By: Billy BeerSlugger
I’m a person who usually looks at the health information on the back of a package or drink to see what I’m putting into my body. Increasingly and especially in so called “health drinks” I have seen “Crystaline Fructose” as a sweetener. Inquisitive as I am I had to look this healthy stuff up that has been replacing sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup in some of the drinks I see.
Well essentially Crystalline Fructose is just crystallized Corn Syrup which is pretty much the same stuff that’s in High Fructose Corn Syrup and that is the same stuff that’s in soda like Coke and Pepsi. So Crystalline Fructose is about 5% sweeter than High Fructose Corn Syrup and 20% sweeter than Sugar which allows beverage companies to add less of it to their drinks and thus cut about 20-30 calories per 12 oz. beverage. The marketing behind the beverages can employ a “healthier” or “reduced calorie” tag-line because ultimately the calories have been reduced and there is no High Fructose Corn Syrup in the beverage even though Crystalline Fructose is made from Corn Syrup.
I’m inclined to drink a beverage with Crystalline Fructose in it over artificial sweeteners like Aspartame and the like found in Diet Sodas. However, I really don’t think there’s a good substitute for regular sugar for sweetened beverages and drinking them in moderation. I don’t trust these companies/corporations who’s main goal is to increase their profits. That’s why I was glad to see Snapple go to real sugar in it’s beverages, at least you know what you are getting into.
One “health” drink I rather like is Arizona Rescue Water and it uses Crystalline Fructose to make a 20 oz beverage about 75 calories and packs in a bunch of stuff like Alpha Lipoic Acid, green tea extract, milk thistle extract, and L-Glutathione and various vitamins. It generally makes me feel slightly better after I drink it and doesn’t have a sugary taste. Of course water is your best option in terms of watching calories but there are at least some better options than soda and processed fruit juice which generally still employ High Fructose Corn Syrup as the main sweetener.
Overall I wouldn’t be surprised down the line to hear that Crystalline Fructose is bad for you. There are even concern right now as to the effects of Crystalline Fructose and hepatoxicity and it’s effects on the liver even though the FDA considers it safe. Seeing how Crystalline Fructose still comes from Corn Syrup I am on the fence as to embracing it because I am an opponent of High Fructose Corn Syrup. Making Corn Syrup sweeter to reduce calories isn’t really a solution to a problem but I’ll try and consume it in moderation until more data comes out on it. Maybe you should too.