Reading the label is the first and most important step you can take to improve your health.
Sugar can masquerade under many different names. Be on the lookout for dextrose, fructose, galactose, glucose, lactose, levulose, maltose, sucrose, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, beet sugar, corn sugar, corn sweetener, high fructose corn syrup, invert sugar, isomalt, maltodextrins, maple sugar, sorghum or turbinado sugar.
You might even find more than one listed. These are all just variations on high-calorie, low-nutrient, added sugar.
White sugar is highly processed and has been stripped of other nutrients. Instead of white sugar, look for less-processed sugars such as:
➢ Brown rice sweeteners, which usually include fiber
➢ Honey, which contains beneficial antioxidants
➢ Molasses, which contains trace minerals such as calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium
Please remember even though these types of sugars have more nutritional value than other processed sugars, they’re still sugars, and should be kept to a minimum.
Sugar alcohols like sorbitol, mannitol, and maltitol are a different. A food sweetened with “sugar alcohols” may say “0 grams sugar” on the nutritional label, but if the product is labeled ‘sugar-free’ or ‘no added sugar,’ the manufacturer must list the sugar alcohol count separately. In general sugar alcohols are not completely absorbed by the body, which means they can have less of an impact on your blood sugar. That’s potentially a good thing for some people, but the side effects are often bloating and gas – so it’s important to be aware.
That nutrition label is your friend….don’t be afraid to look at it closely? If you still have questions- you’re not the only one promise- I can help.
Kimberly Young, M.S. is a practicing Nutritionist in Dallas, Texas. Have questions? Learn more about her integrative and functional approach to diet and nutrition at kyoungnutrition.com.