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Hidden carbs

Have a question about your low-carbohydrate lifestyle for our experts? Ask it here.

Your question:
What are “hidden” carbs? The expert answers:
Carbohydrates are simple forms of sugar molecules linked together. Some carbs (simple) contain few sugar molecules, while others (complex) are composed of many sugar molecules plus fiber.

The problem with hidden carbs doesn’t lie so much with the complex types, but rather with the simple forms and disguises of sugar. Sugar comes in many different forms, and reading a label is like “finding Waldo.”

One reason we don’t know how many carbs we are actually eating is that sugar is labeled in many different ways. Brown sugar, raw sugar, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, maple syrup, molasses, dextrin, dextrose, fructose, glucose, hydro-genated starch, galactose, sucrose, fruit juice concentrate, lactose, brown rice syrup, sorghum, turbinado — all are forms of sugar or carbohydrate that affect blood sugar and insulin levels, and, therefore, weight loss success.

Learning to read nutrition labels carefully as well as understanding which foods are classified as carbs (all fruits, vegetables and grain-based products) will help you make healthful selections and stay within your carb allowance. (Editor’s Note: Look for LowCarb Energy’s “Hidden carb alerts” in future issues of the print magazine.)

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