Should You Beware of Glucose Syrup?
Hello and welcome to the nutrition diva podcast I'm your host Monica Reina. A listener recently asked me to look into an ingredient called glucose syrup. This is often used as a sweetener in processed foods, such as cookies, candy and other confections, and she'd read that it's a very concentrated source of sugar that supposedly contains four times the amount of sugar and calories per tablespoon as regular table sugar, the implication of course that one should avoid foods made with glucose syrup. I tracked this specific claim to an article written by a Dietitian for website called health line now this is a site that I consider to be a very reliable source in general I have found their nutrition articles to be thorough, accurate and very well referenced and sure enough. That statement that Glucose Syrup contains four times. The sugar and calories found in regular sugar, was footnoted and linked to the USDA's food and nutrient database the gold standard for nutrient data. One footnote linked to the nutritional analysis for light. Corn, Syrup, which is another name for Glucose Syrup. One tablespoon contains seventeen grams of sugar and sixty two calories. The other footnote linked to the nutritional analysis for regular table sugar one tablespoon contains four grams of sugar and sixteen calories. Case closed. Actually make that case overturned on appeal. Because unfortunately, this second listing was inaccurate. You see in addition to the tens of thousands of foods that have been analyzed by the USDA to create their amazing food nutrient database, they also include as a public service nutrient information for tens of thousands of additional packaged and processed foods, and they base that on information that's been provided by the manufacturer, and there are frequent errors. In fact, there's a disclaimer right on the page that health line cited stating that the info was provided by food brand owners who are responsible for the descriptions, nutrient data and the ingredient information. Well. In this case, it was just a simple typo. The manufacturer chose the wrong serving size the nutrient info that they uploaded four grams of sugar and sixteen calories. For a teaspoon of sugar, not a tablespoon, and for those of you who don't bake or maybe used metric measures. A tablespoon contains three teaspoons. So a tablespoon of Corn Syrup does not contain four times as many calories as a tablespoon of sugar, it is actually about a third higher. It contains seventeen grams of sugar versus twelve grams, and this is simply due to the fact that sugar crystals aren't as dense as sugar syrup. Something that manufacturers adjust for in their recipes. Look if you're concerned about the sugar or the calorie content of packaged food, it doesn't really matter how many tablespoons of an ingredient were added to the recipe. What matters is how many grams of sugar end up in each serving of the finished product something that's disclosed usually accurately on the nutrition facts label look mistakes happen and I sent an email to the Dietitian who wrote the article, alerting her to the error, and I hope that she and health line will be able to correct it. But. Here's a quick tip for anyone who's using the USDA's database to look up nutrient info. You can filter those listings so that they don't show the manufacturer provided listings. The USDA data is perfect, but it's generally much more complete and more reliable than the manufacturer supplied data. But I still have one other problem with this article on corn or Glucose Syrup because the author goes on to write that quote Consuming Glucose Syrup regularly may increase your risk of obesity, high blood, sugar, poor, dental, health, high blood, pressure, and Heart, disease, and quote, and once again she includes citations this time. She's linking to articles published in medical journals. But these articles are not about corn syrup per se they refer to all added sugars,