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Carnation Instant Breakfast...sugar free or no sugar?



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3 hours ago, Doc (but I'm not a doctor!) said:

I have my surgery this Monday and am trying to get everything in the house before I go.

I thought Carnation Instant Breakfast was supposed to be sugar free, but all I can find is No Sugar added.

Is that what they mean?

Thanks!

Doc (but I'm not a doctor!)

that should be the same. There's sugar in milk, so that's probably why they label it "no sugar added" rather than "sugar free". It's sweetened with maltodextrin, which isn't sugar - although it has a high glycemic load, if that matters (it's made from starch).

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Maltodextrin is closely related to corn Syrup & contains the same number of calories as sugar so the no added sugar line is really just twisting words so you think it’s better/healthier for you. What’s the Protein content per serve? After surgery looking for a high protein content is important - gotta aim to reach that 60+g a day goal. Protein Shakes are are the better choice because of their high protein content. Also try some bone broths.

Don’t rely just on the low fat, no added sugar, lite, etc. labels on products - a lot of misleading advertising. Checking the ingredient lists (listed from the largest percentage to least) & nutrition panels will become a way of life.

Good luck & hope your surgery goes well.

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Yes, there is sugar in the milk that is in the mix, so it can't be classed as "sugar free" but if they don't add any additional sugar, then it is "no sugar added". The mainline instant Breakfast does have sugar in there (second ingredient after nonfat milk and before maltodextrin) but the no sugar added version will have some other sweetener in there instead - sucralose, aspartame, sugar alcohols, etc.

"No sugar added" is a newish label that is working its way into the nutrition label, and overall is a good thing, as it is the added sugar that is typically the biggest problem. A package of frozen strawberries can't be said to be sugar free, as the strawberries have sugar naturally occurring in them, but they can be "no sugar added" if all they are are strawberries that have been frozen.

I have seen some studies that indicated that on the order of 70-80% of the packaged goods on the shelves have some form of added sugar in them, This is distinct from intrinsic sugar, or sugar that is naturally occurring in foods - milk, fruit, vegetables - almost anything grown in the ground - which is typically much less of a problem as it is usually bound into the Fiber of the plant and more slowly absorbed than the added free sugar.

Is the instant breakfast a recommended product for your program? Typically it is not as it is more of a "meal replacement" product that is moderate in Protein as opposed to the Protein Shakes that are primarily protein, (20-30g protein per serving vs. about 5g for instant breakfast. Usually we are looking for high density protein early on as we can consume so little for a while. That said, I did (and do still) mix instant breakfast with Protein Powder as I was not having any big problem with protein intake, even early on, and chose to blend in the instant breakfast to give a better overall nutritional profile than just the protein powder alone. There is no right or wrong answer, but just a consideration, particularly if one is struggling to get in their requisite protein at the start.

Good luck in your coming adventure!

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In hospitals we mix carnation instant Breakfast with ice cream and full milk to make shakes for oncology patients to gain weight. I would safely assume that it is Not a low glycemic food.

Edited by Vfls

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You are absolutely correct @RickM. Though I should have explained that maltodextrin is used to sweeten (& thicken) foods. So the labelling while correct is also misleading. Maltodextrin is just a sugar alternative they use so they can say no added sugar but it has the same calories as sugar, will spike your blood sugar levels more than sugar & does nothing to reduce your craving for sugar & sweet tasting foods.

It is a real challenge to find foods that don’t have added sugar, sugar alternatives or artificial sweeteners in them these days - nigh on impossible. I swear they’re all out to get us & keep that addiction going strong. It took time & effort but I’ve neutralised most of my desire for sweet things & find sweet foods are crazily too sweet. If I want anything sweet I go to fruit. Reading the nutrition panel & ingredient list is really important so you can make the most informed & best decision for you.

But as I said the Protein component is the most important consideration in the first weeks.

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