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long way. Look for a product with no additives.


n Sucanat—minimally processed, de- hydrated cane sugar juice—is a reason- ably healthy alternative, especially to substitute measure for measure in bak- ing. Because it metabolizes like sugar, it too will cause blood sugar swings; also note that both agave and “raw” sugar, which is merely less refined table sugar, have similar effects.


n Honey, while not calorie-free, is high in heart-healthy flavonoids and anti- allergens, and may even help lower cholesterol, according to a study from University Hospital Giessen and Mar- burg, in Germany.


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n Maple syrup carries calories, but is also a rich source of polyphenol anti-in- flammatory antioxidants. A University of Rhode Island, Kingston, study suggests that maple syrup may help manage Type 2 diabetes.


n Molasses, while not calorie-free, is a worthy alternative if weight isn’t an is- sue, since it’s a good source of minerals, especially iron.


n Raw monk fruit (avoid processed Nectresse), a small, sweet melon native to China and Southeast Asia known as luo han guo, has traditionally been used in herbal medicine. It is touted as being low in carbs and is 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar.


n Coconut sugar is generating excite- ment largely because of its low glyce- mic index (35) and low carbohydrate qualities. This optimum option is a good source of potassium, magnesium, iron, boron, zinc, sulfur and copper.


n All fruit contains fructose, but in a natural state—not synthesized as a veg- etable product like corn syrup. Fruit also comes loaded with health benefits, so eating it in moderation works, especially fruits and berries that are low on the gly- cemic index, a measure of carbohydrate effects on blood sugar levels.


Kathleen Barnes has authored many natural health books. Connect at KathleenBarnes.com.


20 Hudson County NAHudson.com


Corn Syrup Hides in


Processed Foods


Most of us might suspect that high- fructose corn syrup (HFCS) lurks in soft drinks, baked goods, candy and other sweets, but substantial amounts permeate many processed foods. Key culprits include:


4 Applesauce 4 Bottled steak and barbecue sauces 4 Breads 4 Breakfast cereals (including low-calorie ones)


4 Canned soups 4 Catsup 4 Canned vegetables 4 Cottage cheese 4 Flavored yogurt 4 Juice drinks 4 Salad dressings 4 Spaghetti sauce


Notes: HFCS sometimes hides on labels as inulin, glucose-fructose syrup, isoglucose and fruit fructose, among others.


Sources include several online pub- lications and food product labels.


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