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Why is sugar a worse sweetener than other options?

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  • Why is sugar a worse sweetener than other options?

    From what I understand, all sweeteners (save maybe Stevia and a few others) you should probably skip. Either they are chemical (bad) or they are the simplest form of carbohydrate and turn right to glucose.

    Buuut.....I'm not sure why maple syrup or honey is a better sweetener if you're going to have to use one kind of thing. Does it have to do with the processing?

    (Also, I know local honey is good against allergies, but that still leaves maple syrup at least).

    Oh, and what about yacon?

  • #2
    They both have low GI (Glycemic Index). Either way, they are sugar. They have the same destructive properties as plain white sugar. Period!

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    • #3
      Table (regular) sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave. All these are about half fructose which it increasingly seems is not a good sugar to eat in large amounts.

      If I have to have something sweetened I use 100% glucose powder. (in the smallest possible dose!)
      activate the rhythm, the rhythm that has always been within

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      • #4
        I think a preference might be given to honey and maple syrup because you can buy/use these products in a raw, unprocessed state. Table sugar is pretty refined. IMO, there's not much difference...I just try to avoid altogether. I eat such small quantities that when I want to use sugar, I don't freak or stress over a little table sugar.

        Will be interested in other perspectives on this...
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        • #5
          I use maple syrup plus stevia. You can typically cut the sweetener by 1/2 or down to 1/4 of what a recipe calls for if you add enough liquid and some stevia.

          I'm really interested in this topic. I too would probably use straight glucose if it wasn't all corn based. (My ds has a corn intolerance and just can't do corn w/out awful reactions so we avoid it in all forms...)

          Interested in reading what others think. Also, any thoughts on more 'natural/unrefined' sugars like rapadura as compared to maple syrup/honey? Hmmm...
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          • #6
            Raw honey and maple syrup have other health properties that may make the trade-off worthwhile for some. Raw honey is very healing so even if you can't eat it you can use it on wounds, as a face mask (in the bath) or as part of a scrub.

            If you are insulin sensitive however the effect on your body is the same as sugar, however.

            I read about the "health properties" in these sweeteners, but can't remember exactly what they are--minerals I think? My memory fails me. I will return with more concrete info and links.

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            • #7
              How about molasses? There's some at the bottom of my pantry... wondering if I have any excuse to use it. I used to think of it as a hugely useful source of minerals, but I suppose that all depends on what else you have to compare it with.

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              • #8
                Refined sugar is empty carbs, brown sugar has traces of minerals with it, maple syrup has manganese in noticable amounts.

                Honey is similar to brown sugar in minerals but has some additional features like helping with cough or used as a wound dressing.

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                • #9
                  (Pulling my finger out and getting my own link - here's nutritiondata on molasses:
                  http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/sweets/5573/2
                  12% RDA of magnesium in a tablespoon... hm, looks to me as though, in the quantities you'd want to eat it (ie tiny), it's not going to make much odds.

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                  • #10
                    if i want to sweeten things i usually use a touch of stevia, or pure glucose powder (naturesflavors sell organic tapioca dextrose - a good option for those who cant handle corn!), and i also tried making amazake once with rice which turned out pretty good! (but too much effort)

                    As you can see i try to avoid fructose as much as possible

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                    • #11
                      Remembering when my mother carefully, lovingly made separate cakes for my diabetic father sweetened with fructose, because that doesn't raise blood sugar so the authorities told her it was OK.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jqbancroft View Post
                        From what I understand, all sweeteners (save maybe Stevia and a few others) you should probably skip. Either they are chemical (bad) or they are the simplest form of carbohydrate and turn right to glucose.

                        Buuut.....I'm not sure why maple syrup or honey is a better sweetener if you're going to have to use one kind of thing. Does it have to do with the processing?

                        (Also, I know local honey is good against allergies, but that still leaves maple syrup at least).

                        Oh, and what about yacon?
                        Fructose is problematic.

                        Honey is about 70% fructose.
                        Sucrose is 50% fructose/50% glucose.

                        Glucose is preferred over fructose.

                        I love honey for topical applications (burns and wound healing) but now avoid it for consumption. I do use some xylitol occasionally but most here don't.



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                        • #13
                          Honestly, I would use xylitol if I could find it totally corn free. My ds seems to react to it even in small amounts though (may be just the brand I could get my hands on.) I'd use it w/ stevia, a la the Healthy Indulgences blog recipes. (She's got some _amazing_ recipes...)

                          Fake sugars are kind of freaky, but...so is real sugar...its a tough tough subject for sure.

                          Cilla, have you tried the coconut nectar from coconut secret yet? (We discussed this in the recipes forum a bit ago as a possibly decent sweetener option--low fructose and glucose I believe--mostly inulin??? Not sure though...) Anyway, I'm interested in checking it out. I have the coconut crystals and they totally didn't work well in cookies I made for ds...so I don't know that I'd recommend trying it out...Maybe the syrupy/sap form would be better...
                          My Before/After Pics
                          Are you new here? Be sure to check these links FIRST, before reading anything on the forum! Succeed & PB 101

                          "I am a work in progress." -Ani DiFranco

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                          • #14
                            You can get that? I learned of its existence from a raw cocoa bar ingredients list - they've started using it instead of agave, and say it has a lower GI. Hm - natural sweetener - lower GI - does that automatically mean 'higher fructose', or could it be something else?

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                            • #15
                              I keep raw honey on hand for my green tea. The half-teaspoon I use per cup has a low glycemic load and doesn't seem to effect me at all. Fructose aside, I still trust raw natural sweeteners more than artificial ones.

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