Corn Sugar?

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is tired of being the evil demon of food.  So the corn industry, which produces HFCS from corn, is changing the name to corn sugar.  Sounds down-right healthy doesn’t it.  What could possibly be the problem with an extract of corn?  But keep in mind any type of sugar added to any food is not healthy.  Furthermore, a study at Princeton University in March 2010 found that when rats were fed the same amount of calories of either HFCS or sugar, those that ate the HFCS gained weight and had symptoms related to heart disease and obesity.  The researchers theorized that HFCS, with a higher percentage of fructose than sucrose, is stored as fat, where extra calories of sugar are stored as energy.  

The sugar industry also pulls one over on us in two other ways.  The first is by having sugar on the nutrition label of food packaging listed in grams.  Do you know how much sugar is in 31 grams, the amount of sugar found in 6 ounces of many fruit flavored yogurts?  If the amount of sugar was listed in teaspoons or tablespoon, people would have some idea of how much sugar is in a serving of the product. 

If the sugar listed on the nutrition label of yogurt was 8.5 teaspoons or 2.75 tablespoons would you have an image of this amount?  Would you still consider this product healthy?  What about a can of soda with 42 grams of sugar in 12 ounces (10.5 teaspoons or 3.5 tablespoons) or juice with 24 grams(6 teaspoons, or 2 tablespoons) in 6 ounces?

 Secondly, manufacturers are not required to list how much sugar is added sugar versus naturally occurring sugar. A portion of the sugar in yogurt is naturally occurring as milk has a naturally occurring sugar called lactose.  Six ounces of plain yogurt has 12-16 grams of sugar, all naturally occurring.  So if a flavored yogurt has 31 grams, the difference (15 grams) is added sugar. 

Added sugar is in many processed foods, not just dessert foods. You will find them in other foods such as tomato sauce, salad dressing, frozen meals, bread and canned soups, to name just a few. 

 

Beverly Pressey, MS, RD, CD, is a Registered Dietician with Master’s degrees in Education and Nutrition and specializes in working with care givers of babies and children.  Beverly has worked with individuals, presented at conferences, consulted with child care centers, taught continuing education and college classes, and presented at numerous parent groups. As an experienced counselor, cook, teacher, speaker and a mother of 2, she has a realistic understanding of infant/child eating patterns plus the perspective of a busy parent.  Beverly lives in Seattle, Washington, find out more about her and her book at www.creatinghealthyeaters.com.

 

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