Catering to the sweet cravings of humans creates a competitive edge for food processors so food companies have become very creative about how they include sucrose in the food they sell. The bottom line is that sweeter food seems to sell better and food companies know this. You must read this 3 week diet review to learn more.
Sugar (Sucrose) has many names now and food companies have become quite skilled in camouflaging sugar within ingredient lists. Here are several different names for sucrose to look for in ingredient labels:
- Invert Suger
- Corn Sugar
- Corn Syrup
- Corn Sweetener
- Natural Sweetener
- Cane Syrup
- Beet Sugar
- Maple Sugar
Food manufacturers often use more than one form of sugar in their products. Consumers realize that too much sugar is not good. So, to combat this awareness, food manufacturers have begun to break down the sugar in their ingredient lists. If, for example, corn syrup and sugar are separated in an ingredient list, instead of sugar being the number one ingredient, sugar and corn syrup may be ingredient numbers 4 and 5. This makes the ingredient labels seem much more healthy and you have just been tricked into believing a food product is lower in sugar content than it really is.
Once you have learned what to look for and what to avoid in ingredient labels, that is half the battle! Armed with your new awareness and understanding, the next step is to sample some of the many natural sweeteners that are available today. Let’s just face it…we humans are programmed to desire sweet foods, so you are going to have to replace sugar with something.
Maple Syrup: Graded from AA to C – the darker grades (B and C) are considered baking syrups. Maple syrup is two times as sweet as sucrose. Maple syrup is an excellent source of calcium, potassium, and thiamin.
Honey: Honey is approximately 30% glucose and 40% fructose (the remainder is water, proteins, and small amounts of potassium, calcium, and phosphorus). Raw honey is considered superior to clarified honey as heating the clarified honey destroys some nutrients. Honey comes in many different varieties and flavors.
Barley Malt Syrup: Barley malt syrup is high in potassium and is about 1/3 as sweet as sucrose.
Brown Rice Syrup: Brown rice syrup becomes sweet by converting starches into maltose and contains potassium and some protein.
Date Sugar: Date sugar is high in potassium and magnesium and is a very sweet natural alternative.
Molasses: Molasses is the liquid that remains after sugar crystals have formed in the refining process of sucrose.
Sucanat: Sucanat is a patented natural sweetener that is rich in potassium, iron, and calcium. Sucanat is basically a dehydrated form of molasses.
Fruitsource: Fruitsource is another patented natural sweetener. To create FruitSource, vacuum pressure is used to bind grape juice concentrate to whole grain syrup. No heat is used in processing, so the complete nutritional value of this product is retained. Fruitsource is high in potassium, iron, and Vitamins A, C, and D.
Living With Healthy Sweetening
As you begin the process of moving from refined sugars to natural sugars, you will notice differences in the tastes of your new foods. Overall, natural sweeteners will provide a rich and unique taste to the desserts you sweeten. Refined sugars basically provide sweetness to foods and do not add flavor. With natural sweeteners, now only are you sweetening you are adding appealing flavor that will enhance your food.
Natural sweeteners like maple syrup and honey are very close to their natural form. This means that they require less energy to produce, making them more environmentally friendly as well. Natural sweeteners, because they are less refined, retain the minerals and vitamins that would otherwise be lost in the refining process.