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Baking Soda vs Baking Powder, what’s the difference – Jughandle’s Fat Farm

Baking Soda vs Baking Powder, what’s the difference?  When should we use one over the other?  Are there any other uses for either, than baking or cooking?

If you are a serious cook, you should be able to rattle off the answers to those questions instantly.

Baking is more of a science than an art.  Chemistry and exact proportions are very important to achieving a quality finished product consistently.

Dough Rising

The holes are formed by the expansion of CO2 as the dough rises and sets.

Baking Soda

Sodium bicarbonate, sodium bicarb, bicarb soda, bicarbonate, and bicarb are all names for the same thing – NaHCO

It is a salt made up of sodium and bicarbonate molecules.  For a more in-depth explanation and chemistry, go to Wikipedia.  Sodium Bi-carbonate is used for many things but since our many focus is cooking, let us look at that first.

the leavening difference

without and with

Cooking

In cooking Sodium bi-carbonate is called Baking Soda.  By providing CO2, its primary use is as a leavening agent in batters and dough such as pancakes and breads, but is also used to crisp up the batter in fried foods.  Baking soda is very alkaline and in too large a quantity can leave sodium carbonate, which has a bitter or soapy taste.

What you need to remember is that Baking Soda releases CO2, carbon dioxide gas, that causes the batter or dough to rise by expanding within the lattice like structure of protein, known as gluten, in the dough.  The gluten traps the CO2 gas as it forms to make the bread or batter rise. 

Ok, now dig deeper and recall a little high school chemistry.  Baking Soda, aka: Sodium Bi-carbonate, is a base.  A base will decompose in the presence of of heat, starting at 180 deg F, but give up only half of its its CO2 leaving, proportionately, more of its bitter, soapy flavor, relative to the gas, in the final product.

You may also recall that a base and an acid have a strong chemical reaction.  In the case of Baking Soda, if you also use an acid such as a phosphate, cream of tartar, lemon juice, yogurt, buttermilk, cocoa vinegar or even a sourdough batter, you can create a reaction that will release much more of its CO2. Remember that unlike batter or dough that has no acid, which will only rise when CO2 is released at 180 deg when baking.  When your acid and baking soda are mixed the reaction will start immediately and you will need to hurry and start the cooking.

Additionally

You might find useful the fact that when adding baking soda to your coating for fried foods, your crust will be more crispy.  The reason for the crispiness is that the emerging CO2 leaves passages for steam to escape from the food not only keeping the breading from being soggy but also preventing the crust from being blown off during cooking.

Baking Powder

Let us now consider, baking powder.  Not the stuff with a thousand uses that you put open in the refrig, but the powder in a round can that that said
“Double Acting” on it.

Baking powder generally contains around 30% sodium bicarbonate combined with calcium acid phosphate, sodium aluminium phosphate  or cream of tartar, which are activated by adding water, not needing acid.  Having both the Baking Soda and other additives make it “double acting”.

While baking soda is alkaline; the acid used in baking powder helps to avoid the metallic, bitter, soapy taste when the chemical change during baking creates sodium carbonate.

Tipsbulletin.com

Tips bulletin is a very informative site that gives tips on all sorts of different topics.  The following are excerpts from their 50+ Amazing Uses of Baking Soda

1. Clean Your Bathtub

Bathtub Cleaner Recipe

  • Baking soda (1/2 Cup)
  • Coarse salt (1 Tbsp)
  • Dish soap (1 Tbsp)
A safe and effective way to wash your bathtub, sink, and surrounding tile is by sprinkling a light layer of baking soda on a clean, damp sponge and scrubbing the tub as usual. Thoroughly rinse the bathtub and wipe it dry with a clean towel.

Baking soda also works well to clean fiberglass and glossy tiles. For extra cleaning power, you can make a paste with the baking soda for a deep-down clean.

9. Clean Furniture

Baking soda is an excellent product if you need to clean or remove marks from painted furniture or walls. Apply baking soda to a clean damp rag or sponge and lightly rub the area that you need to clean.

Baking soda works especially well to clean patio furniture. Using a clean, dry cloth, remove the residue from the furniture or wall. This method will even work for removing crayon marks from your walls and furniture.

17. Natural Fruit and Vegetable Scrub

Even if you buy organic produce, it is important to make sure to wash your fruits and veggies before consuming them. Not only can this get rid of any pesticides that may have seen use during the growing of the produce, but it can remove bacteria from your food.

Baking Soda Uses: Keeps Produce Fresh

You can make a natural produce cleaner by adding one teaspoon of baking powder to one tablespoon water. The paste is an excellent way to get rid of unwanted bacteria and pesticides from your produce.

23. Extinguish Grease Fires

If you encounter a minor grease fire in your kitchen, you can use baking soda to put it out quickly. Pouring baking soda on the fire will instantly stifle the flames. When the baking soda is heated, it discharges carbon dioxide and produces water.

The carbon dioxide doesn’t support combustion like oxygen. It smothers the fire, allowing the water that has formed to cool the fire to below the temperature needed for ignition.

31. Deodorize Recycling Bin

You can make sure your recycling bin doesn’t smell by adding baking soda to the top of the container every time you add to the container.

You can also clean the recycle bin with baking soda after it is empty. Place some baking soda on a damp sponge and wipe down the inside of the recycle bin, followed by a thorough rinse with warm water.

And many others – Check it out – Jughandle

Is High-fructose Corn Syrup Mad Science? – Jughandle’s Fat Farm

High-Fructose Corn Syrup, Aka: HFCS.  Is the Devil, Right?

I’m a huge opponent of high-fructose corn syrup otherwise known as HFCS.  That said, I will do my best to remain neutral and explain why.  This topic is not black and white.  There are many shades of gray.

A Little Chemistry

Our body uses glucose and Fructose (monosaccharides) as its energy sources and both are “simple sugars”.  The most important monosaccharide is glucose because it is already at the state where the body’s enzymes can initiate metabolism and doesn’t need to be processed further.  Most other more complex sugars and carbohydrates need to be processed in order to be turned into glucose by the body.  Glucose is also our “blood” sugar.  The body’s pancreas produces insulin in response to elevated levels of glucose in the blood as well as the energy regulating hormone leptin. Not so with fructose.

Fructose is a natural sugar found in fruits and vegetables.  It is also added to foods and beverages to sweeten them.  The problem lies in the metabolic pathway fructose has in the body.  Fructose is not the preferred energy source for muscles or the brain as is glucose and tends to be treated more like fat in the body than sugar.  Fructose can only be metabolized by the liver and is more fat-producing than glucose.  More importantly, fructose does not cause insulin to be released or leptin to be produced.

Because Fructose isn’t the body’s primary energy source it builds up in the body and is stored in the liver as triglycerides (fat) while the body’s insulin response is only to the glucose.

chemistry

Chemistry

The History Of HFCS vs Sucrose

High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a fructose-glucose liquid alternative sweetener to sucrose (table sugar), and was first introduced to the food and beverage industry for mass use in the 1970s.  HFCS is not meaningfully different in composition or metabolism from other fructose-glucose sweeteners like sucrose, honey, and fruit juice concentrates.

Sucrose is 50% glucose and 50% fructose.  There are basically two types of commonly used HFCS, HFCS-42 and HFCS-55.  42 is only 42% fructose and 55 is 55% fructose.

Food formulators quickly moved to HFCS as a replacement for sucrose, and its use grew between the mid-1970s and mid-1990s. Its sweetness is comparable with that of sucrose, it has improved stability and functionality, and is much easier to use because it is already a liquid.

Even though the use of HFCS today is roughly equal to sucrose use in the United States, the world’s preferred sweetener is sucrose: greater than 90% of the  sweetener used worldwide is sucrose.

Table Sugar

Sucrose

The Good

HFCS is less expensive to produce than sucrose.  Sucrose comes from countries that are somewhat unstable and the basic crop price can fluctuate wildly.  When sugarcane is processed into sucrose it is a solid gradual that must be dissolved in water to the proper concentration before it can be used.  HFCS is produced as a liquid, ready to use and is more easily transported.

Even though the product is called High-Fructose corn syrup, it has only slightly more (55%) or slightly less (42%) fructose than does sucrose which has 50% fructose.  The Corn Refiners Association has petitioned the United States Food and Drug Administration to change the name simply to “corn sugar”.  So far they have been denied.

The Bad And Ugly

I’m not going to hit you with a bunch of numbers.  All I need to say is that obesity in America is at an all time high.

Why

As I see it there are many reasons why, pick a few of these.

  • Food is easier to get
  • It is “cool” to over eat, there are even eating contests
  • Serving sizes are much larger
  • Everything has sugar or sweetener in it
  • Prepared or fast-food is now more common and easy to get when time is short
  • There are many more places to get food than ever before
  • Deserts, candy and sweet foods that were once considered a treat are now readily available at any time.
  • There are many more “snack” foods flooding the market
  • School children are NOT required to exercise for the most part
  • TV and Computers have taken over play time where playing outside and physical games once dominated
  • The general public is not sufficiently educated as related to nutrition and diet

Conclusions and Recommendations from the Farm

For the first time in modern history the average life expectancy has dropped in the US.  The reasons given mostly revolved around obesity and heart disease.  

My research has lead me to conclude that high-fructose corn syrup is no worse for us than ordinary table sugar.   The problem is that we are consuming many times the sugar than is healthy.

The chart above shows that in 1822, the average American ate the amount of sugar found in one of today’s 12-ounce sodas every 5 days. Now, we eat that much every 7 hours.  We are now eating roughly 100 pounds of sugar apiece each year.

Since you are reading my rants on the Fat Farm you are doing the best thing you can to improve your health. Educate yourself.  As always don’t believe a thing I say.  Research, trust but verify.  Put in the time and do the work.  Ask questions. – jughandle

 

CNN Obesity among all US adults reaches all-time high

Your Drinking Water

This blog, which I first posted 5 years ago, and many many others, have posted various warnings about our drinking water from our taps.  These warnings are REAL, people!  This country may have the best drinking water in the world, but that doesn’t mean it is safe to drink over years.

The sad part about re-posting this blog in 2018 is that NOTHING has changed.  It’s gotten worse if anything!

Tap Water is NOT Drinking Water

water from the tap

Tap Water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tight municipal budgets as well as a lag in technology have caused water-treatment plants to stick with the old standard of using chlorine or rather, chloramine to “shock” the water we drink.  The process has worked for many years but not so much any more.  It seems that chlorine can and does react with organic matter in the water coming from the reservoir to form toxic by-products that have been linked to bladder and liver cancer.

What isn’t being removed

Most municipal water authorities, test and treat for heavy metals in the water, such as lead, mercury and such.  But did you know that some contaminants aren’t even screened, let alone removed.  Those include, but are not limited to, pharmaceutical drugs like prosac, Consumer-product chemicals such as PFOA which is the chemical used to coat clothing and nonstick pans.  BPA which is used on receipts, plastics and canned-food linings is also present in our water, and the new one, “artificial sweeteners“.   Anything we flush down the toilet has the potential to end up in our water supply.

Are you STILL drinking bottled water?

STOP!!!!!

Bottled-water

Bottled Water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are, then you didn’t get the memo that 50 percent of all bottled water is supplied from the same place your tap water comes from.  Worse than that, the government water sources have to make public the contaminates they test for and which ones they remove.  Bottled water companies don’t have that requirement.  Bottled water has a shelf life too.  Bacterial can develop in those bottles and toxins from the plastic can leach into the water also.

What are we to do?

Filter your potable water.  Find a filter that fits your budget and paranoia level and USE it!  The best of what is available to us now are reverse osmosis systems.  I use one in our house, but they have expensive filters that need to be replaced every 6-12 months and other maintenance is very important to keep them working properly.

EWG’s Updated Water Filter Buying Guide – click here

reverse osmosis

Reverse Osmosis System

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above is a diagram of how a reverse osmosis filtration system works. The EWG deems this system, currently, the most effective.

Be safe, drink lots of filtered water – jughandle

 

How to Test Your pH

Snake Oil

When talking about pH my biggest concern in discussing this topic is to be taken seriously.  When a health method isn’t totally embraced by the traditional health community, it seems as though the snake oil salesmen display an inordinate number of cure-all methods and substances you can take to cure everything from gout to cancer.

As with most things you should stay toward the middle of the road.  Don’t believe anyone who says they can cure you over night.  Most of our problems took a long, long time to develop and will take almost as long to fix.  There are no silver bullets, just rational science.

Why Test Your pH?

pH is an indicator that our body chemistry is either good or bad.  If your pH is out of range for a long period of time, changes in our blood, organs and skin will take place to compensate for an acidic condition.  These changes aren’t good and can be dealt with before real damage is done.  An acidic pH level is an indicator that something is out of balance.  Make corrections.  Don’t ignore the “engine warning” light.

phtestigenstrips

Now to Test Your pH

My Urologist is trying to bring my very acid urine pH from a 5.0 to some where close to 7.0.  He has me on 45 mg of  Potassium Citrate three times a day.  Because your pH changes throughout the day it is important to test it several times during the day, maybe once a week or so.

Urine – Test your second pee of the day by placing the test strip in the urine stream for a few seconds.  You test the second pee (before coffee) because the first pee from storing it overnight will be more acidic.  The kidney’s job is to remove acid from the system.  Wait 10-15 seconds or what ever your brand of test strips recommends and compare the color to the chart provided in the test kit.  Write down this number and time and do it again 2 – 3 more times during the day.  Remember to test either before eating a meal or 2 hours after a meal for most accurate results.

Saliva – First thing in the morning, either flush your mouth with your own saliva and spit or rinse with water and wait 30 mins before testing.  Wet the strip with your saliva and check against the chart as with your urine.  Write the number and time down.  As with the urine, test 2-3 more times during the day.

You can average the numbers then chart them over time to see what difference changes in your diet can make.

ph - ion

 

The Chart

Remember that the pH chart with your kit is like an earthquake chart, it is logarithmic which means each step, ie; 4.5 to 5.5 is ten times the previous.

phi-01001-3_1_

Which Strips?

You can find test strips in most pharmacies and health food stores or you can find them on line.  On my blog page there is a tab for “Company Store” which houses links to products I use and recommend on a daily basis.  I research these products to find the lowest prices and I don’t profit from you purchasing from my page.

I personally use PHion Balance Diagnostic pH Test Strips.  They are available through my store for 90 strips.

Please let me know if you can find them less expensively, I will pass it along.

What Results Should we Expect?

What’s normal pH…
There are a number of body systems which all have their own specifically preferred pH. Overall, the body’s internal chemical environment normally changes from a weak acid to a weak base within a 24-hour period, usually more acid at dawn and most base at sunset. These physiolical changes occur on a sine curve during this period. The slightly acid time period early morning: pH < 7.0 is optimal for the activity of the nerves, hormones and neurotransmitters such as adrenaline. thyroxine, histamine, acetylcholine and other biogenic amines. In this pH, the acidic connective tissue substances (stored acidic wastes) are dissolved by the hyaluronidase into liquid form and thereafter excreted from the body as wastes.


Blood pH:

The bloodstream is the most critically buffered system of the entire body, far more sensitive than any other. Arterial and venous blood must maintain a slightly alkaline pH: arterial blood pH = 7.41 and venous blood pH = 7.36. Because the normal pH of arterial blood is 7.41, a person is considered to have acidosis when the pH of blood falls below this value and to have alkalosis when the pH rises above 7.41.

Figure 3. Range of Arterial pH Values

 

ACIDOSIS
pH = 1 to 7.40
NEUTRAL
pH = 7.41
ALKALOSIS
pH = 7.42 to 14.0

 

 

 

Interstitial fluids and connective tissue pH:

A normal pH in these areas is 7.34 and 7.40, a slightly more acid profile, because body cells dump as much free hydrogen (H+) as possible, buffering the blood as much as possible. However, pH in these areas can dangerously drop to concentrations of pH = 5.0.

 

Urine pH values:

In a pH balanced body. urine is slightly acid in the morning, (pH = 6.5 – 7.0) generally becoming more alkaline (pH = 7.5 – 8.0) by evening in healthy people primarily because no food or beverages are consumed while sleeping. Whereas, during the day the body buffers the pH of the food and beverages consumed by releasing electrolytes and the pH level goes up. This process allows the kidneys to begin the elimination process slowly.

Outside the range implies that cells are being burdened with caustic pH fluids within and without surroundings. Long term experience outside this range is unhealthy. However, the pH of urine can range from an extremely unhealthy low of 4.5 to a high if 8.5, which it tolerates a little easier, depending on the acid/base status of the extracellular fluids. A high pH value may indicate the body is over buffering to compensate for a physiological system that is too acidic.

 

 Range of Urine pH Values.

 

UNHEALTHY
pH < 6.0
NEUTRAL
pH = 6.5 TO 8.0
UNHEALTHY
pH > 8.5

 

 

 

Generally, when urine pH is 6.0 and below for extended periods of time, it is an indication that the body’s fluids elsewhere are too acid, and it is working overtime to rid itself of an acid medium. Thus, when urine pH is normal, then the blood pH is normal, but when the urine pH is overly acid, the body releases too many electrolytes to keep the pH level normal and maintain life. Easy to take urine buffer test strips are available to indirectly determine the safety of all body fluids, including blood.


Results may vary. These statements have not been evaluated by the U.S.A. Food and Drug Administration and this product is not intended to treat, cure or prevent disease.

What to Do?

More later – jughandle

What Constitutes Organic food

What Constitutes Organic food and what foods are best eaten that way

Yesterday I posted more reasons to buy and eat organic, but I didn’t explain what organic is and which foods benefit us most to be eaten that way.

Simply, organic farmers don’t use synthetic chemicals to fertilize or synthetic pesticides to control weeds or bugs.  They use mulch as a weed barrier and natural methods to stop pests.  But of course its never that simple.

The department of agriculture says that only products can be labeled 100 per cent organic if they are completely organic or made of all organic ingredients.  If the tag says only “organic” it must be at least 95 percent organic.  To confuse us more “Made with organic ingredients” are products containing at least  70 percent organic ingredients, but the official organic seal can’t be used on those products.  The USDA not only has strict standards for organic farming, it also inspects organic farms to assure their standards are being met.

The following are the 5 steps to Organic certification.- click here

Characteristics of Organic Farms:

Organic vegetable farms minimize the kind and amount of fertilizers and pesticides used to produce a crop as their overall goal. Emphasis is placed on long term planning based on information regarding crop pest life cycles, soil conditioning, extensive evaluation of ecological relationships, field conditions, and, options for management of these variables in a given field or on a given farm. According to the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association, there are three basic characteristics that define an organic farm:

1. – Soil conditioning is maintained through the heavy use of composted and naturally occurring plant and animal material incorporated into the soil profile; green manure and cover crops, and, crop rotation.

2. – Soil fertility is depended upon the continuing activity of minor organisms such as earthworms and bacteria to digest organic matter and convert it to compounds available to plants.

3. – Pest control is advanced by “healthy” soil, plant resistance, selective and limited use of pesticides that poise little or no adverse effect to the soil, crop, environment and human health.

Beware of the top 10 foods most likely to retain the most pesticides- always buy organic

  1.  Strawberries
  2.  Bell peppers
  3.  Spinach
  4.  Cherries
  5.  Peaches
  6.  Foreign-grown cantaloupe
  7. Celery
  8.  Apples
  9.  Apricots
  10.  Green Beans

The following are safer because they don’t absorb much pesticide or are normally peeled before eating.  These aren’t necessary to be bought organic yet.

  1. Asparagus
  2. Avocados
  3. Bananas
  4. Broccoli
  5. Cabbage
  6. Kiwi
  7. Mango
  8. Onions
  9. Papaya
  10. Pineapple

Organic Beef

To raise cattle organically the farmer must meet the health conditions and natural behavior of the animal in nature.  What the heck does that mean.  I call BS on that.  Many of these animals have been domestically raised for hundreds of years.  So this is a fine line but….

Organic livestock must be given access to the outdoors, frest air, water, sunshine, grass and pasture and must be fed 100 percent organic feed.  Any shelter provided must be designed to allow the animal comfort and the opportunity to exercise.  Darn, I’d like to live organically too.  Organic practices prohibit feeding animal parts of any kind to animals that by nature eat a vegetarian diet.  Yes, that is done in feed lots to increase the protein to the animal.  In fact that is what is believed to have caused “mad cow disease”.

To top that “national organic standards require oversight of production and handling systems.  Production and handling operations must undergo onsite inspections and have farm or operating plans in place in order to be certified organic.  The standards also specify feed requirements, including what is and is not allowed.

Organic production requires that livestock cannot be fed plastic pellets for roughage, or formulas containing urea or manure.  They cannot be given antibiotics or growth hormones.  For an animal to be raised for organic beef its mother must have been fed organic feed for at least the last third of gestation.”

If you’d like specific information go to http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop/NOP/standards/prodhandreg.html

Conclusions and recommendations

When I started this blog I was extremely open minded about “normal” eating practices.  Knowledge is sometimes dangerous or at least expensive.  I can’t help but to completely recommend eating organic vegetables and beef.  Actually it seems that we’d be stupid not to. – jughandle

Organic foods – The 20 Best Organic Foods

Why Organic Matters

Organic foods.  Walk into an average grocery store and you face a choice—47,000 choices of products, actually. And their labels advertise terms such as low fat, high fiber, free range, and organic. Some matter, some don’t. But those labels aren’t even the most confusing part:

Many scientists say organic is more nutritious than conventionally grown food, while others say it’s not. The back and forth is enough to make us “eat what’s available when we’re hungry and try not to think too much about it because it’s all so disheartening and confusing,” writes Maria Rodale in her book, Organic Manifesto.

Sadly, not buying organic food is a mistake that you can no longer afford to make. According to more and more studies, eating organic foods can help you build more muscle and burn more fat, not to mention protect the environment from harmful pesticides and increase your chances of siring healthy offspring (sons in particular). Here are 20 top organic foods to get you started. Add them to your grocery list to upgrade your diet, strengthen your body, and help heal the planet.

via organic foods | The 20 Best Organic Foods | MensHealth.com.

More about SUGAR

As we’ve discussed before, sugar is the bane of our existence.  Can’t live with it, can’t live with out it.  Since almost everything either has sugar in it or breaks down in our body (carbohydrates) to form sugar, we should avoid excess sugar intake when ever we can.  I am providing the following information about sugar as a FYI blog.  This information comes from Prevention.com and a recent article written by Mandy Oaklander called “10 Sneaky Names for Sugar“.  All of the following images are from the same article.  If you only read one, read the first one.  It is enlightening. – jughandle

 

1. Sucrose

What’s the anatomy of a sugar? Let’s start with table sugar, one of the most common. The scientific name is sucrose: That’s half glucose (starch) and half fructose (sweetness). You might also know it by “cane sugar,” which is 100% sucrose.

Here’s the bad news. While glucose can be metabolized by all your organs, fructose is metabolized almost solely by your liver, writes Robert Lustig, MD, professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, in his forthcoming book Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease. In other words, fructose taxes your liver. And it’s in every caloric sweetener, from white sugar, to cane sugar, to beet sugar, to agave nectar. It also pops up on food labels by itself.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

2. Evaporated Cane Juice

Sounds healthier, right? Don’t believe the babble. Evaporated cane juice is little more than a dressed-up name for straight-up sugar.

In October 2009, the FDA issued a guidance statement about the term. “FDA’s current policy is that sweeteners derived from sugar cane syrup should not be declared as ‘evaporated cane juice’ because that term falsely suggests that the sweeteners are juice,” the guidance says. But in reality, evaporated cane juice isn’t even a liquid.

The FDA recommendations aren’t binding. Still, the yogurt company Chobani is under legal fire for its simultaneous use of “evaporated cane juice” and its claim of “no sugar added” products, reports Food Navigator. The lawsuit, brought by a California woman, accuses the company of violating federal law.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

3. Agave Nectar

Another “health” food favorite, agave nectar is touted as a natural sugar and is widely used in natural baked goods. But agave nectar is higher in fructose than cane sugar. In fact, says Andrew Weil, MD, founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, agave is 85% fructose. “Agave’s probably one of the worst,” Dr. Weil says. Not only is it not healthier for you, but it also doesn’t even contain more antioxidants or minerals than other types.  However, it does have a lower glycemic load than other sweeteners, so it causes a less drastic spike in blood sugar. And the stuff is so sweet that you’ll probably use less of it.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

4. Fruit Juice Concentrate

No matter how healthy your juice looks, chances are good that added fruit juice concentrate is in there. Check labels of juice, flavored yogurt and any other processed food for grape, apple or any other kind of fruit juice concentrate: It’s all too often there. Also look for it in snack bars, applesauce, and other fruity edibles. Concentrate is formed when the water is removed from fruit juice. What’s left? We’ll give you one guess. Yup, sugar.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

5. 100% Fruit Juice

But what about an organic, natural, no-sugar-added, 100% fruit juice? No concentrate, no problems, right? Sorry to ruin your breakfast, but you might as well go ahead and skip this OJ and have a Snickers.

Whole fruit is good for you, says Dr. Lustig, because it contains lots of fiber. In juice form, which is devoid of fiber, sugar’s sugar—even if you juice it yourself, straight from fresh fruit. “It’s all the same,” Lustig writes of sugar’s many names and forms in his forthcoming book, Fat Chance. “The vehicle is irrelevant; it’s the payload that matters.” By this definition, your 100% orange juice is worse for you than soda: The former contains 5.8 teaspoons of sugar per cup, while soda contains 5.4.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

6. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

Study after study has shown that high fructose corn syrup, made from processed (and usually genetically modified) cornstarch, is technically no different from sucrose. But some research shows that HFCS generates a higher blood fructose level, which could have negative metabolic consequences. High fructose corn syrup has been linked to obesity and diabetes. In 2010, corn refiners petitioned the FDA for permission to start calling HFCS “corn sugar.” They were turned down.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

7. The -Oses

Watch out for anything –ose, lest you sugar overdose. You’ve met sucrose, glucose, and fructose, but did you know galactose, maltose, dextrose, and lactose? They’re all sugars—some of which occur naturally but can be processed in a lab, too—that can be added to processed foods. Eater beware.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

8. Blackstrap Molasses

If you were alive in the 1880s, then congratulations! Not only are you at least 132 years old, but you remember when blackstrap molasses was the No. 1 sweetener in the United States. This natural sweetener is sugar too, but, like most things in the olden days, it was better for you. This viscous syrup contains vitamin B6, manganese, calcium, copper, and selenium. And just one tablespoon of molasses has about 4 times the iron as a 3-ounce white chicken breast, according to the American Diatetic Association’s Complete Food & Nutrition Guide. Check out the other antioxidant-rich sugars, including maple syrup, here.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

9. Organic Brown Rice Syrup

With a name like that, you’ve got to deserve your health halo, right? Not according to a recent Dartmouth College study published in Environmental Health Perspectives. Brown rice sugar is shilled to the natural food market as a “healthier” alternative to high fructose corn syrup. Not only is it still sugar, but it may also be contaminated with arsenic. The study found high levels of arsenic, which is linked to cancer and chronic diseases, in processed foods sweetened with organic brown rice syrup. We’re talking energy bars, cereal bars, and even baby formula. (To protect yourself, you’ll want to take a look at our list of 10 Ways to Avoid Arsenic In Your Food.)

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

10. …and so many more

Barley malt, golden syrup, diastatic malt, diastase, treacle, panocha, sorghum syrup—we couldn’t get to all of you, but that doesn’t mean you’re not lurking in our processed foods, too.

Besides scouring ingredients lists, the key to monitoring your sugar is determining just how much each serving contains. How? Check the nutrition label for total grams of sugar, and divide that by four (each teaspoon of sugar is equal to 4 grams.) That’s how many teaspoons of sugar are really in your cookie, your ketchup, and your no-sugar-added fruit juice.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated January 10, 2018