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Thursday, 19 February 2015

Sugar Sugar Sugar

Sugar is something I get asked about A LOT!!!  

Our society is so addicted to this stuff and it's in everything processed.  Even crackers, yes crackers which are a savory snack almost always contain sugar.  My advice is to READ the INGREDIENTS.  No not the nutrition facts table, the actual ingredients list and this will help you decide if this product is something you are willing to consume. 

There are many items that if included in an ingredients list I will not purchase but today we are focusing on Sugar so lets dig in!

Things to consider when reading ingredients lists...

Ingredients are Listed by Quantity

When reading the nutrition facts label, ingredients are listed in order of predominance by weight.  This means that the product contains more of the first ingredient than any other single ingredient. So if the ingredients are “oats, honey, peanut butter, water, salt” you know that there are more oats than honey in the product, even if only by a tiny margin. However, it’s possible that if you combine the honey and peanut butter, they outweigh the oats.

The Tricky Part

Sugars can be listed under various names (since, strictly speaking, they are different foods), so manufacturers will frequently use more than one type of sugar so they can move them further down the list.

For example, if the manufacturer decides to use honey and maple syrup as the sweeteners instead of just honey, the ingredients list might look more like this: “oats, peanut butter, honey, maple syrup,water, salt.”  It can be the same amount of sugar as the first example, but now they’ve gotten peanut butter moved up on the list (and sugar moved down).
Here’s where it gets really challenging: It can be really hard to spot those added sugars. Below I've listed some of the most common types of sugars. Don’ t let some of their healthy-sounding names fool you: REFINED SUGAR IS REFINED SUGAR!

Corn Syrup is becoming less and less popular than it was 5 years ago— manufacturers have wised up by now, of course. But Sugars like Brown rice Syrup and Evaporated Cane Juice are being used more now so watch out they aren't any better for you.  Still refined. 
Trick for spotting sugar on an ingredients list: “Syrup,” “malt,” and anything ending in “-ose.” 
  1. Brown Rice Syrup 
  2. Fruit Juice Concentrate
  3. Fruit Juice
  4. Sugar
  5. Invert Sugar
  6. Cane Sugar
  7. Cane Juice
  8. Evaporated Cane Juice
  9. Raw Cane Sugar
  10. Brown Sugar
  11. Beet Sugar
  12. Palm Sugar
  13. Date Sugar
  14. Coconut Sugar
  15. Barley Malt 
  16. Malt Syrup
  17. Rice Bran Syrup
  18. Corn Syrup
  19. Corn Syrup Solids
  20. High Fructose Corn Syrup
  21. Dextrose
  22. Maltodextrin
  23. Glucose
  24. Glucose Solids
  25. Fructose
  26. Sucrose
  27. Maltose
  28. Lactose
  29. Galactose
  30. Honey (So yes I am a honey and Maple Syrup user when I need to use some kind of sweetener in my baking but it's good to list them here as sugar because they are just that.  Certainly all sugar isn't created equal and the less refined or processed the ingredient the better; that being said if a product contained only honey or maple syrup I would purchase it.)
  31. Maple Syrup
  32. Agave
  33. Sorghum Syrup
  34. Diastatic Malt
  35. Molasses
  36. Caramel
  37. Treacle
  38. Golden Syrup
  39. Panocha
  40. Muscovado Sugar
  41. Turbinado Sugar
  42. Demerara Sugar
  43. Sucanat
  44. Rapadura
  45. Jaggery
  46. Panela
  47. Monk Fruit / Luo Han Guo
Organic sugar is still sugar. Need I say more?

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