Your ultimate guide for SUGAR & SWEETENERS
Who would’ve thought, there are 75 different names for sugar and sugar substitutes…
December is probably not the time to write an article about sugar, especially not one day before Christmas Eve, but January is just around the corner. And after all those delicious christmas cookies, office parties, family gatherings and plenty of other opportunities to overindulge, it is not surprising that we feel a little… well, rough I should say.
So then come the New Year’s Resolutions - reclaiming your HEALTH, your GLOW, your VITALITY.
And on top of the list for most of us: cutting down on sugar.
Delicious, sweet but evil temptation!
It took a while for the message to sink through but finally we’re beginning to realise that sugar is behind the rising levels of all sorts of health issues:
Diabetes, candida, chronic inflammation (arthritis, etc.) and even cancer (cancer LOVES sugar) - just to name a few.
Nutritionists and doctors now recommend eliminating refined sugars entirely, and many people are going further by limiting consumption of all forms of added sugar, including the so-called healthy sugars (more on that later).
However, adopting a low sugar diet is not always as easy as it sounds, and food labeling is rather confusing. An ingredient label might contain no word of sugar, it might even claim that the product is healthy, but very often this is nothing but the food industry’s clever marketing...
Sugar masquerades under a variety of names:
Dextrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrates, glucose, cane juice, rice syrup, maltose - the long list goes on. Trying to figure out what percentage these sugars represent in a packaged food product is like Mission Impossible.
And sadly the health food industry isn’t that much better.
We trust that consuming organic snacks is a healthy alternative. Same with vegan or glutenfree products. Every year a new “healthy” sugar alternative is the latest hype and we go crazy for it. AGAVE NECTAR or AGAVE SYRUP, found in many health food recipes, is probably the best example.
However, this sweetener may be worse for your health than regular table sugar.
The difference between Glucose and Fructose
GLUCOSE and FRUCTOSE have very different effects on the body. Glucose can be metabolized by nearly every cell in the body, while fructose is metabolized almost entirely in the liver. Studies have repeatedly demonstrated the harmful effects of high fructose consumption.
These include insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, high cholesterol, fatty liver and type 2 diabetes.
Although eating any extra sugar should be avoided, it is especially important to minimize your intake of added sugars that are high in FRUCTOSE.
Agave nectar is between 70 and 90 percent fructose.
Oops! So much to our “healthy” sugar alternative.
Although the FDA has certainly acknowledged and tried to define the term “added sugars”, the government is leaving it up to us to be food detectives and learn all the countless names for sugar - and more importantly, how much of it we’re actually putting in our mouths.
Ideally we want to eat whole foods that are as close to their natural state as possible.
Just Eat Real Food, Baby!
I know for me it takes a few days of going cold-turkey and cutting out all forms of sugar (including fruit) until my sweet cravings have disappeared. And then it’s blissful, easy, happy sailing. No more fatigue, no more mood swings, no more knee pain, skin disorders, and other unexplainable, weird health issues.
But if you do decide to buy PACKAGED FOODS, be on the lookout for the many different names that sugar goes by.
Below you’ll find a list of all the names for sugar.
Some are obvious, while others might come as a surprise. I included artificial sweeteners as they offer no alternative. I think everyone got the message by now that they have a detrimental effect on the gut microbiome, which is THE indicator for a healthy (or not so healthy) body and mind.
Your ultimate guide for sugar & sweeteners
75 names for sugar & sugar substitutes:
Acesulfame / Acesulfam-K
Barley malt syrup
Beet sugar / sugar beet molasses / sugar beet syrup
Coconut palm sugar
Dehydrated cane juice
Fruit juice concentrate
HFCS (high fructose corn syrup)
Invert sugar / Invert sugar syrup
Isomalt (E 953)
Oligofructose / Oligofructan
Rice syrup / rice malt
Stevia / steviol glycoside
Xylit / Xylitol
I know, it’s a long list…
But just being mindful and actually reading the ingredients can make a HUGE difference to your overall well-being.