Brown Rice Syrup, Is It Good Or Bad? Should We, Fructose Malabsorption Patients, Ingest Brown Rice Syrup? How About A Granola Bar Made With Brown Rice Syrup?
Since my diagnosis with Fructose Malabsorption and my daughter's subsequent diagnosis with Fructose Malabsorption we have strictly avoided all man-made sugars other than pure can sugar and glucose syrup.
Man-made sugar scares me! The sugar industry is highly unregulated; food companies can change sugars in products and not label it correctly; and food scientists are constantly inventing new sugars.
I know what it is like to live in a constant state of gut unrest, overall inflammation, and daily Fructose Volcano episodes. I do not want to eat something that is supposedly a "safe sugar" and have it cause another eruption!
For 10+ years our #1 rule is: mostly all man-made sugars are BAD and should undoubtedly be avoided!!!
Recently one of my Facebook Fructose Malabsorption Friends posed the simple question: "Has anyone found a safe granola bar?". Before I even read the responses I wanted to respond, "No, there are NOT any safe granola bars on the market". "Trust me, I have honestly spent 300 hours scouring granola bar labels at the grocery store and online and have NOT found any safe options."
A few years ago I gave up my quest for commercially made granola bars and started experimenting with making my own. Wow, granola bars are tough to make! It takes a lot of experimenting to find the perfect recipe that gives a granola bar a nice crunch, but not too crunchy so that it breaks your teeth. And, a granola bar where the ingredients stick together, but are not so sticky that they are impossible to chew and swallow. We have made a lot of disgusting granola bars! I would say that a few of them have not been edible.
We have sampled at least two dozen recipes over the last few years trying to perfect the perfect granola bar recipe. It finally occurred to me after a lot of missteps that I needed to create a simple syrup with sugar and water to replicate the quality of honey, molasses or a high fructose syrup; an ingredient that would help the granola bar ingredients stick together, and stay crunchy at the same time.
Here is a link to our best recipe and a recipe my daughter enjoys:
Currently, these are the ONLY granola bars we eat at our house. Why?
When I make granola bars at home I can control the ingredients.
I know they are made with safe cane organic sugar.
When my daughter eats them in moderation combined with other whole real foods her gut and body are happy. That is my goal: I want my daughter to feel happy, healthy; and ready to tackle school, sports and social media. I do not want Grace to feel run down nor anxious.
So why did I just purchase two new brands of granola bars? Why am I willing to experiment with her gut?
Because two of my Facebook friends suggested granola bars made with brown rice syrup.
Wait, didn't I just state that our rule was, "mostly all man-made sugars are BAD and should undoubtedly be avoided"! Yes, I did.
So, what is brown rice syrup?
Is it a safe option?
Brown Rice Syrup comes from fermented brown rice and is mostly glucose. And, we know that glucose is like a spaceship helping to transport fructose into our cells; therefore, preventing the dreaded Fructose Volcano.
Is there finally a product out there that I could purchase and not have to make?
And, wouldn't that be fantastic?
My daughter is desperate to have a packaged item in her lunch! She wants to feel "normal". She desires bright, shiny packages. I am willing to give it a try based on my research. Part of her happiness as a preteen is feeling "normal".
Yes, brown rice syrup is commercially made. And, yes food from the earth is best! However, when you are 12 years old and live in an environment where bright shiny packages of food are available and served everywhere---at school, gas stations, after hockey practices, at friend's houses and at the local coffee shop----it feels good to have an occasional packaged product.
I stress the word occasional. I am not going to pack these new granola bars in her lunch everyday. And, I am not going to go hog wild and give her the entire granola bar the first time we try them. We are going to take it slow. We will try a few bites of one type of granola bar, evaluate our symptoms for the next 3 days, avoid all other "scary" foods, write down all evidence of symptoms, and then try a few more bites. If we find success, meaning my daughter still feels happy and healthy then we will try 1/2 of a granola bar and start the process all over again.
It is really important when trying a new food to keep a food journal. At Families Balancing Fructose we created a food journal and a recording system that works well at our house. Here is a link to our food journal: FBF Food Journal.
I will let you know if these granola bars work for my daughter. I will let you know if she prefers bright and shiny, or homemade.
Granola Bars We Purchased: