It is easy to be confused by all the different sugar products that exists out there; All the different health benefits, their ability to peak the blood sugar and when and how to use them. Many people swear to the “no sugar diet”. Your body will definitively feel better after sometime without refined sugar. In my baking I prefer to use natural and unrefined sugar substitutions that treat my blood sugar on a steady level without spikes, and does good to me.
This is the first post of a series of posts about sugars that I will post the upcoming weeks.
First of all you need to know how sugar is measured by glycemic index.
What is glycemic index?
Glycemic index (GI) is one way to indicate how the different foods and type of sugars affect our blood sugar level. It measures the effect of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. The index is from 0 to 100. A food or sugar with low GI will make your blood sugar rise slower than a one with high GI. This is because of the carbohydrates that break down more slowly. When your blood sugar level rises fast it will give you more cravings, and sweet- hunger. It can also affect your mood. Foods with high GI have been associated with diabetes type 2, cancer, obesity and Alzheimers disease. The sudden peak in the hormone insulin and peak in blood sugar will also make it easier for the body to store the energy as fat right away. On the other hand will foods with low GI make your blood sugar rise more slowly, and will make you feel full longer, give you less sweet- hunger and a more stabile energy level.
|Sucrose (white sugar)||64|
|High fructose corn syrup||62|
|Brown rice syrup||25|
|Agave syrup||15- 30|
Coconut sugar 35
“What sugars should I use?”
Here are some quick- facts that you do not want to miss out on.
Quick- facts about sugars:
- A food or sugar with low glycemic index (GI) will make your blood sugar rise slower than a one with high GI. When your blood sugar level rises fast it will give you more cravings, and sweet- hunger. It can also affect your mood.
- The healing properties of honey disappears when it is heat processed.
- Agave syrup has a low GI, but holds a high content of fructose. Fructose is metabolized in the liver and turned directly into fat, and hence raises triglycerides and cholesterol. That means that a very high intake of fructose is not recommended because of its adverse effects of the liver. But you can use Agave syrup in small amounts for example in baking. Especially since it is 1.5. times sweeter than sugar.
- Brown rice malt syrup is the natural sweetener which holds the highest content of minerals, B- vitamins and proteins. Because of its high content of Maltose, soluble carbohydrates it is slowly metabolized. As it does not contain fructose it is a good and safe alternative to consume, but no overconsumption.
- Maple syrup holds the least calories (261 calories/100g) of the liquid unrefined sugars.
- White sugar or table sugar is sucralose which is 50% glucose and 50% fructose. It has a high glycemic index, and spikes the blood sugar. When the blood sugar spikes frequently it will make you feel hungry, crave for more sweets and affect your mood. The sudden peak in the hormone insulin and peak in blood sugar will also make it easier for the body to store the energy as fat right away.
- Coconut sugar has a glycemic index (GI) of 35. Coconut sugar also has traces of vitamins, antioxidants, potassium and sink. Coconut sugar contains 45% fructose, which is much lower than Agave syrup (90%).
Stay posted, the upcoming posts about sugar will include facts about the different natural and unrefined sugars, how to use them and where to get them!