Sugar by any other name ...

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Avoiding added sugars in food products can be like a game of hide-and-seek. They're not listed separately on food labels, so instead it's a good idea to check the ingredient list. Since ingredients are listed by weight, avoid foods that list sweeteners as one of the first few ingredients, particularly if you're not sure why sugar is there in the first place. When the ingredient list includes any of these, just read it as sugar.

• Agave nectar

• Brown sugar

• Cane crystals

• Cane sugar

• Corn sweetener

• Corn syrup

• Crystalline fructose

• Dextrose

• Evaporated cane juice

• Fructose

• Fruit juice concentrates

• Glucose

• High-fructose corn syrup

• Honey

• Invert sugar

• Lactose

• Maltose

• Malt syrup

• Molasses

• Raw sugar

• Sucrose

• Sugar

• Syrup

Study gauges how body deals with sugars

A recent study published in the journal Metabolism suggests that there may be differences in the way the human body processes high-fructose corn syrup and sugar. MyPhuong Le (now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Colorado) and Julie Johnson, a professor of pharmacogenomics at the University of Florida, conducted the study to see whether these two common sweeteners had different "effects on the body in the first few hours after ingestion," according to a press release from the University of Colorado.

Dr. Le, Dr. Johnson and their colleagues evaluated 40 men and women who were given 24 ounces of HFCS- or sugar-sweetened soft drinks. They determined that participants who had ingested the HFCS-sweetened drinks had measurably higher fructose levels, as well as a "higher uric acid level and a 3 mm Hg greater rise in systolic blood pressure."

This is just one, small study, and it remains to be seen whether these short-term measurements have long-term health effects, but its results suggest that there is a difference between the way we process table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.


First Published April 30, 2012 12:00 AM

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