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April 29, 2013

Gluten Free and Sugar Free Doesn't Mean Healthy

When I first started writing this post it was going to be about a healthy and possibly sugar free alternative to syrup. The only problem was that there were none. With my adrenal disorder I have to avoid almost any type of sugar so naturally I looked into sugar free syrups that I could possibly use. After reading the ingredients and trying to understand how they can even call some of these products syrup, I realized a much bigger problem. Most people look at products that say sugar, fat, or gluten-free and automatically go to the label..not the ingredients! Now a days they are trying to put these on everything and people think it's healthy! Some people may have educated themselves enough to know what I'll explain below, but I guarantee a majority of the average everyday citizens would not.

Consider the ingredients!

A majority of what's really making Americans fat now isn't the sugar content, the calories, or the fat. It's the ingredients. So many people are worried about the grams and measurements they are putting in their body they completely overlook what they are ACTUALLY putting in their body! I honestly don't think anyone would really need to go on a diet if they actually ate real food. A majority of the "normal" foods today are loaded with carbs, calories, sugar, and sat. fat. But something that's even worse is that most of the foods that say sugar-free or fat free are loaded with chemicals, GMO's, and nasty ingredients you don't want in your body. I don't even know how they can call a majority of the food on the shelves food. Of course this could all be fixed with education in schools starting out at an early age and just many other things I could go on about. But really ask yourself, if the government hasn't done this yet..why are they going to start now? Here's some great examples of ingredients for syrup below.

Ingredients in sugar-free syrup:
  • High fructose corn syrup (Look at that! Well at least it has the word syrup in it, right..?)
  • Corn syrup
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Cellulose gum (Most commonly found in tobacco and paper! Delicious!)
  • Molasses
  • Potassium sorbate 
  • Sodium hexametaphosphate (I don't even know..pronouncing it was a challenge itself)
  • Citric acid
  • Caramel color (Add color so no one knows they're topping there pancakes with chemicals!)
  • Natural and artificial flavors
  • Phenylalanine

Ingredients in Amber Agave Nectar:
  • 100% pure agave nectar...

Look at the ingredients listed above in syrup. Now look at the ingredient listed in agave nectar. Notice first off that this so called syrup is hardly even syrup at all. This isn't just one particular brand that's different from all the rest. This is a majority of the syrups on the shelves today that are loaded with chemicals and tons of nasty thing you don't want going through your body. Of course since it's sugar free most people will never even consider looking at the ingredients. 

Now for agave nectar,  it's all natural, 1.4 times sweeter than syrup, low glycemic, and has less than half the sugar content of regular syrup. You may be thinking that since it's listed as all natural and low glycemic then it has to be healthy. Well you would be wrong. Agave Nectar is basically almost the same thing as high fructose corn syrup and can lead to fat build up around the heart if consumed too much. So why in the world would they come out and say that agave nectar is a healthy alternative? Simply because they are aloud to and the public doesn't know any better. I honestly didn't even know about agave nectar until i did research for my video on it. As big of a difference as there was between these two products, it definitely made me realize the much bigger problem we have with ingredients.

This is a problem:
I really say this a lot but I know it's true. There's only one thing these big brand food companies care about in this world, and it's money. They don't care if their products are misleading or give you a different idea. They know if they put the words, "Sugar" and "Free" together, they're are going to make money. To be honest I almost bought into to this sugar-free syrup too until I looked at the ingredients. I had to think that most people aren't like us with Celiac Disease and aren't as educated. Most people don't read labels or look at the ingredients in the food they eat. They see something that's sugar free or fat free and they think it's the best thing on earth for their bodies. I just find it ridiculous that these companies can twist words and bend the rules only to can make more money..

The gluten-free diet and misleading info:




We all know and probably strongly dislike the fad dieters of the gluten-free world. I can't stand the celeberties that go gluten-free to lose weight and completely give the face of being gluten-free a bad wrap. But one thing that couldn't bother me more is that people think that if they start eating gluten-free that they will automatically lose weight. It's crazy to think that eating a gluten-free cookie compared to eating a regular cookie is actually going to make you lose weight. Not only do some people think this, but also some people advocate this nation wide. Many people that do go gluten-free because of Celiac Disease or an intolerance may be continuing to eat a lot of gluten-free sweets and not feel any better. A lot of it may have to deal with the non nutritious food you're putting in your body in general and may be making your symptoms worse! Sure I think some gluten-free cookies or whatever is fine on occasion and every once in a while. But if you are having these things everyday and are still continuing to feel sick like you would if you were eating gluten, then it might be time to start limiting how much you have of it. Have you also noticed that the words "gluten-free" are getting put on almost everything now. I am not sure whether to jump to the conclusion that companies are just trying to find more ways to make money, or if they truly care about keeping their customers safe from getting glutened. If I had to make a pretty strong guess then I'd say they are doing it for the money. Sure the awareness is nice fore newbies and for just letting people know what's gluten-free or not. But when I start seeing nuts and drinks being specially labeled gluten-free, that's when I don't think it's really necessary and is going a little to far.

Final thoughts:
I'm sure some of you already know about a lot of the things I discussed, but if you do, really think about why you know this. I'm sure like most people you didn't know a lot of this and had to learn it yourself. Really, the only way we can keep ourselves safe with the food we eat is through self education and educating others. The way the industry is arranged now isn't about the consumers best interest, it's about what gets the most money in the sellers pockets. Companies will label things sugar, fat, and even gluten-free now if it will get them more money. So next time you are at the store and see a product with any of these 3 labels, read the ingredients, not the calories, sugar, or fat content. Because really the ingredients is all we should be looking at in the first place.

3 comments:

Jess M. said...

Hi Taylor,
Great job bringing this up. The more that have had the read labels since being diagnosed with Celiac Disease, the more discouraged that I am to learn about all f the ingredients in processed foods. We are lucky that we know what to look for and, armed with our knowledge, make good choices for nutrition for ourselves and our families. This is one of the blessings of having Celiac Disease.

Taylor Miller said...

I completely agree that having celiac disease does have some blessings in disguise. And that is definitely one of them. Without celiac I would probably be like everyone else and I definitely wouldn't be here typing for my blog today. Thanks for commenting again and I hope you are doing well!

Anonymous said...

Another great read, Taylor!
I've heard of many going GF but still having symptoms. They were eating GF cookies, GF fast food and boy, have you read the labels on some of the prepackaged GF bread? There are dozens of ingredients in there! I try to explain to them that getting back / keeping your health will require more than 'just' going GF, but they don't want to understand, already feeling frustrated they can't have regular pizza anymore and now I'm telling them to give up on most processed foods all together??! Surely I'm joking? ;-)
We get amazed looks at the super market check-out. Nothing but real food in our basket, only very few processed things in there, and even those are carefully selected: 1. GF? 2. healthy, simple ingredients? 3. calorie / sugar / fat content. I feel better than ever before and if people want to call me 'odd' for what I eat, that's their problem. I know why I make the choices I make. I definitely consider my gluten intolerance as a blessing: it's made me see past the false messages the food industry is trying to sell to us.

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