grams of added sugar. One tablespoon of peanut butter can contain 3 grams of stealthy sugar.

Ingredients To Look Out Added Sugar

Sugar is mentioned on food labels in various ways that aren’t just “sugar.”

These deceptive synonyms are employed to make a product appear healthier.

If you see the below on a nutritional label, it’s just sugar disguised:

  • Agave
  • Dextrose
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Fructose
  • Glucose
  • Honey
  • Malt
  • Maltose
  • Molasses
  • Nectar
  • Saccharose
  • Sucrose
  • Syrup

Although some of those ingredients appear “organic,” such as molasses and honey, they are still stealthy sugars.

Artificial Sweeteners

Other people prefer to avoid sugar substitutes or artificial sweeteners. Pay attention to the following ingredients on nutrition labels :

  • Acesulfame-K
  • Aspartame
  • Saccharin
  • Stevia
  • Sucralose

Carefully read the nutrition label on items before purchasing them to know precisely what you’re receiving.

Adverse Effects of Stealthy Sugars

We may need to be concerned about how much added sugar we put into our bodies because of what happens to it once it enters our bodies.

High Blood Sugar Levels

The increased blood glucose caused by sneaky sugar signals the pancreas to create more insulin. Insulin tells your cells it’s time to get their fuel supply. However, because this process occurs so quickly when we consume extra sugar, our blood glucose level will plummet not long after we eat. The sugar crush you experience when your blood sugar dips below normal might induce weariness and irritation. Furthermore, it leaves your cells desiring additional boost as soon as possible. Regular intake of added sugar can result in a variety of problems.

Insulin resistance

The danger is that insulin resistance might develop if you are on a continuous path of sugar peaks and crashes. Your cells cease reacting to the insulin stimulus, which tells them to use energy. Rather, your body system and liver will store the sugar in the form of fat.

Problems with the vital organs

Whenever we consider things detrimental to the liver, we usually think of alcohol. However, excessive stealthy sugar can be just as detrimental to the liver as alcohol with time. This may enhance one’s chances of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Fructose has been identified as an example of common stealthy sugar. It’s abundant in high-fructose corn syrup, refined sugar, sucrose, or agave nectar-sweetened meals and beverages.


Sugar might be tough to detect. But ensure to read all labels since sugar may be found in items you don’t even know you’re eating. Visit Arizona’s Family Chiropractic in Gilbert to discover more about your overall health and fitness.



Frequently Asked Questions

Is There A Difference Between Added Sugar And Natural Sugar?

Yes. Natural sugar is sugar that is found naturally in whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, whereas added sugar is sugar that is supplied to meals during manufacturing, cooking, or before consumption.

How Do I Cut Back On Added Sugar?

Here are three easy methods to reduce added sugar intake:

  • Try avoiding added sugar for a short period
  • Consider food substitutions. You might, for example, swap sweets for fruits
  • Try keeping a food diary

It all comes down to balance. If you consume added sugar, don’t feel bad about it.

Content Reviewed By

Dr. Brice Neff DC Gilbert AZ
Doctor of Chiropractic