Saturday, July 5, 2008
Not so crystal clear
Step away from that bottle of flavored 'nutrient' water. I'm not naming names, but there is a product that I must admit is a favorite in this household, that is made with an ingredient that might not be so good for you. Looking at the label*, I noticed an ingredient called 'crystalline fructose' and did the next obvious step: I Googled it. Crystalline fructose is pretty much what it sounds like, a crystalized version of fructose, most often derived from corn. Is this just a powdered version of high fructose corn syrup? Fructose.org reports this crystalized product and HFCS are not the same. But they also report that the press and scientists have been giving fructose, and HFCS, a bad name. According to fructose.org, the FDA claims HFCS is "as safe for use in food as sucrose, corn sugar, corn syrup and invert sugar."
Now we've all heard the uglies about high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), it's link to diabetes, obesity, insulin resistance, and how it suppresses leptin, the hormone that tells your brain when you are full. Is crystalline fructose the same thing? Inquiring minds want to know. (By the way, one 20oz bottle is actually 2.5 servings, with 13 grams of sugar per serving. Drinking an entire bottle of this product is still less sugar than an entire can of cola. Have you seen what actual serving sizes of soft drinks really are? Sometimes it's less than a can, ya'll.)
I am just going to say don't drink it. Not a fan of straight water? Make your own flavored water drink by adding a few slices of fresh citrus (lemon, lime), crushed berries, mint leaves, ginger, or my personal fav, slices of cucumber (so refreshing in the summer). Experiment with your favorite fruits! Just don't forget to leave out the sugar.
Some interesting related (and not-so-related) information:
A 2006 article from The New York Times
From the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Another from JCEM
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
American Chemical Society (2007, August 23). Soda Warning? High-fructose Corn Syrup Linked To Diabetes, New Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 5, 2008, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2007/08/070823094819.htm
I found this link to MexicanSugarSkull.com when looking for an image for this blog.
*I looked on the website for the product in question and wasn't able to find any additional nutrition information.