Sugar has definitely become the poster child of all things wrong with our health. Our overconsumption of the sweet white stuff has shouldered the blame for a rise in diabetes, obesity, attention problems, arthritis, cancer and several other diseases. So is ALL sugar bad, and what ‘sweet’ alternatives are our best choices?
The following is a list of common sugars and sweeteners, their glycemic index (GI) and other factors to consider when choosing them:
Maltodextrin (150) – With an extremely high glycemic index rating, this sugar is near poison for diabetics. Found in many packaged products.
Glucose (Dextrose) (100) – Very high on the glycemic index and equivalent to white bread.
Corn syrup (75) – Largely GMO, with little nutrition. HFCS (87) is worse.
Refined table sugar (65) – Largely GMO and stripped of any beneficial nutrients, this sugar has a very acidic effect on the body and causes mineral depletion.
Honey (50-75) – The kind of honey makes a big difference, with raw (unpasteurized) honey being lower on the glycemic scale and containing more nutrients. Processed honey is often no better than table sugar.
Evaporated cane juice (55) – Better than white sugar, but still refined.
Blackstrap molasses (55) – Although higher on the glycemic index, this sugar provides many minerals, including iron, calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and zinc, and as a result is more alkalizing to the body.
Maple syrup (54) – Collected from the sap of maple trees, it is refined and therefore processed. It is more nutritious than refined table sugar, corn syrups and cane juice but still should be used sparingly.
Coconut palm sugar (35) – Acquired from flowers growing on coconut trees, this is a nutrient-rich, low-glycemic sweetener that substitutes well for refined sugar. It is very popular among health enthusiasts and can easily be used in baking.
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source: Healthy Life by Dereck Henry