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Canadian Confusion Over Sugar

Canadians are trying to cut back on sugar. The issue is that there is so much confusion: “What counts as sugar? Are sugar substitutes any better? Or are they worse for you?”

From recent surveys and discussions with consumers in Toronto and Vancouver, here is a sampling of some of the confusion:

  • High fructose corn syrup is the most avoided sweetener.
  • Aspartame is good for diabetes, but is it safe?
  • “White,” “processed,” “artificial,” or “refined” sugars are avoided, but there is real confusion over what these terms mean.
  • Sugar alcohols (maltitol, sorbitol and xylitol) are specifically chosen by some dieters and specifically avoided by others who want natural sweeteners.The research does provide some clarity. These are the sugar facts supported by research.
The research does provide some clarity. These are the sugar facts supported by research:
  • Agave nectar has as much, if not more fructose, than high fructose corn syrup!
  • Aspartame, cyclamate and saccharin might cause cancer in lab rats
  • Extra sweet things with no calories can make us hungrier. Sweet without calories may not fool the body and the body will keep searching for the calories that should have come with a sweet food or drink.
  • Maltitol and other sugar alcohols seem like great sugar replacers; they are lower calorie than other sweeteners, but can cause diarrhea in doses found in most protein bars.
Wellness Foods Inc: At Wellness Foods, we've heard our customers’ growing concerns about sugar and other sweeteners. As a result we commissioned research into consumer attitudes, and we found a surprising and marked change in attitudes about sugar. The growing research in this area echoes these customer concerns. As a result, over the last year we made it our mission to reduce all sugar and specifically eliminate agave nectar in our flagship product, The Simply Bar. After careful testing and nutritional analysis, we've reduced sugar to 3 grams per bar and selected organic brown rice syrup as our sweetener of choice. To find out more, go to www.thesimplybar.com.