• Defining sugars and syrups, which are the best for you?

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    Here is a list of “sugars” according to the American Diabetes Association:

    • Table sugar (also called white sugar or sucrose)
    • Raw sugar
    • Cane sugar
    • Sugar cane syrup
    • Beet sugar
    • Honey*
    • Brown sugar
    • Molasses*
    • Fructose
    • Maple syrup*
    • Cane sugar
    • Agave nectar*
    • Confectioners sugar
    • Powdered sugar
    • Turbinado
    • High fructose corn syrup (also called corn sugar)
    • Rice syrup or brown rice syrup
    • Coconut palm sugar

     

    My thoughts:
    In my research most of these sugars are empty calories. I don’t suggest you eliminate all sugars from your diet. But there are several that you can simply eliminate from your diet thereby simplifying your life.

     

    Besides making deserts taste good, there are nutrient rich sugars that will benefit you. Here are my top picks compared with sugar. See Roni’s chart below. I agree with Roni’s top picks.
     
    Honey
    Molasses
    Maple Syup
    Agave Nectar
    White Sugar
    Weight
    169g
    168g
    161g
    168g
    100g
    Calories
    515
    489
    420
    480
    387
    Carbohydrates
    140g
    126g
    108g
    128g
    100g
    Sugars
    139g
    93g
    96g
    120g
    100g
    Estimated Glycemic Load
    85
    77
    63
    77
    70
    Vitamins
    Honey
    Molasses
    Maple Syup
    Agave Nectar
    White Sugar
    Thiamin
    0%
    5%
    1%
    ?
    0%
    Riboflavin
    4%
    0%
    1%
    ?
    1%
    Niacin
    1%
    8%
    0%
    ?
    0%
    Vitamin B6
    2%
    56%
    0%
    ?
    0%
    Pantothenic Acid
    1%
    14%
    1%
    ?
    0%
    Choline
    3.7 mg
    22.4 mg
    2.6 mg
    ?
    0%
    Betaine
    2.9 mg
    0
    0
    ?
    0
    Minerals
    Honey
    Molasses
    Maple Syup
    Agave Nectar
    White Sugar
    Calcium
    1%
    35%
    11%
    ?
    0%
    Iron
    4%
    44%
    11%
    ?
    0%
    Magnesium
    1%
    102%
    6%
    ?
    0%
    Phosphoros
    1%
    5%
    0%
    ?
    0%
    Potassium
    3%
    70%
    9%
    ?
    0%
    Zinc
    2%
    3%
    45%
    ?
    0%
    Copper
    3%
    41%
    6%
    ?
    0%
    Manganese
    7%
    129%
    266%
    ?
    0%
    Selenium
    2%
    43%
    1%
    ?
    1%
    Fluoride
    11.9 mcg
    0
    0
    ?
    1 mcg
    *Full nutrition information not verified for agave nectar but some sources say vitamin and mineral content is negligible. You can get more information here: http://greenlitebites.com/2010/11/sweetener-comparisons-honey-agave-molasses-sugar-maple-syrup/
    *Full nutrition information not verified for agave nectar but some sources say vitamin and mineral content is negligible. You can get more information here: http://greenlitebites.com/2010/11/sweetener-comparisons-honey-agave-molasses-sugar-maple-syrup/
    My top three picks are Maple Syrup, Molasses and Honey. They at least have nutritional elements in them. The only reason I’d consider Agave Syrup is that it tastes a lot sweeter and therefore you can use much less and it doesn’t have a unique flavour like the other three but the benefits are negligible. But, take note of the calorie count. If you can substitute a nice piece of fresh fruit for your sweet tooth, go for it. There are more benefits to fresh fruit than all of the benefits of sweeteners and syrups. The sweetener you use in your coffee or tea can be healthy but will depend on your taste buds.

    Sugar/sweeteners can affect your moods and energy

    It is well documented that your mood can give you cravings, but the reverse is also true. Your food can also affect your mood. How often have you already experienced a sugar high and crash? White refined sugar and artificial sugar substitutes are the worst offenders when it comes to the damaging affects on your brain. Here’s an exerpt from Dr. Mercola’s site:
    High-fructose diets also feed pathogens in your gut, allowing them to overtake beneficial bacteria. Furthermore, sugar suppresses activity of a key growth hormone in your brain called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF levels are critically low in both depression and schizophrenia.
    Sugar consumption also triggers a cascade of chemical reactions in your body that promote chronic inflammation. In the long term, inflammation disrupts the normal functioning of your immune system and wreaks havoc on your brain.
    Last but not least, sugar (particularly fructose) and grains contribute to insulin and leptin resistance and impaired signaling, which also play a significant role in your mental health.
    You can read the full article here: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/01/02/food-affects-mood.aspx

    One final word:

    If you are not a diabetic now, you do not need to worry about becoming one when you eat healthy and exercise regularly. Eating for optimal health has never caused someone to become a diabetic. So don’t worry about glycemic levels.

     

    If you are a diabetic, I hope you are doing this program in cooperation with your health professionals. Learn all you can about your condition and perhaps you can reduce your dependence on medications to a minimum.

     

    Wishing you all the sweetness in life that good health brings.

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