Those following the TQI Diet diligently read ingredient labels in order to avoid added sugar. Our government has now made avoiding those sugars much more difficult.
Allulose is a fructose relative that lacks calories, is almost as sweet tasting as white sugar (70% as sweet), and has GRAS approval (e.g., it has been grandfathered in without safety testing). One ad in a magazine for food manufactures uses large lettering in a full-page ad: “URGENT FDA ANNOUNCEMENT.” Allulose is sweet but does not have to be listed as a sugar or an added sugar on the ingredient label. “WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?” the ad continues, allulose acts like a sugar, tastes like a sugar, but when added, the product can be said to be sugar free. In the words of the ad: “SAY HELL YA TO KETOSWEET AND HELL HO TO ADDED SUGARS.” Another marketer notes “we can now . . . bring winning products to market that meet consumers’ taste and indulgent wants and health and wellness needs.” (Emphasis added.)
Fructose itself has long been marketed especially to diabetics because it tastes like sugar but does not raise blood sugar levels. And added fructose is very common in processed foods. Subsequent research shows, however, that excess fructose in the diet is linked to high cholesterol, gout, fatty liver, weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, and more. We are better off without added fructose in our food.
Allulose is a fructose isomer. It has the same chemical formula as fructose but its atoms are arranged differently and this can change its effect in a myriad of ways. It, for instance, is 70% less sweet than white sugar while fructose is about twice as sweet. Allulose is more like white sugar in terms of bulking and browning properties. In other words, fructose and allulose are different. It may be that allulose is better for our health than added fructose. It is also possible that it may be worse for us. We do not know because the sugar allulose qualified as as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) without much research.
And do not be swayed by claims that allulose is “guaranteed to be fine because it is “natural.” Some plants (e.g., corn, figs, Jack fruit) do make allulose but only in tiny amounts. It has never been a significant part of the human diet.
My recommendation is to avoid allulose completely even though this will be difficult. Allulose is not going to be listed as an added sugar. It may be listed under some tradename such as Ketosesweet rather than allulose. Or maybe it will be listed under its old name (d-psicose). This means it now is yet more important NOT to consume any processed foods with ingredients that you have never heard of.