A gluten free life


gluten foodsThis weekend we attended the Gluten free Expo in Melbourne. How fantastic to see so many products now available gluten free.

Why would you be gluten free?

Here’s what we learnt at the GF Expo – there can be a range of reasons. Firstly you may have Continue reading

The Sugar Free Pantry


sugar free grocery shop jpgWhen you make the decision to go sugar free you need to start with your fridge and pantry. There will also be a big change in your shopping habits.

Removing all of the food containing sugar can be cathartic and educational.

Standing in front of a half empty pantry is strange. Chicken stock? Pasta sauce? Stir fry sauces? Tomato sauce? Breakfast cereals? Can all be heavy in sugar. What’s more, the amount of sugar in many foods is constantly climbing upwards with manufacturers keen to keep up with competitors. Just crazy.

At the start remind yourself that these products are harming your body and pretty soon you will no longer miss them. Be assured the taste for sweeter foods does disappear over time.

Family and friends may find it difficult to understand you no longer have sugar, traditional biscuits or chocolates in the house. But feed them cheese, nuts, tasty crackers and our sugar free recipes; they’ll soon come around.

Family and friends will have many questions about living sugar free. It’s great so many people are interested in better health.

Shopping sugar free is different. At the supermarket you won’t go down many aisles. Sadly there are very few fructose free foods in the supermarket. This is one reason why The Sugar Breakup was started, it was time to make products that were fructose free for ourselves and others.

Today’s photo is now a typical weekly shop for us. Most of it from the markets, the meat from the local butcher.

Recently we’ve noticed some great new food companies bucking the “added sugar” trend and producing some delicious goods. The big five we searched for this week were yoghurt (5:am yoghurt), peanut butter (Ridiculously Delicious), breakfast cereals (The Muesli), cocoa powder and chicken stock (Moredough Kitchens). We found sugar free versions in all of them from Aussie companies.

Please feel free to let us know of any other great fructose free products that we can share with our readers.

Did you hear the one about “evaporated cane juice”?


Food LabelIn the US last year a lawsuit was filed against a particular yoghurt company over the use of evaporated cane juice in their ingredients list.

So what is evaporated cane juice?? Drum roll please… SUGAR! (yep you guessed it) and really not juice at all as cane doesn’t ‘juice’ but that’s a minor detail. The complaint was that the yoghurt company’s “no added sugar” assurance was wrong or more technically in violation of federal law.

When asked in the FAQ’s section of their website if one of their kids’ yoghurts had extra sugar the answer read: “No way! Just because X product is made for kids doesn’t mean that we need to add extra sugar…”

This has now been removed and the amended post still mentions evaporated cane juice as a sweetener but they’ve dropped the “no added sugar” assurance.

Luckily the use of the term evaporated cane juice hasn’t taken off in Australia and probably won’t due to more stringent labelling rules but it got us thinking about the different terms we’ve seen on food labels to describe sugar.

Here’s some of the ones we look out for:

  1. Agave Nectar – very popular over the last year. A smaller amount can be used because it is 1.5 times sweeter than normal sugar. Normally 80% – 90% fructose.
  2. Brown Sugar – less processed and unrefined so some may think this is a healthier alternative to white sugar. Unfortunately not. Brown sugar is still 50% fructose.
  3. Cane Crystals – this is the cane sugar liquid crystallised, and still has 50% fructose (hang on, isn’t that evaporated cane juice??).
  4. Castor Sugar – a fine sugar which is 50% fructose and 50% glucose. It’s very popular for baking because it dissolves easily. You can also get a finer version often called confectioners’ or icing sugar. It’s all sucrose just finer.
  5. Corn Syrup and High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) – made from the starch of corn. Used more in the US but increasingly seen in the Australian market. At least 50% fructose, can go up 55% fructose for some HFCS. Scarily there are stories of a new HFCS on the market that is 60% fructose! We’ll keep an eye out for more news on that.
  6. Demerara Sugar – unrefined sugar with larger crystals. It is, sigh, once again 50% fructose.
  7. Fruit Sugar – That’s 100% fructose!!! (feel slightly dizzy thinking of that much fructose).
  8. Fruit Juice Concentrate – the liquid from fruit is heat treated and evaporated to form the concentrate. Depending on the fruit used, it can be 50% – 70% fructose.
  9. Golden Syrup – is a pale liquid sugar that is the by-product when crystallising cane sugar, 40% fructose.
  10. Honey – about 40% fructose.
  11. Maple Syrup – made from the sap of maple trees. Has a slighter lower fructose content than most table sugars but still has between 30% – 40%.

We’ve only scratched the surface, there are plenty more out there.

What “creative” terms have you seen for sugar on ingredient lists?