Differentiating Sugars - The truth they're not telling you
Let me just begin by saying all sugars are NOT created equal. There are over 80 different names for sugar and all of them have different chemical properties. Some are digested, some are utilized, some are stored and some even attack cells and other deform homeostatic metabolic processes. Take time to learn about the difference between the varieties and how sugar is an important product of life. Sugar is also NOT the only entity to cause Diabetes, however sugar is often misunderstood, misinterpreted and consumed improperly.
Just the other day, I am standing in line to purchase a cold pressed, green juice known to arrive daily at my local supermarket. No additives, no chemicals, straight celery, kale, apple, pineapple and dandelion greens. As I am waiting for the cash register, the lady in front of me asks to see the label and turns it around. First thing she says “Oh boy! 25g of sugar for the whole [18 oz.] bottle… I would never drink that in my life. My favorite cookies and cream Hershey bar doesn’t even have that much sugar! I don’t consume anything that has over 10g of sugar per serving.” I looked her in the face, mortified she just said that. Did she just compare a cold-pressed green juice sugar content to the Hershey bar she consumes every day? She did. However, as a professional, I realized it’s not really her fault that the information available to the public is not clear. It’s ambiguous and extremely unfortunate. To compare the quality and nutrients that come along with the 25g of REAL sugar known to assist the body to perform high quality work to a Hershey bar that has processed and artificial sugars with no nutrient content is absurd. That is to me, a clinical nutritionist of course. I know the difference of natural VS. refined sugars. However, to her, to you and anyone else who does not receive the proper information on ingredients would most likely think the same. Some say, “sugar is sugar, all sugars are created equal.” Before continuing further, let me explain that is a false statement.
Knowing and understanding ingredients it the primary focus. As a clinician, it is clear to see that ingredients of a food can either make or break the person. My green juice had not one added sugar, one added chemical nor one added preservative in the ingredient label. Yes, it had more sugar listed on the Nutrition label than the lady’s favorite cookies and cream Hershey bar- however the utilization of the difference of sugar is completely safe for the body. Out of curiosity, I picked up the cookies and cream bar and read the following ingredients: Sugar, Vegetable oil, Nonfat milk, Corn syrup solids, Enriched wheat flour, Lactose, Whey, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Chocolate, Lecithin, Baking Soda, Salt, Natural flavor and Artificial flavor, Tocopherols, PGPR, Emulsifier. Wow! What a list… And how many different sugars are included in the ingredients yet make up less grams of sugar per calorie? The term sugar in the ingredient list refers to sucrose or any other simple sugars such as lactose, glucose, fructose, galactose, sucrose, etc. Additionally, it is also the first ingredient meaning that it’s the most abundant. Other forms of sugar in here include corn syrup solids, lactose and my all-time favorite high fructose corn syrup known to increase the risk of cancer [as well as diabetes, obesity, dementia and more] with continuous consumption! Do we see the picture here that not all sugars are created equal? Additionally, not all sugars can be counted and included in the sugar portion of the ingredient label [it’s especially not mandatory if there’s 5% or less.
Do we see anything wrong with this industry? Why would our government want to allow such items on the shelves known to increase risk of diseases? Why is the public not informed on the potential dangers of consuming ingredients known to be chemically processed, added and included? As a consumer, it is important to understand what you put into your body. You might be surprised to learn how easy it is to avoid the onset of many current illnesses. One sugar may be helping you survive while another sugar can be helping you die. Your option of choosing your path is listed on the label of ingredients.