Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Sugar Deception



Over the holiday weekend I, like many people, ended up in the bottom of a carton of egg nog. When I woke up from the coma, I checked the ingredient lists of a few items in my parents fridge, and not surprisingly some form of sugar was in most of them. Another thing I noticed on the lists were the various forms of sweeteners that were spread throughout the lists, and it reminded me of a topic I helped present at a high school coaches clinic during the summer. 

It's no secret that food manufacturers are sneaky little wankers when it comes to just about everything. One of the big tricks they use to trick customers is instead of using one form of sweetener, they will use up to 10 various forms of sweeteners. By doing this, it will keep sugar from being listed as the first ingredient. It's common knowledge that the closer to the top of the list an ingredient is, the more of it there is in the product. If they were to use one sweetener, it would probably put the sweetener at the top of the list. Here is an example:

Clever girl.

This is most common in heavily processed foods, but can show up in condiments and even your precious bottles of soy protein drinks. Another trick manufacturers use is changing the name of ingredients which are obviously sugar to something that sounds a little more wholesome. Here is a list of ingredients that are actually sugar, but the name have been changed to trick you. 
(from About.com)

  • Barley Malt Syrup
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup, or corn syrup solids
  • Dehydrated Cane Juice
  • Dextrin
  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Glucose
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Invert sugar
  • Lactose
  • Maltodextrin
  • Malt syrup
  • Maltose
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Raw sugar
  • Rice Syrup
  • Saccharose
  • Sorghum or sorghum syrup
  • Sucrose
  • Syrup
  • Treacle
  • Turbinado Sugar
  • Xylose
Your body doesn't care if its sugar from a cane or from rice syrup, it's still all just "sugar", even if the sweetener is coming from apple, pear or grape juice concentrate.

There is also the presence of "sugar alcohol" in products like chewing gum, which can offer their own problems. Although it has alcohol in the name, it sadly wont give you a buzz. Instead, it means the body can't completely absorb them. They have been known to ferment in the intestines and cause bloating, gas or diarrhea. Everyone can have different reactions to sugar alcohols, I'm sure you know how you respond to them. I worked with a nutritionist who had a client that started putting 1 pack of artificial sweetener on her cereal every day, and by the time she came in for consulting, she was up to 44 packs a day, because nothing tasted sweet to her anymore. She built up such a tolerance to sweeteners that she had to keep increasing the amount in order to taste the sweetness. Does that sound like a drug addiction to you?

Some folks like to use sugar alcohols because they offer a lower glycemic load (GL), but the glycemic index is a range rather than a fixed number. Since a gram of sugar alcohol offers a lower level of sweetness than a gram of table sugar, more must be used to achieve the same effect. Here is a chart from the Livesey Research center that shows the different results that sweeteners yield:


Food for children is especially something for parents to watch out for. "Healthy" foods for kids often contain more sugar than most soft drinks (for example, GO-GURT contains more sugar than Coca-Cola). Breakfast cereals and snack bars often are nothing more than sugar and food coloring. Another reason to watch your child's sugar intake is the damage that the sugar will have on their teeth. Some parents actually give their 1-2 year olds cup after cup of apple juice!

Would you do that to this baby? (Nice bracelet bro)

I hope that this article will help you better understand some of the tricks of the ingredient list. Basically anything that ends in "-ose" is a sweetener. I recommend avoiding pre-packaged meals altogether, as most of them are devoid of real nutrients anyway. Personally, I have a pretty bad gum habit, and I know my gum contains xylitol. They claim that it helps tooth decay, but at what cost? 

I better get back to my habit of chewing on cinnamon toothpicks.

Make sure to become a fan of the new Lift Big Eat Big fan page on Facebook, I will be deleting the old one in the next 2 weeks.




7 comments:

  1. Sugar is really bad for the teeth. It speeds up the process of tooth decay as well.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sugar is important in our body. It gives us energy. However, too much sugar is indeed bad. It can cause diseases like diabetes. Eating too much sweets can also ruin the integrity of the teeth and gums. It is acceptable to intake just the right amount of sugar everyday. Cosmetic Dentistry Virginia

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree with the previous comment. Too much sugar is bad to our health. It can cause serious problems that may lead to life-threatening complications. It is important to limit sugar intake. This will also prevent you from developing tooth decays and dental caries. If you have a sweet tooth, then you need to practice a good oral hygiene to ensure the integrity of your teeth.


    Dentist Clinics Sydney City Wisdom Teeth

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sugar is something that our bodies need, but too much of it can also cause problems. It is just important that we regulate are sugar intake because if things get worse, even our teeth could be damaged easily especially if we do not take care of them properly. Dentists Sydney City

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love how useless these comments are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. +1
      Nearly as bad as the ones on youtube.
      have you noticed how many of these advertise a business? Maybe that's the main purpose of their asinine comments.

      Delete
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