I read a lot of food blogs and listen to podcasts on the subject. A recurring theme these days is the large amount of sugar in processed food. It reminds me of the obsession surrounding fat a number of years ago. Fat was demonized, and all of a sudden there was a huge market in no fat and low fat foods.
Interestingly enough, the fat in a product was often replaced by sugar in order to make the item palatable. There is a lot of truth to the dictum that low fat often equals high sugar. But now sugar is the enemy. How about everything in moderation?
Having said that, I’ve been reading labels lately. There are a large number of words that simply mean sugar. We honestly don’t eat a lot of processed food around here, but I found an interesting example of a high sugar food sitting on my shelf that took me by surprise.
We developed a fondness for cornmeal pancakes when we had a condo at Bretton Woods, and we frequented Polly’s Pancake Parlor in Sugar Hill, New Hampshire. Over the years, I’ve reached for the old familiar box of Jiffy to make cornmeal pancakes at home. Well, I’ve been focusing on whole grains lately. Yet another popular topic in the current food world! In addition to Jiffy, I also had a bag of Bob’s Red Mill cornmeal. Very interesting comparison. Bob’s has one ingredient: whole grain corn. Jiffy has degerminated yellow corn meal, and sugar is listed third on the very long list of ingredients. Needless to say, the difference in dietary fiber is also staggering.
Both had recipes for pancakes on the packaging. You have to add an egg, shortening and milk to Jiffy. Bob’s Red Mill requires flour and leavening agents in addition to the egg and milk. Sugar is not required. Both products result in good tasting pancakes. But with the belief that whole grains and a reduction in sugar intake might be a healthier choice, I made the Bob’s Red Mill version. Our sugar came in the form of a bit of real maple syrup.