Ask Dave: SUGAR FREE?

Posted on July 8, 2012 by

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Dear Dave,

 Organic evaporated cane juice is one of the first ingredients in lots of things I buy at the health food store.  My coach says this isn’t OK for me to eat but isn’t it better than sugar?

 Wendy,

New York

Dear Wendy,

In a very small, tiny, miniscule way I would say maybe.  But notice how I used three words that mean the same thing…only slightly different?  That is how ‘organic evaporated cane juice’ compares to sugar – they are essentially the same thing.

The health food industry has resorted to some very creative – and sneaky – methods of listing ingredients.  ‘Evaporated cane juice’ only describes PART of the process that the raw sugarcane juice went through on its journey into your cereal.  What it left off the label is: ‘boiled at high temperatures, vital nutrients destroyed, defoamed, partially bleached.’  That would make for a lousy label!

TRUE evaporated cane juice has a very distinct taste and  it is virtually unheard of as an ingredient in any packaged food.  It has a strong, distinct flavor, very dark color, and an abundant nutrient complex.  The cane juice we see in today’s packaged foods (even at the health food store) is extremely similar to regular refined sugar.  In fact it IS refined – only to a slightly lesser degree than ‘regular’ sugar.

In order to TRULY skip the sugar you’ll need to avoid anything with evaporated cane juice (organic or not) anywhere in the ingredients.

Sincerely, Truly, Actually Sugar Free,

Dave

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