In the Gutsy world, not all sugars are created equal, but what does sugar free mean?
You will find a ton of information about sugar and sugar free options in The Gutsy Girl’s Bible: an approach to healing the gut, 3.0, but for today, you can start here.
What Does Sugar Free Mean
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No Sugar vs. No Added Sugars
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), they are defined as such:
If a product claims to be “sugar-free,” there must be less than 0.5 grams per serving. The term “no added sugars” (also worded “without added sugar”) can be used if no sugar or sugar-containing ingredient was added during processing. It is also important to mention that “reduced/less sugar” can be used when there is at least 25% less than an appropriate reference food.
What about fruit?
There is sugar in fruit (fructose), so yes, fruit has sugar. I don’t create recipes with 4 different kinds of fruit and a heaping spoonful of Vegan Coconut Whip Cream and call it “sugar-free.” For me and for what I know helps to heal the gut, that is typically too much “sugar” for the Gutsy tummy.
What are some forms of sugar/where are the sources?
Sugar can be found via many different sources and alternative names. All “natural” sugars, artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols must be avoided for a while during the initial healing stages. These include the likes of (not a 100% comprehensive list, that list can be found HERE)….
So what does no sugar mean to you?
Sugar is everywhere. It includes all items with a compound similar to C6H12O6.
Sugar is addictive, and it is a potent drug.
In order for me (or anyone else) to say that most of our recipes are truly sugar-free would to not be telling the whole truth.
For all intensive purposes, sugar-free means that most sugars are limited and that even fruit and all added sugars are removed.
If a recipe on my blog says “sugar-free,” that means it does not include even honey or fruit. In other words, there will not be many of these recipes on my blog. The Basil and Arugula Lemon Pesto is an example of sugar free.
Remember, no sugar for the Gutsy community typically needs to mean something a little different than for the average Joe-lle.
Our guts are more complicated, and thus require a little more tender loving care.
I can’t sugar coat (pun intended) the truth about sugar for y’all. If I did, I wouldn’t be helping you heal.
You will heal. I will help.