Refined white sugar has gotten a bad rap, but with good cause. It is easily identifiable on nutrition labels. But there are other sources of sugar in processed foods that are as troublesome for our health
Look for refined white sugar (sucrose). Refined white sugar is used in many different products. It’s in the food we buy, and we use it in our own cooking. Too much refined white sugar can suppress the immune system, lead to diabetes and heart and kidney problems, creating voids and make us hungrier, so we eat more. Refined white sugar is also contaminated with pesticides and bleach.
Look for high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). High-fructose corn syrup is made by processing corn starch. It has the same amount of sweetness as sucrose and is expensive to treat. It is found in many processed foods. There are a couple of issues for HFCs: it is genetically modified, and it has more fructose than sugar. In studies performed with male rats, they had rats who ate large amounts of fructose their growth stunted and developed enlarged heart and high cholesterol.
Look for fructose. Fructose has a low glycemic index and is found in vegetables and fruits. But because it is processed by the liver, when we eat too much of it, the liver can not process it fast enough. This will cause the liver to make fat from fructose. These fats will then enter the bloodstream. Beware of processed foods where fructose is one of the main ingredients. The main ingredients are listed first on nutrition labels.
Look for glucose. Glucose is used in high-glycemic foods such as candy, gum, jelly, soda and syrup. It is sweeter than refined white sugar and may raise blood sugar much faster.
Look for maltodextrin. It is made from corn, rice or potato starch, and a filler found in Splenda and other processed foods. It’s glycemic index is even higher than glucose. It is rapidly absorbed and raises blood sugar quickly, and then cause blood sugar to drop quickly. This will give us hungry with cravings for other high glycemic foods.
Look for maltose (malt sugar). Maltose has the same glycemic index as malodextrin.
Tips and Warnings
Avoid (or eat in moderation) foods with corn-based products in them. These include corn starch, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup and corn starch.