Lots of food manufacturers are hiding trans fats, sugars, GMO, and sodium within food products under many different names. There are 56 names for sugar only – stated in the ground-breaking report entitled Obesity in Canada: A Whole-of-Society Approach for a Healthier Canada, which was released on March 1, 2016, by the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology.

Scary facts about trans fats, or GMO, or sugar have been in the news a lot recently making people more concern about the foods they eat. They are trying to make the best food choices for themselves and their families in the grocery store. Even if a regular shopper doesn’t know exactly why trans fats are bad, in the grocery store they are likely to think: “Ah, I’ve heard something about trans-fats the other day, so better to avoid it”.

Unfortunately, too many companies are intentionally hiding harmful ingredients under unfamiliar terms, misleading and confusing the consumer.

Very often you can see a product marked “zero grams or per cent of trans fats” on the front whereas on the nutrition label on the back you can find just the opposite.

To avoid this trap, just ignore the marketing on products and packaging. Turn the package around and read the ingredients. It’s the only way you can know what you are actually eating!

But then again, nutrients like saturated and trans fats, sodium, and sugar may appear on ingredient lists under many different names. Here’s a list of the most commonly used terms:

Harmful ingredients hidden on food labels

Saturated fat

  • Bacon
  • Beef fat
  • Butter
  • Chicken fat
  • Cocoa butter
  • Coconut or coconut oil
  • Hydrogenated fats and oils
  • Lard
  • Palm or palm kernel oil
  • Powdered whole milk solids
  • Shortening
  • Suet
  • Tallow

Trans fat

  • Hard margarine
  • Hydrogenated fats and oils
  • Partially hydrogenated fats and oils
  • Shortening


  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Brine
  • Celery salt
  • Disodium phosphate
  • Garlic salt
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Onion salt
  • Salt
  • Sodium alginate
  • Sodium benzoate
  • Sodium bisulfate
  • Sodium proprionate
  • Soy sauce


  • Brown sugar
  • Cane juice extract
  • Corn syrup
  • Demerara or Turbinado sugar
  • Dextrose
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Fructose
  • Galactose
  • Glucose
  • Glucose-fructose
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Invert sugar
  • Lactose
  • Liquid sugar
  • Maltose
  • Molasses
  • Sucrose
  • Syrup
  • Treacle

Remember your health is your responsibility. Maybe making a list with all these names and taking it with you to the grocery store is a good idea?


  • http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/publications/eating-nutrition/label-etiquetage/serving-size-fact-sheet-portion-fiche-dinformation-eng.php?_ga=1.77568150.281436068.1433101282
  • http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/eating-nutrition/label-etiquetage/tips-conseils/nutrition-fact-valeur-nutritive-eng.php
  • http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/eating-nutrition/label-etiquetage/tips-conseils/list-ingredient-liste-eng.php
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