Fructose Or Sugar That Is The Question
Fructose or fruit sugar is a simple monosaccharide that is found not only in fruit, but also in other plants. It can occur in plants and in the form of disaccharides, saccharose.
Most commonly, fructose is produced from sugar beet, sugar cane and corn. Fructose has the same chemical formula as glucose C6H12O6, but a different structure.
The primary role of fructose is in the production of food and drink, because it is cheap to produce, and it is very sweet. Fructose is the sweetest of all sugars, as much as 1.73 times sweeter than saccharose . However, when you warm fructose it changes its structure and becomes as sweet as saccharose.
Relative sugar sweetness compared to saccharose is: lactose 16%, galactose 32%, maltose 32.5%, inverted sugar 50%, glucose 74.3%, honey 97%, fructose-glucose syrup 100%, saccharose 100%, fructose 173%. In many recipes, fructose can replace saccharose quite well.
See Also: What Is Sucralose
Does Sugar Detox Help
Its important first to understand why removing sugar from our diet is a good thing. You dont have to be a sugar addict to want a break from sugar. The reason for going on a sugar detox is to purge your system of sugar. Most recognize it as a way to lose weight, but there are many side effects of too much sugar which can lead to long-term health problems such as diabetes.
First, discover the root cause of your sweet or carb cravings. Backtrack your daily routine and start cutting out one sweet food from your diet every week. For instance, put less to no sugar in your morning coffee, no bread with dinner and no dessert post-dinner. You will be surprised to see how your body responds to these changes almost immediately.
Whether you choose to go cold turkey or opt for incremental method to cut down on your sugar intake, these six nutritional and lifestyle tips can help you remove sugar from your diet:
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Be Careful With Healthy Processed Snack Foods
Some processed snack foods have a health halo. They seem healthy at first glance, and words like wholesome or natural may be used in their marketing to make them seem healthier than they actually are.
Surprisingly, these snacks can contain just as much sugar as chocolate and candy bars.
Dried fruit is a great example. Its full of fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants. However, it also contains concentrated amounts of natural sugar , so you should moderate your intake to keep from overdoing it (
Save those sugary breakfasts for special occasions and try these low sugar breakfasts instead:
- oatmeal sweetened with fresh fruit
- Greek yogurt with fruit and nuts
- egg scramble with cheese and veggies
- avocado on whole grain toast
Choosing a low sugar option with plenty of protein and fiber at breakfast will also help you feel full until lunchtime, preventing unnecessary snacking .
Dont Drink Extra Sugar
Regular soda, sports drinks, juice, many bottled teas, flavored lattes, and coffee creamers all contain high amounts of sugar. Eliminating them can go a long way toward reducing your sugar intake.
Instead, try water, unsweetened tea or coffee, 100% juices, sparkling water, or seltzer. Many sodas and energy/sports drinks have no-sugar versions.
Coffee And Tea Drinks
Many people are surprised to learn just how sweet coffee and tea concoctions can be. For instance, a medium Frozen Pumpkin Swirl from Dunkin has over 32 teaspoons of added sugars, which is way above the daily limit.
Heres how you can dial down the sugar in coffee drinks:
- Stick with traditional brews. Plain coffee and tea, along with traditional lattes, flat whites and cappuccinos are unsweetened drinks. Once you get into flavored versions with extras like pumps of syrup, whipped toppings and sugary drizzles your drink crosses the line to dessert.
- Watch out for added sugars in plant-based milk. The ones used in coffee shops are often sweetened. For instance, at Starbucks, a grande coconut milk latte has 10 grams of added sugar the oat milk version has 22 grams an almond milk latte has 8 1/2 grams whereas the standard latte made with dairy milk has none.
- Use flavor boosters. Cinnamon, vanilla extract, cardamom, nutmeg and unsweetened coconut or almond milk enhance the sweetness of coffee and tea drinks without sugar.
Make Alterations When Ordering Out At Restaurants
Don’t be afraid to make special requests at restaurantsask for your smoothie without agave or get your chicken’s marinara on the side. This simple asks can slash hundreds of calories from your meal and keep excess sugar out of your mouth. When possible, scan sugar counts of restaurant dishes online before you dine and if the sugar count seems on the higher side, see how your server can alter your order.
Cooking Helps You Reduce Added Sugars
Use fruits and spices to add flavor at breakfast rather than sugar. Rather than having sweetened oatmeal packets, make plain oatmeal and flavor with blueberries and cinnamon. I even like adding a pinch of cardamom for an extra flavor-punch, McGrane said. You can also use sliced fruit instead of sugary jams on your toast and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Sliced strawberries are my favorite, but peach, banana, and apple slices all work well, too, McGrane said.
Opt for homemade rather than store-bought baked goods. This gives you full control over the amount of sugar in your desserts. In most recipes you can reduce the sugar by a third without causing a noticeable difference in texture, McGrane explained.
Make your own granola or protein bars. I like making chocolate chip cookie dough bites that are sweetened only with medjool dates, almond extract and mini dark chocolate chips, McGrane said.
Create your own sauces and salad dressings. As condiments and sauces are often a hidden source of sugar in our diets, you can make your own versions while controlling the amount of sugar you add.
Try using salsa as your condiment instead of ketchup. Two tablespoons of standard salsa contains 1 gram of sugar, compared to 6 grams of sugar in 2 tablespoons of ketchup, McGrane explained.
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Choose Whole Foods Not Processed
While label-checking can be a big part of weeding out added sugars, your best bet is to eat foods that don’t even contain ingredient labels, that is, whole, natural foods. These include:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Lean meats, fish, and seafood
Some nutritionists suggest sticking to the perimeter of the grocery store, where the fresh, whole foods are, rather than going down the aisles lined with packaged, processed products.
From The Bottle And Can
Beverages are one of the biggest sources of added sugars in our diets.
Eliminate soda from your regular diet. Just get rid of it. If you must, drink diet soda. Ideally, though, you should get rid of diet soda, too.
That may sound extreme, but sweetened beverages are by far the biggest source of added sugar in the American diet 47 percent, according to the federal government. Soda along with sweetened sports drinks, energy drinks and iced teas is essentially flavored, liquefied sugar that pumps calories into your body without filling you up. Among all foods and beverages, says Kelly Brownell, an obesity expert and dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke, the science is most robust and most convincing on the link between soft drinks and negative health outcomes.
Get this: A single 16-ounce bottle of Coke has 52 grams of sugar. Thats more added sugar than most adults should consume in an entire day.
As for diet soda, researchers arent yet sure whether theyre damaging or harmless. Some scientists think diet soda is perfectly fine. Others, like the Yale cardiologist Dr. Harlan Krumholz, think it may be damaging. Dr. Krumholz recently announced that after years of pounding diet sodas, he was giving them up. There is reason to believe, he wrote, that the artificial sweeteners they contain lead to weight gain and metabolic abnormalities.
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Learn And Recognize All The Different Names For Sugar
Now that you know which ingredients to look for, don’t stop there. There are over 56 different names for added sugar including:
- sucrose, glucose, fructose, dextrose, maltoseor any word ending in “-ose”
Ingredients are listed in descending order by weight. So, the closer these sugar ingredients are to the beginning of the list, the more of that sweetener is used in the food.
If several forms of sugars appear on the label, think twice about making it a regular addition to your diet. Sometimes, manufacturers will use several forms of sugar on the label to prevent a single source from appearing close to the beginning of the ingredient list. In this case, check the nutrition facts panel to see just how much sugar is in the food.
To find out exactly how much added sugar, look at a similar, unflavored version of the product you’re interested in buying and see how they differ. For example, if a serving of plain oatmeal has 1 gram of sugar and a flavored version has 16 grams, it’s safe to assume you’d be consuming 15 grams of added sugar. When it comes to candy and sweets, assume all of it’s the added variety.
Tip: Opt For Naturally Sweet Fruits And Vegetables
As you wean yourself off the unknowingly added sugars, choose natural sources of sugar such as fresh fruit or naturally sweet vegetables such as sweet potatoes. This will help your palate adjust by maintaining enough energy so you dont crave sugar.
Naturally sweet fruits and vegetables, such as fresh raspberries that we added to the porridge, are full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Experiment and see what works best for you.
Of course, beware of added sugar here, because some fruits are treated with sugar, such as all the candied fruit. Naturally, seasonal fruit is the best choice.
So, when summer begins, choose cherries, raspberries, peaches, blueberries, blackcurrants, apricots. A little later and blackberries, plums, figs, grapes melons and watermelons!
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Dont Ruin It All At The End Of A Meal
Dessert doesn’t have to be any less sweet if you are cutting back on sugar.
Eating dessert is one of the great little joys of life, and were not going to tell you that you cant have dessert. Have dessert! Just keep three rules in mind:
1. Portion size. Many standard American desserts have become grotesquely large. At Applebees, the countrys largest casual dining chain, a single piece of cheesecake has 1,000 calories and a whopping 21 teaspoons of sugar. Imagine pouring 21 teaspoons of sugar into your mouth after a meal. At Starbucks, a piece of chocolate marble loaf has 490 calories and is also packed with 43 grams of sugar.
The desserts of yesteryear were not nearly so monstrous. Even if youre not a fan of Oreos, which have been around since 1912, theyre illustrative. A single Oreo cookie the regular kind, not double stuff or mega stuff has only one teaspoon of sugar. You should think of two or three Oreos, or a different dessert of similar size, as a normal dessert. Anything larger is a big splurge, the sort of indulgence to reserve for special occasions.
2. Habits. Ive gone through periods when I ate a bowl of ice cream every night. Its not a great idea.
If you want to keep your sugar consumption under control, you can help yourself by getting out of the habit of having a full artificially sweetened dessert every night. There are other end-of-day rituals that can help you fill the void, like a cup of tea or…
Some tips on picking great fruits?
Quash Sugar Cravings With Tea
Next time you’re having a hard to ignore the sweet-tooth attack, fix yourself a cuppa tea. Mint, ginger, cinnamon, and Chai teas will all help you fend off those longings by hitting that “sweet spot” without sugar overload, explains Brown. And with so many varieties, it’s hard to get bored. If you need to sweeten it up, add just a teaspoon of honey , which is a bit healthier for you than straight sugar or sweeteners.
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Main Meals And Desserts
Remember, high sugar = 15g or more per 100g food, low sugar = 5g or less per 100g food. Write it down and pop it in your wallet to retrieve when you’re grocery shopping, or bookmark this page on your cell phone.
- Sugar on your pasta?! You bet 150g of pasta sauce can contain 3 tsp of sugar. Sugar is often added for flavour to ready-made sauces, soups and meals.
- Condiments and sauces such as tomato or chilli sauce can have as much as 23g of sugar in 100g. This can add up over the course of a day.
- Do you need to have dessert every day? Try reducing the amount of dessert you have, or how often you have it. Desserts low in added sugar include fruit , rice pudding and plain unsweetened yoghurt. Try a few squares of dark chocolate for a satisfying post-dinner treat.
Simple Substitutions To Cut Down On Sugar Intake
The average American eats around two or three times the daily recommended amount of sugar about 19 teaspoons. Compare that to the American Heart Association guidelines, which dictate 6 teaspoons a day for women and 9 teaspoons for men, and it becomes obvious that sugar consumption is out of control in most of our diets. And all that extra sugar is hurting us. Added sugar amounts to empty calories calories that provide no nutritional benefit which lead to weight gain, type II diabetes, heart disease, and other, less predictable problems like acne.
But with the help of erecipe, you dont have to fall into that sugar trap. Make these easy substitutions to drastically reduce your sugar intake and improve your health.
Put down the
Soda. And energy drinks, and juices. Experts point to soft drinks defined as beverages that are sweetened with added sugar as one of the biggest contributors to obesity in Americans. And the research is damning. Just one can of soda contains about 10 teaspoons of added sugar.
Put down the
Breakfast cereal. Even the brands that are advertised as healthy alternatives likely contain lots of extra sugar. Although there are exceptions, the average breakfast cereal has 4 teaspoons of sugar in a one-cup serving. And since its so convenient and tasty, most people eat well over a serving in a typical day.
Put down the
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Read Ingredients Not Labels
Were all about balance at The Chalkboard Mag. For many of us this includes indulging that sweet tooth every now and then as long as we are aware of truly toxic ingredients, like high fructose corn syrup or artificial products, and steer clear of them entirely. If we are going to indulge, were going to make it worth it. Today there are endless food products that meet our extremely high expectations for the purest ingredients.
Dont let pretty packaging and phrases like natural or even organic fool you. Be sure to flip over the package and read the ingredient list word-for-word. If items like high fructose corn syrup, corn solids or glucose are listed, pick something else. If sugar is simply listed you can be pretty confident this means table sugar or white sugar, which is also highly processed. For a complete list of 61 different names of sugar, check out this source.
Swap Marinara Sauce For Fresh Tomatoes
There’s really no need to add sugar to tomato sauce because, well, the fruit is naturally sweet. But that doesn’t stop food manufacturers from loading their cans to the brim with the stuff. Since store-bought tomato sauce is often made with things like dehydrated tomatoes and cheap oils, they rely on the sweet stuff to amp up the flavor. Your best bet? Switch to a no-sugar-added option like Ragu’s No Sugar Added Tomato Basil or combine chopped fresh tomatoes with olive oil and spices in a frypan to create a quick pasta topper right on your stovetop.6254a4d1642c605c54bf1cab17d50f1e
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What About Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners for example, acesulfame, aspartame, saccharin, sucralose give you the sweetness of sugar with virtually none of the calories. Most people who use artificial sweeteners or choose foods or beverages made with them do so because they want to lose weight. And for a lot of people, they do help. But some research suggests that the use of artificial sweeteners may actually promote weight gain.
Artificial sweeteners are hundreds to thousands of times sweeter than table sugar. People who use these sweeteners often may desensitize themselves to sweetness. If that happens, they may find healthful but not-so-sweet foods such as fruits and vegetables unappetizing by comparison. Calories removed from the diet by swapping sugar for sweeteners may re-enter in the form of refined carbohydrates and unhealthy saturated and trans fats.
If artificial sweeteners are helping you lose weight or keep it off, great. If they don’t seem to be helping, or if you don’t need to lose weight, you may be better off simply trying to cut back on the added sugar in your diet.
For more ways to cut down on your sugar and salt intake, buy Reducing Sugar and Salt, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.