Well it is technically..
Steer clear of anything that claims to be 99% sugar free. Its not really food. If its ‘sugar free’, ask yourself – why is it still sweet?
As a quick lesson into what sugar actually is we find it classified under the carbohydrate family as they are made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Carbohydrates as we already discussed can be complex – such as your starches and fibres, or can be simple – your sugars. There are 6 natural sugars – glucose, fructose, galactose, maltose, sucrose and lactose.. simple right? excuse the pun. Now glucose is the most abundant in our body and provides nearly all the energy to power our brain..
In Australia to classify something as ‘sugar free’ they only measure the glucose content. There are plenty of other sugars as we’ve seen, and glucose is up with the best of them. Glucose makes up every cell in our body so rather than eating the alternatives, we are better off eating the real thing right?! (in moderation of course :) )
One of the main alternatives is fructose, which does occur naturally is small amounts in fruit – but rather – high fructose corn syrup. This was discovered in the 70’s and manufactured because fructose is 1000 times sweeter than glucose. So if you need 1000 times less and can make it into a synthetic liquid for the manufacturing industry, how great? Not. If you look at when the obesity epidemic started it was a couple of years after this horrible liquid made it into our foods. It has been shown to have a direct link to Gout and can be difficult to digest sometimes leading to Fructose Malabsorption problems.
The other cool/scary point about fructose is that it is the only substance that never tells our body we are full. Eaten in fruit, this isn’t a bad thing, the amount is minimal, however eaten in processed or diet food – you will actually put on more weight as your brain will never get that trigger saying stop eating. No matter how much you eat you will always be ‘hungry’.
We’ll get into the artificial sugar debate another day – it’s too nice a day to voluntarily put myself in a bad mood :)
So, have a look in your pantry at what items contain this fructose corn syrup – and let me know if any surprise you..