Sugar is sugar …is sugar Many of us may be tempted to binge on comfort food and indulge in sugary snacks as the weather gets colder – but for those with a sweet tooth, it’s advisable to proceed with caution, even when it comes to alternatives. Nutrition consultant Kate Arnold tells us why we should exercise restraint
ith so much marketing, hype and excitement around new fads, it’s really difﬁcult to know if something’s healthy or not. The rise of health ‘gurus’ selling gorgeous cookery books using sugar alternatives makes it very easy to kid ourselves that we’re being super healthy, when perhaps we’re not. Here’s a quick run-through of sugars and where they come from.
Sugar – let’s break it down Glucose – from carbohydrates Fructose – from fruits, honey, agave and high fructose corn syrup Dextrose – usually produced commercially, then added to food to sweeten it Sucrose – white table sugar, produced from the sugarcane plant and other sources Maltose – found in germinating grain, corn syrup, molasses and malted beverages
Are sugar alternatives good for us? Claiming something is sugar-free doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Essentially, sugar is sugar…is sugar. Any form of natural sugar, no matter what it is, i.e. raw sugar, maple syrup, honey, date purée, agave syrup or fruit, will impact on our blood sugar levels. There will be a release of insulin on ingestion of all these sugars. So, no matter how natural and wonderful you think they are, your body will respond in a very similar way. All sugar, no matter what, should, in my book, be used in strict moderation.
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