Sugared Out! A Post Holiday Sweet Tooth alert from the “Sugar-Tracker

 
 

a special entry by Elaine McDaniel “The Sugar Tracker” at Books Family Health Center

Okay, we know everyone indulged in cookies, cake, candy canes and chocolate over the holidays. No? You stayed away from sugar? Are you sure? You may not have consumed sucrose, but you may have indulged, unknowingly, on something far worse: High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), a highly process sweetener now showing proof of it’s contribution to the obesity epidemic and to a huge increase in diabetes.

But, it may be trickier to spot HFCS in your grocery products these days. Food manufacturers are trying to conceal the bad publicity ingredient with new names in order to save sales. Names like Inulin, Glucose-Fructose Syrup, Iso Glucose, Chicory, Fruit Fructose and more.

Some items containing HFCS may surprise you – Cottage cheese, salad dressing, steak sauce, canned soup, cough syrup, breakfast cereal, yogurt, bread, pastries, jelly and jam, bread.

Sweetener alternatives

While it’s best to avoid sweets, we know it’s nice to have something sweet at times. Xylitol (make sure it’s derived from birch) and Stevia have no sugars. Palm Sugar is a favorite choice of mine, with a low glycemic index and mainly sucrose. But low glycemic isn’t everything. In agave syrup, the latest “good sweetener” has a low glycemic index as well, simply because it bypasses digestion and then the liver converts it directly to fat. And don’t be fooled, it is a highly processed product, and has more high fructose than corn syrup.

And beware of products labeled “low fat” for your weight loss choices as they are usually loaded with sugar and/or HFCS.

Serving confusion?

A diabetic can consume 10-15g a day.  I was shocked while standing at the tea counter of a popular organic grocer.  1 cookie had 20 g of sugar… the kicker is – there are 2 servings in this cookie, meaning most people (who will eat the whole cookie) are getting 40g of sugar. 10 tsp of sugar in the one 3″ cookie.  So, while you are reading labels, be sure to check how many servings are in a package.  Even my favorite treat “Hail Merry” vanilla tart is a 3″ round tart which is considered 2 servings with 9 grams of sugar per serving, that’s 18 g of sugar in one tart.

For a list of fruits and their fructose/sucrose/glucose content visit HERE. High fructose means there is more fructose than other forms of sugar.

 

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