Someone should make it easy to buy low-fructose sugars

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Photo: Andreas Praefcke, via Wikimedia Commons.

As any sensible part of the internet will tell you, fructose is bad news, so I won’t go to great lengths to convince you here. And we’re not just talking high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)–any considerable amount of fructose has repercussions for arterial wall strength, fat stores, aging, liver function, insatiability, gout, and other things you’d probably prefer not to screw around with. Sucrose is half glucose (the sugar your body uses and knows how to regulate) and half fructose, so even common table sugar–raw sugar included–is not your friend. (Side note: We really need to nip the idea that “If it doesn’t spike your blood sugar, it isn’t bad for you” in the bud. There are 3 people in my immediate family who have/had diabetes and you can hardly blame them for mismanaging it with all the bad advice out there.)

People often suggest honey as a healthier alternative and, while the fructose levels are lower as a percentage, it only recently came to my attention that the fructose/glucose balance varies by the type of honey. This makes a ton of sense; I had just never stopped to think about it. Turns out, the honeys that crystallize quickly are high in glucose. They’re the ones that often look kind of creamy in their expensive little jars because the crystals have, in fact, been “creamed” to make the honey spreadable.

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Flickr author davide vizzini from Milano, Italy. Via Wikimedia Commons.

 

I tried Google searching things like “buy high glucose honey” and “where to buy low fructose honey” to no avail. And the labels on the honey containers certainly won’t tell me the breakdown of the kinds of sugars. Sure, there are certain types of honey, like raspberry honey, that are known to contain much higher glucose such that one can keep an eye out for labels; even then, I don’t know where to go to buy such things, not knowing any beekeepers. Why must this be hard? Certainly if Whole Foods can convince everyone they’re suffering from a fungal overgrowth of the yeasty variety, someone out there must care about providing low-fructose sweeteners to the masses…?

It also occurred to me in pondering all this that I would totally buy low-fructose fruit sweeteners if they were commercially available. (Or are they? Tell me in the comments!) Fruit could easily be selected for higher glucose than fructose content and could presumably either be sold in concentrate or crystallized. 

Market opportunity, readers: Create an online store that makes it easy to order natural, low-fructose sweeteners whose labels tell you all their sweet little secrets rather than just “Sugars ……… # g.” I’ll be your first customer!

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