Published On: Wed, Sep 19th, 2012

Sugar and Its Many, Many, Many Aliases Hiding In Your Foods

Just as soon as I posted something about cereal bars, the lady sends me a Huffington Post article about how deceiving cereal bars really are. Apparently you can read the labels however you want, but at the end of the day, they’re all full of sugar.

Of the 30 cereal bars that were examined by a U.K. consumer advocacy group called Which?, 16 of the bars had as much sugar as a can of Coca-Cola. And a third of the bars were high in saturated fat.

Sugar Cubes

Sugar cubes or crack rocks? Is there really a difference?

Which?, the U.K. consumer advocacy organization, just released a report in which they explored the healthfulness of cereal bars. You know the ones — meal and snack bars from popular cereal brands that are meant to be healthy, and often include whole grains, nuts and dried fruit.But as the research team found, many of these bars were full of sugar, fat and calories. In fact, one bar — the Nutri-grain Elevenses Raisin Bake — had 18 grams of sugar, which is almost four teaspoons, or about the same as a small can of Coca-Cola.

“People often choose cereal bars in the belief they’re healthier than chocolate or biscuits, but our research shows this can be a myth,” Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said in a statement.

The researchers looked at 30 different best-selling bars, choosing ones that were meant to appear healthiest. They found surprisingly that 16 of those bars had at least 30 percent sugar and had calorie counts akin to cookies. Perhaps most shocking, a third of the bars were high in saturated fat.

The trick is in the ingredients. Sugar, that delicious discovery that has made eating something to look forward to, is a devil in disguise. Enough of it and it’ll start killing your body. But finding it can be a challenge since it comes in so many different forms. Which I’m sure the food-producing companies do on purpose.

There are so many different names for sugar that as you’re learning all the names, there are new ones being created. They’re even changing the name of corn syrup to corn sugar. I guess it just sounds less unhealthy.

Sugar’s Many Aliases

Here are more than 50 different names used on labels which really mean sugar. Some are obvious but who would’ve figured out sugar also goes by Dextran and Panocha?

  • Amasake
  • Apple Sugar
  • Barbados sugar
  • Barley malt
  • Beet sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Buttered syrup
  • Cane juice crystals
  • Cane sugar
  • Caramel
  • Carbitol
  • Corn syrup
  • Corn syrup solids
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Carob syrup
  • Castor sugar
  • Date sugar
  • Demerara sugar
  • Dextran
  • Dextrose
  • Diastatic malt
  • Diatase
  • Ethyl maltol
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Galactose
  • Glucose
  • Glucose solids
  • Golden sugar
  • Golden syrup
  • Grape sugar
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Icing sugar
  • Invert sugar
  • Lactose
  • Locust Bean Gum
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltose
  • Malt syrup
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Muscovado sugar
  • Panocha
  • Raisin syrup
  • Raw sugar
  • Refiner’s syrup
  • Rice syrup
  • Sorbitol
  • Sorghum syrup
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar
  • Treacle
  • Turbinado sugar
  • Xanthan Gum
  • Yellow sugar

So what’s the big deal with all these sugars in our food? Doesn’t our body require it to function? Isn’t sugar a natural product?

I really wasn’t sure what the big deal was myself. I like sugar. Have you ever accidentally ate sugarless chocolate, normally used for baking? Actually, anything sugarless other than water? You may say you like the way the stuff tastes, but that’s because you probably haven’t had sugar in your foods in a while. What would grapes and strawberries be without the natural sugars in them?

The Sugar Conspiracy

So, I looked up what the deal is with sugar. And found a site that makes sugar seem more like a drug!

…Today we have a nation that is addicted to sugar. In 1915, the national average of sugar consumption (per year) was around 15 to 20 pounds per person. Today the average person consumes his/her weight in sugar, plus over 20 pounds of corn syrup.

…Refined sugar contains no fiber, no minerals, no proteins, no fats, no enzymes, only empty calories. What happens when you eat a refined carbohydrate like sugar? Your body must borrow vital nutrients from healthy cells to metabolize the incomplete food. Calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium are taken from various parts of the body to make use of the sugar. Many times, so much calcium is used to neutralize the effects of sugar that the bones become osteoporotic due to the withdrawn calcium.

…Another serious problem with sugar that is now coming to the forefront is the various levels of mental problems. Our brains are very sensitive and react to quick chemical changes within the body. As sugar is consumed, our cells are robbed of their B vitamin, which destroys them, and insulin production is inhibited. Low insulin production means a high sugar (glucose) level in the bloodstream, which can lead to a confused mental state or unsound mind, and has also been linked with juvenile criminal behavior.

And those are just some of the things said about sugar. There’s even a thorough video that really goes into what sugar really does to our body and mind. Though there are all these different names for sugar, they’re not exactly sugar as sugar comes out of the cane or a beet. They’re scientifically manufactured by really, really smart people who I wonder why they don’t just use sugar?

…Dr. David Reuben, author of Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Nutrition says, “…white refined sugar-is not a food. It is a pure chemical extracted from plant sources, purer in fact than cocaine, which it resembles in many ways. Its true name is sucrose and its chemical formula is C12H22O11.

It has 12 carbon atoms, 22 hydrogen atoms, 11 oxygen atoms, and absolutely nothing else to offer.” …The chemical formula for cocaine is C17H21NO4. Sugar’s formula again is C12H22O11. For all practical purposes, the difference is that sugar is missing the “N”, or nitrogen atom. …Refining means to make “pure” by a process of extraction or separation. Sugars are refined by taking a natural food, which contains a high percentage of sugar, and then removing all elements of that food until only the sugar remains. …While sugar is commonly made from sugar cane or sugar beets.

Through heating and mechanical and chemical processing, all vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, enzymes and indeed every nutrient is removed until only the sugar remains. Sugar cane and sugar beets are first harvested and then chopped into small pieces, squeezing out the juice, which is then mixed with water. This liquid is then heated, and lime is added.

Moisture is boiled away, and the remaining fluid is pumped into vacuum pans to concentrate the juice. By this time, the liquid is starting to crystallize, and is ready to be placed into a centrifuge machine where any remaining residues (like molasses) are spun away. The crystals are then dissolved by heating to the boiling point and passed through charcoal filters.

After the crystals condense, they are bleached snow-white usually by the use of pork or cattle bones. …During the refining process, 64 food elements are destroyed. All the potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, manganese, phosphate, and sulfate are removed. The A, D, and B, vitamins are destroyed.

I’m starting to understand why Mayor Michael Bloomberg led the anti-super-sized-sugary-drinks ban in New York.

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About the Author

David Gaines

- David Gaines is a Washington, DC, resident transplanted from North Carolina whose dream career was a newspaper writer but settled for the recruiting industry and simply blogging about whatever thoughts crosses his mind.


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