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I bought some of this fruit sugar yesterday. the monosaccharide fructose in neat form, at the time I thought this was a great product, all the sugar and less calories however after some research it would seem fructose has serious downfalls, such as possible effects on memory and having to be metabolised by the liver causing damage or a fatty liver.
Taste wise the product does do well, however the initial sweetness and duration of sweetnes are quicker and shorter than with sucrose, sucrose is a disaccharide composed of glucose and fructose, fructose alone is not dissimilar to High Fructose Corn Syrup which is used more than sugar in the US, Fructose is blamed for problems with obesity by some also.
Comparing these two sugars so far is simple and apart from those requiring a low GI sucrose wins hands down, however there is another form of natural sugar to consider and that is Molasses, unrefined sugar, Indeed this is the premium sugar in that it still contains nutrients and minerals that processed sugars are devoid of, it is believe that the content of molasses can negate some of the negative effects of sugars intake and therefore for the most important topic when choosing sugars, Molasses wins over the other not by taste but by being the healthiest sugar product available.
Overall fruit sugar is probably not the best sweetener but some may prefer it as a natural sweetener however natural does not by any means mean safer, infact two artificial sweeteners come to mind that are probably safer are sucralose and saccharin.
Another negative is the relative expense compared to sucrose and molasses however relevant potency of sweetness and not cost of production is probably playing a large part in this as well as the misconception that it is heathier or more natural.
How much? I ask you cry as you realise how much more expensive fruit sugar is from normal sugar. Then follows the questions of whether you should pay the extra. Well in short for me no. The longer story is avalible below.
I was introduced to fruit sugar via a diabetic friend. Diabetics opt for fruit sugar over normal cane sugar (the usual stuff), as it has a lower GI (Glycemic Index), which means that the sugars are relased slower so instead of getting a high spike, you get a slow realse and so a slower amount of surgar which plateus out. This is important for Non Diabetics as well as it stops the sugar rush, or the hyper state. Also unused sugars are converted into fat.
*Where are fruit sugars from and why are they different?*
Fruit sugars are from fruit (self explanatory) they consit of a longer molcular chain and so take longer to break down than standard sugar (Sucrose and Glucose), but they are still a sugar. Fruit sugars (Fructose) are naturally found in oranges, apples, apricoats etc. Grapes (so rasins as well) contain sucrose which is broken down in the same maner as ordinary sugar.
Basically differences in molecular level mean that fruit sugars have a lower GI and are sweeter.
*Does the GI effect you?*
I use sugar for coffee and in baking, that's all. So I don't notice the change. I leave a pretty busy life which involves a lot of walking and don't suffer from sugar highs. I would imagine if you take a lot of sugar all at once ie in your tea and with ceral then you would be effected, or if you have a child which is highly susceptable to sugar rushes.
I does effect diabetics (that I know so 2, both type I), but this is because they can't produce the insulin they need and so they know about sugar spikes.
*Does it taste the same?*
Individually it is sweeter, though I can't tell the difference in my coffee. As it is sweeter then you use a third less, this is the main reason I origianally switched as a teaspoon of each contains the same calories, however as fructose is sweeter then I was using less.
*Why did you stop?*
I stopped for two reasons. 1. Cost and 2. Weight distribution. The cost is substantially more as it is a specialise product, however like normal sugar fruit sugars are the same. I found that the packaging of Tate and Lyle was nicer, but was more expensive than other fruitsugars which it needn't be. The weight: Because they are different in their break down they are also different in where they are stored. Eating fructose gives you an apple/pear shape (Ie weight is held around your middle). I started to notice that I was putting on extra weight in this region so stopped.
*Is it an easy subsitution?*
Yes, just use a third less. It tastes a lot nicer than sweeteners (but I can't stand those). It is difficult to make icing out of as you must grind it down first and it doesn't work in meranges. If you are baking for a special occasion then I would practice first. Also obviously there is no fruit brown sugar, so in some recipies there is no substitue.
In summary, if you need lower GI then buy it. If you don't and have the money then try it. If you don't and don't have the money then keep on using the normal white stuff.
We drink many cups of tea at home per day and the sugar that we have been putting into our tea isn't very healthy. I know tea do taste great without sugar but it is not easy to kick this habit off. I decided to try fruit sugar after reading about its benefit in a magazine.
I started with Fruisana fruit sugar but they are not on Tesco shelves anymore, the other alternative is Tate and Lyle fruit sugar.
Tate and Lyle launch their fruit sugar in 2005. Their fruit sugars have a low G.I. index rating (explained below) which means that its energy will be absorbed slower by the body hence there is no extreme highs and lows in energy level.
Fruit sugar is found naturally in fruits and plants. The benefit of fruit sugar or fructose is it does not have an adverse effect on our body sugar level. Have you ever felt energetic after a sugary drink and soon after feel sluggish and tired? Ordinary sugar has a high Glycaemic Index (G.I.) which means that the blood sugar level is elevated abnormally, hence giving you an instant high in energy and consequently bring you down. This is also a cause for weight gain as we crave for sugar intake again.
Interestingly, fruit sugars are twice as sweet as ordinary sugar and it contain the same number of calories as ordinary sugar. However, as less fruit sugar is needed to sweeten a cup of tea hence the calorie intake is reduced.
Each package of Tate and Lye fruit sugar contains 250g of sugar. The sugar grain seems finer and whiter than Fruisana fruit sugar, but the taste is the same. The attractive white packaging with the usual Tate and Lyle logo is suppose to be re-sealable. However, I have never been successful re-sealing the package as the seal doesn't work.
I only used fruit sugar for tea, coffee and cereal as it is too costly to use it for cake making. I have noticed that the price for Tate and Lyle fruit sugar seems to have gone on a roller coaster. It started at £0.99 when it was launched, went down to £0.55 and then suddenly went up to £0.74. I thought food prices are supposed to be coming down.
Check out the website for more info about fruit sugar and recipes.