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Sugar, by any other name would taste as sweet

The Shakespearean quote, modified slightly, is quite apt when it comes to sugar. As I read labels, I’ve noticed that products I thought would have ‘sugar’ in them, don’t have it listed as an ingredient. When it comes to reading labels, most of us are sorely uneducated. Sugar can have a multitude of different names.

You have your obvious ones, where they mention what the sugar was derived from or what type it is.

  • cane sugar
  • evaporated cane sugar
  • beet sugar
  • date sugar
  • brown sugar
  • confectionary sugar
  • turbinado sugar
  • unrefined sugar
  • raw sugar

Those ones are the easiest to spot. Then you have the ‘-ose’ family with all of its many members:

  • fructose

    English: Macro photograph of a pile of sugar (...

    English: Macro photograph of a pile of sugar (saccharose) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • galactose
  • glucose
  • lactose
  • maltose
  • sucrose

Next we move on to the syrups, ah the syrups:

  • cane syrup
  • high fructose corn syrup (this one’s a biggie)
  • maple syrup
  • rice syrup

Then we have a few randoms, some that even sound like healthier options:

  • honey
  • molasses
  • barley malt
  • agave nectar
  • fruit juice concentrate

Things like honey, fruit juice concentrate and agave nectar can sound like they are much healthier options, but that isn’t always the case. For example, agave nectar may look good when you are looking only at the Glycemic Index (GI) and Glycemix Load (GL) because it is only made up of 10% glucose. Glucose is what is used in these two measurements. However, the rest of it is made up of fructose. Sugar (sucrose) is a 50/50 blend of glucose and fructose. The reason more fructose is bad is that studies have shown that fructose raises the levels of LDL(bad) cholesterol, as well as triglycerides in the body whether a person has a healthy blood glucose tolerance or not. High

LDLs are a contributing factor to heart disease and the liver can’t handle the fructose, so it turns it into triglycerides. Having fruit every day doesn’t adversely affect us, but agave nectar is so high in fructose it has more concentrated sugar than sugar itself. Yikes!

So if you’ve been following along, keeping that sugar intake in check, remember that sugar has many other names. Some worse than others, for different reasons, but all on the unhealthy side of the fence. Especially considering the massive amounts that we consume.

What can you do to abate that sweet tooth? Eating whole fruits that are sweet are a perfect way to ebb those cravings. The fibers in the fruits slow down the absorption of the sugar into your blood so it is much more manageable for your pancreas and other organs. I have also found a new best friend name Stevia. Stevia has no calories and does not affect your blood sugar. A drop or two in some lime flavoured Perrier and it’s just as good as a nice 7up.

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About msjenniferwalker

I'm a Jenn of all trades, as long as they are creative and fulfilling. I'm an actress, writer, photographer and all around social person. I love to learn, travel, meet new people and have new experiences.

Posted on May 26, 2012, in Information and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. i know you are trying to regulate your blood sugar and its a no sugar month – and maybe i have missed this in previous posts. but can you write about the appropriate intake of sugar? ex: how much is acceptable. I understand fruits and sweet vegetables are ok – but then there’s all that ifo ex: agave is better than regular sugar etc etc etc. is there an appropriate amount of sugar to consume? Cause i mean – it seams like most things have sugar in them naturally. so i was just wondering if you could elaborate on that topic more – thanks

    • Thanks for the question! I’m not an expert, but I will do my best to help you.
      This month, I’ve cut out ADDED sugars and sweeteners. I’m not going to hardcore on the blood sugar, except to not tax my system by letting it drop or peak too much during the day.
      First off, don’t eat agave. From what I’ve understood, Agave is worse for you than sugar. If you are looking for something to sweeten your food, go for stevia. 0 calories and no affect on your blood sugar.
      Secondly, the ideal amount of sugar to consume depends where you are getting it from. Added sugars, the best rule is 0. I know, it seems harsh but all the data that I’ve read suggests that it can only do bad things for your body.
      Unless you are diabetic, all naturally occurring sugars in WHOLE FOODS seem to be okay. (Again, not an expert).
      I’ve been getting most of my information from “Suicide by Sugar” if you wanted to check it out. I also recently read an article about refined sugar on webmd, here is the link if you’d like to read it http://ow.ly/b6YFt
      They seem to take a much more relaxed outlook on the effects of sugar. This should give you both sides.
      As for the RDA of ADDED sugar, according the to the American Heart Association, it stands at 6 teaspoons for women and 9 for men.
      So pretty much one can of pop and you’ve wiped out your daily allowance.
      Hope all this information helps, I’m sorry I can’t comment on the naturally occurring sugars, but if I come across the info, I’ll post.
      Cheers!

  2. Hi Jenn, there really is no real recommendation from “higher above” about how much sugar one should limit to (of added sugar)…but! There is a rule of thumb that “we” normally recommend that it should be no more than 10-12 tsp/day (40-48gg/day). So as mentioned this includes sugar that you add and sugar added to your foods.

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