Here’s the thing.
I have eliminated nearly all sugar from my diet for the past three months. This is not easy to do. It’s not like just giving up soda and not putting sugar in your coffee. There is sugar in nearly everything that’s commercially available, including sauces, meats, breads, soups…pretty much everything that’s “packaged” may contain some form of sugar.
I’m not going to go in to all of the different names sugar hides under, because, frankly, there are too many. The TL;DR version is: sugar, corn syrup (high fructose or otherwise), natural flavour, “flavour”, etc.. There are a lot of sugars in fruit, so anything made with “fruit purée” has sugar in it (granted, it’s natural sugars with fibre and vitamins and such, but it’s still sugar). Honey is a natural sweetener that, if you can manage to find it unprocessed and raw, is *less* harmful for you, but it still has some of the similar effects on your body that processed sugars do. Specifically, it buggers around with your blood sugar levels and confuses your body as to what sort of macronutrients to burn.
When I decided to start making my own sauces (BBQ, salad dressing, ketchup, etc.), I was pretty surprised at how much sugar they have in them. And, when I went sugar-free, I ditched them completely. After making some spinach and mushroom scrambled eggs today, I was thinking how great it would be to make some sugar-free ketchup. So I started looking for recipes.
Of the 20 or so recipes I looked at, 18 of them included some form of sugar (this is an incomplete list):
molasses (SERIOUSLY? MOLASSES?)
sucralose (like Spelnda. It’s a sugar substitute that’s been processed with chlorine.)
Now, I did a search for “sugar-free ketchup recipe”, and not “unsweetened ketchup recipe”.
But here’s the thing. “Sugar-free” ought not be synonymous with “not sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup”. Seriously. It ought to mean “contains no forms of sugar”.
And so many of these recipes were posted by bloggermommies who were all going on about how they didn’t like how much sugar their kids were exposed to and how off-the-shelf ketchup was loaded with sugar (which it is, and I don’t blame them for wanting to provide healthier alternatives to mass-produced processed foods). But I’m really grumpy about the whole “sugar-free” title meaning “this one specific form of sugar is not used in this recipe”.