Many of you may have seen the recent headlines about the Corn Refiners Association’s petition to change the name “high fructose corn syrup” to “corn sugar.” They think the name high fructose corn syrup is “confusing” consumers.
While high fructose corn syrup may be getting a worse rap than table sugar these days, the fact is that sugar is sugar, no matter what you call it.
Refined sugars include:
- granulated sugar
- brown sugar
- superfine sugar
- confectioner’s sugar
Unrefined sugars include:
The difference between all these types of sugars is that some are more refined than others. A “simplified” process flow chart shows over 20 steps in the production of refined sugar. While unrefined sugars are less processed and tend to have fewer calories per serving, at the end of the day, it’s still sugar.
The average American consumes about 21 teaspoons of added sugar a day, which is double the amount recommended by the American Heart Association. A lot of this sugar is found in processed foods, unbeknownst to the consumer. Excess sugar consumption has been linked to obesity, diabetes, and conditions linked to heart disease.
- Starting today, buy and eat fewer processed foods (e.g., cookies, doughnuts, sweetened cereals, canned soups, salad dressings, spaghetti sauce, frozen pizza, canned fruits and vegetables, soda), and try to eliminate as many processed foods as possible over time
- Read labels on all processed food packages before you buy it (look for all the different names for sugar, e.g., high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, dextrose, fructose, corn syrup, lactose, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, maltodextrin, galactose, polydextrose, turbinado sugar)
- Use less sugar in your coffee, and don’t use flavored creamers; brew your coffee with a cinnamon stick or vanilla bean for flavor
- Instead of a muffin for breakfast, make a fruit smoothie, a bowl of oatmeal served with fresh or dried fruit, or a piece of whole grain toast with almond butter
- Buy unsweetened yogurt and add your own fresh fruit and a little sweetener
- Make your own soups and salad dressings
Articles and Sources on Sugar:
iVillage.co.uk’s Finding the hidden sugars
WebMd’s Carbs: The Good, the Bad and the Worst
WebMd’s High-Sugar Diet Linked to Cholesterol
cheap healthy good’s The Sweet Stuff, Part 2: White, Brown, and Sparkly Crystals