This question excludes all added or synthetic sugars (which I abbreviate to AS), and refers only to only natural sugars intrinsic and inherent in food (which I abbreviate to NS).

I wish to clarify the following helpful comment in response to my (now closed) question on suggestion for toppings on pancakes and waffles without any added or synthetic sugars, because my grandmother's dentist and physician oppose her consumption of any AS:

Besides whole fruit, you can also use something like apple sauce. Apple butter and appelstroop are technically apple, but cooked down so that the sugars are concentrated and would likely violate the 'added sugar' exemption. And there are jams that are made with only fruit (eg. Polaner All Fruit), but again, it's concentrated.

Does 'concentrated' here mean that:

  1. cooking and processing generate new sugars, so that the comestible's initial quantity of NS < the comestible's final quantity of NS.

  2. or cooking and processing only condense (ie: increase the density of) the existing NS, so that the total quantity of NS remains the same before and after (but not the total density)?

If the answer is 1, then my grandmother cannot use such products;
but if the answer is 2, then please allow me to pose another question on the healthiness of such products for my grandmother.

  • Note that healthiness is off-topic here. We deal primarily with the culinary aspect of food. There is a health se that might be a better place to ask questions in regards to the healthiness in regards to your grandmother's "condition."
    – Jay
    Dec 30, 2015 at 16:55
  • @jay this kind of question is not that well suited to Health.SE. Even if it stays open, it is unlikely to get a decent answer.
    – rumtscho
    Dec 30, 2015 at 16:57
  • Have you considered actually asking your mother's dentist? if it's truly a dental issue, surely s/he's the best person to ask about this sort of thing? I'm not sure why fake sugars would be off the table for a dentist... I wasn't aware that they were particularly caustic to teeth.
    – Catija
    Dec 30, 2015 at 16:57
  • @Catija My grandmother's dentist counsels her to confine her sugar intake to NS, in order to avert cavities; so this is the only problem but it is not veritably a dental problem.
    – user24882
    Dec 30, 2015 at 17:03
  • I think the advice to stick to natural sugars is mostly just to reduce sugar intake in general. It's much easier to consume too much sugar in processed food compared to natural sugar found in fruits. So cooking down fruits to make jam would be counterproductive in your case.
    – Jay
    Dec 30, 2015 at 17:05

2 Answers 2


The comment you cite obviously means the second explanation. The total quantity of sugars within the apple is not considered to increase in apple sauce making. Its density, however, does increase. And the increase can be substantial, as fruit is mostly water. In fact, "table sugar" is nothing but processed (concentrated) beets or cane.

It is possible that some production processes will create new sugars, usually by enzymatic splitting of longer carbohydrates. This is where the fructose in high fructose corn syrup comes from. So you can't assume that the second meaning will be true for all cases where you start with a fruit or vegetable. It is just true for traditional applesauce recipes.

Whether it is possible to make jam "without added sugar" is a very murky question, as "added sugar" is not really definable in this case.

As for the healthiness of such products, this is both off topic and unanswerable. You should ask your grandmother's doctor. He's the only one who knows what he meant and intended when he prescribed the diet.


Some starch is converted into sugar by cooking and by combining some ingredients depending on which starch and recipe. The amounts however are not usually consequential enough to be considered added.

The most ready example would be the sweet potato. When you cook it properly a great deal of the starch breaks down into sugar which makes it sweet. That's why it's important to cook these potatoes long enough and at a high enough temp to break down the starches into sugars.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.