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“I thought sugar was sugar?” and “But, It’s sugar free.” I hear it all the time. Very sincere, unsuspecting people have been duped by the food industry. They have bought into the idea that “sugar free” actually means free of sugar, or that “no sugar added” means sugar free. The problem lies in the fact that sugar has many names, and there are many types of sugars. I hear people say all the time, “no, its ok, its organic”…or “but it’s fruit, so its natural sugar.”However, if your goal is keeping insulin levels low, then it doesn’t matter what type of sugar you ingest, you will still get an insulin rise. For instance, bananas are great and very healthy. Yet, a banana has about 4 grams of sugar. Healthy? Sure. Insulin rise? You better believe it.

When you are meandering down the grocery isle, and perusing the “healthfood”, you may see words such as sucrose, fructose, and dextrose and feel confident that because you don’t see the word sugar that you have found a sugar free food. Did you know that those are the same as sugar? That’s right. Check out this list of names of sugars…

60-different-names-for-sugar-e1438084971142

It takes quite a keene eye to be able to spot all the hidden sugars in our food! I once got kicked out of ketosis having what I thought was a keto friendly meal at a Mexican restaurant. Come to find out, the sauce had corn starch added, which was processed just like a sugar. Now, times like this instance is probably bound to happen if you are eating out or unaware of how your food was prepared. But, we can at least monitor what we use a little better.

I like sweeteners. That’s taboo in many circles. Understandably so. Sweeteners like aspartame can be found in most diet sodas, and its toxic! However, there are good, natural sweeteners. I have 5 favorites, and of the 5, one is questionable.

  1. Sucrolose (Stevia)

The jury is still out on this sweetener. This would be the one that i use the least of. I can create small insulin spikes in some people. I actually like the taste, yet i use this one the least.

2. Xylotol

3. Erythrotol

Both of these are sugar alcohols, and found naturally in some fruits and vegetables.

4. Cinnamon

Cinnamon actually benefits keeping blood sugars low.

5. Stevia

Stevia comes from the stevia plant.  Pluck a leaf and chew on it. You will find the exact same taste and sweetness as the powder form. I use Stevia probably the most. Be careful though. You have to read the ingredient lists! You will find “blends”. You think you’re buying pure stevia and you will see that it is mixed with dextrose…a sugar!

If we are going to live and eat healthy then we are going to have to become educated on the food industry’s terminology and schemes. Billions of pounds of corn is grown and manufactured to create different types of sugars and sweeteners. It’s daunting when we look at the many different types and names. Take your time and start reading labels and it will get easier. Become a sugar spotter and take back your health!