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Gourmet Foods 101
Did you know?
"Lemons contain more sugar than strawberries"

Sugar Free Foods

All the of the Sweetness None of the Sugar

There are many foods that are naturally sugar free, and there are a lot of foods that have the sugar taken out of them and replaced with something else. The foods that have the sugar taken out of them are basically what food manufacturers label as sugar free. Most of these food items call for sugar in their recipes, but the sugar has been replaced by a sugar substitute or an artificial sweetener to keep the flavor and texture.

Some sugar free foods contain ingredients called sugar alcohols, which are frequently referred to as polyols. However, sugar alcohols or polyols are not sugars and they are not alcohols. They are actually a group of low digestible carbohydrates that are derived from the hydrogenation of their sugar or syrup source. An example of this would be lactitol from lactose.

In some cases though, the sugar in the food recipe isn't replaced at all. Since sugar is also a carbohydrate, most sugar free foods are also low carb and low calorie foods. Sugar free foods are often suitable for people who suffer from diabetes.

Sugar free food items are all over the market place with sugar free soda, introduced in 1952, probably being the most popular one out there. One type of food that contains a large percentage of sugar is children's breakfast cereals and low sugar versions of these favorites are now being manufactured. The sugar free way of living didn't just come about suddenly, as evidenced by the year in which soda went sugar free, it has existed for quite a few decades in the U.S. In 1958, Sweet n' Low was introduced to the masses as an artificial sweetener (granulated saccharin, dextrose, cream of tartar and calcium silicate). It received U.S. trademark patent no. 1,000,000 and in 1981 the artificial sweetener aspartame was approved by the FDA.

There are many sugar free dishes you can cook at home and sugar free cook books are quite easy to find in stores and on the internet. You should be aware that food that is labeled as diet or light, doesn't necessarily mean it is sugar free or even low in sugar for that matter. Make sure you read all of the food labels very carefully.

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