Soaking fruits in syrup is one of the common methods used to preserve fresh produce. Whether they’re canned, bottled, or stored in other types of food packaging, syrup is a frequently used liquid storage medium.
When sugar is dissolved in water the resulting mixture is denser. Add enough sugar and the mixture becomes thicker than the internal fluids of the microorganisms in the mixture. Because of osmotic pressure, microorganisms in such a liquid will shrivel and die as their internal fluids flow out of their cell membranes. This is what makes syrup an effective preservative for fruits.
Submerge fruits in this preserving liquid, store them in a hermetically sealed container, and the fruit will not spoil for a long period of time. The advantage – fruit preservation, The disadvantage – significant additional sugar content. Read on and know more about the negative effects of fruits in syrup.
Fruits in Syrup Health Risks:
Although whole fresh fruits naturally contain glucose and fructose, they still have a relatively low impact on blood sugar levels. The generally low glycemic index of fruits is likely due to the presence of other nutritional substances such as dietary fiber.
Since syrup is basically a sugar and water solution, it is quickly absorbed right into your system. Diabetics, and those prone to such a medical condition, already have to be careful about how much whole fresh fruits they can eat. Fruits in syrup, with their additional sugar content, apparently present bigger risks and call for more prudent consumption.
To get an idea of how much sugar is typically added through syrup, take a look at the USDA’s guide to canning fruits at home. This document identifies several syrup types based on sugar concentration. A “very light” syrup would contain only about 10% sugar. By contrast, “very heavy” syrup has approximately 50% sugar, which is equal amounts of sugar and water! The common packaging practice is the more sour the fruit, the heavier the syrup. The general recommendation of course is to go for light syrup as much as possible.
White processed sugar is often used for making the syrup, as this happens to best preserve fruit flavor, texture and color, less processed brown sugar, and various types of sweeteners can also be utilized. In commercial products, high fructose corn syrup is frequently listed as an ingredient.
Each type of sugar or sweetener has an effect on the taste and appearance of the fruit being preserved. Each also has its own health benefits and/or health risks. However, even if such factors were disregarded and a relatively safe sugar substitute, such as organic maple syrup, was used in a home-canned fruit, the fruit will still have a higher calorie content compared to whole fresh fruits.
One last thing to consider about fruits in syrup is that the food preservation process almost always involves cooking. As you may know Vitamin C and other types of phytonutrients are heat-sensitive. Thus, nutrition is unavoidably lost during the canning process.
In the next post, I’ll tell you the negative effects of fruit candy and why you should avoid it to succeed in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the fruits on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
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