Sugar FREE… or is it?

There are so many products these days that market themselves as ‘sugar free’ or low in sugar.

The question always needs to be asked is this in fact correct and if so, how does it still taste good or sweet?

Chances are the product in question has been chemically modified with alcohol sugar or something similar to still provide a sweetened taste and flavour yet because the alcohol sugar doesn’t necessarily have to be declared on the Nutritional Panel as a Carbohydrate then the product still meets the profile of a low sugar item.

Examples of this are far and wide however some common ones include;

  • Jelly Lite

  • Sugar Free Maple Syrup

  • Sugar Free Hot Chocolate

  • Low Carb Protein Bars

  • Low Carb Beers

Lets face it, there is honestly no such thing as zero carbs. Everything we eat has calories in it. So the alcohol sugar in question obviously contains calories.

So how do we identify if it fact it does contain these hidden calories?

Firstly, refer to the list of ingredients if there are products listed there such as xylitol, dextrose, erythritol, sorbitol, maltitol or something you don’t recognise then these would most likely be alcohol sugars and still in fact contain calories that are not declared on the nutritional panel of these products.

If you are still unsure then you can work it out. Simple follow these steps;

  1. Total carbohydrates x 4 = Calories

  2. Total protein x 4 = Calories

  3. Total Fats x 9 = Calories

Total up these three Calorie totals and compare it to the total Calories identified on the Nutritional Panel.

If the two don’t match, or more specifically, if the number you calculated is less then the one on the panel then there are some calories missing, these are likely to be the unincluded alcohol sugars.

Don’t be caught out by hidden calories but more importantly don’t over eat or over indulge on products such as these that clearly contain many chemicals that are not designed to be consistently consumed by the human body.

Always look for real food alternatives:

  • Greek Yoghurt instead of Diet Jelly.

  • Use natural Honey as a substitute for Sugar Free Maple Syrup.

  • Chocolate Protein powder rather than Sugar Free Hot Chocolate.

  • Homemade Protein balls make a great alternative to Protein Bars.

There are always plenty of options from an organic, real whole food perspective.
As the saying goes……If its too good to be true it usually is.