Diabetics, Beware: Sugar by Any Other Name is Still SUGAR - Know What You're Reading on Food Labels

What other names are used for sugar in products. What diabetics need to know about "ose" What "sugars" to avoid in your diet.

Being a type 2 diabetic has made me more aware of what to look for in foods. There are many forms of "sugar" which all diabetics need to avoid or use very little of in their diet. Knowing what to look for in foods can help you avoid a spike in your blood sugar. Read the labels and look for these types of sugars so you will know how much you are eating.  I'm not saying we can't eat sugar, because we can if we don't eat a large amount of it; but we must know what other types of sugar we are getting from the foods we eat so we can calculate the carbohydrates in order to keep our blood sugar under control.  That's why knowing these types of sugars is important to our health.

In chemistry, the ending "ose" indicates sugar; so beware of  "ose"  ingredients on food labels .

Table sugar, the white granulated type, is known as sucrose. Here is a list of some of the other names of sugars you might encounter on labels:

sucrose dextrose, normally found in beet sugar; beet sugar itself; cane sugar; saccharose; fructose lactose, a fruit sugar; levulose; glucose maltose, dextrose; table sugar.  These "ose" sugars are pure carbs, thus 1 gram of sugar = 1 gram of carbohydrate = 4 calories.

Look for these other commonly used sugar-carbohydrate ingredients :

white and brown sugar succanat; turbinado demerrara; molasses corn syrup; maple syrup honey; barley syrup; malt syrup; rice syrup; cane juice and syrup; fruit juice concentrate.

Don't be fooled by foods that boast of having no-added sugar, or that say they are sucrose-free. Read the label carefully; many foods such as jams, jellies and fruit drinks are sweetened with concentrated grape or apple juice, which are very sweet, high-fructose syrups, and yield the same carb and calorie count as sucrose (table sugar).

Now I know what you may be thinking, if we are to avoid sugars or words for sugar ending in "ose" then what about artificial sweeteners that also have ingredients that end in ose?

Well the  only two  I  know of are Altern (maltodextrin, sucralose) and  Splenda (maltodextrin,sucralose) which  ends in "-ose", because they are made from sucrose sugar, but both are calorie and almost carb-free, (1tsp=less than 1g of carbohydrates.)  Actually, you might want to think of them as ending in "lose" instead!!  They are the only "ose"  diabetics can use without worry of increasing their blood sugar. And they have been recommended by the Diabetic Association as being safe for our use, providing we don't over do the intake.

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Posted on May 1, 2011