Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sugar, Sugar, Honey, Honey....

"But you can't have honey!!"

I've been hearing those words a lot lately. It makes complete and total sense why people would say it. Espeically since when I was first diagnosed, all liquid sweeteners were forsaken. I wouldn't even touch them for fear that they would be absorbed through my skin causing my blood sugar to sky rocket!

However, lately, I've been reconsidering my stance on all things sweet. Well...most things.

Most of the food blogs I read use sweeteners like maple syrup, honey, or brown rice syrup as their sugar of choice. While it's not surprising that these healthy, all-natural blogs aren't touting granulated sugar and high fructose corn syrup as their sweeteners, I had assumed that things like maple syrup were just as bad.

For someone like me, it is. At least in terms of carbohydrates, but not in terms of health.

Confused yet?

The reality is that a carb is a carb is a terms of insulin need. Fifteen grams of sugar requires just as much insulin for my body to process it as 15g of whole wheat bread or apple sauce. Each will raise my blood sugar, maybe just in different ways.

Still with me?

When I started doing some research on what the benefits of using alternative sweeteners, such as honey, molasses, and maple syrup were, I learn that these things actually have significant health benefits in addition to just makin' shit taste good. They're high in minerals and vitamins where sugar does not have any. Plus, they're often sweeter then regular sugar, causing you to need less in recipes.

While I'm not going full throttle and using only honey as my sweetener of choice, I have started to use it more frequently in recipes in conjunction with Truvia, an all-natural, low-carb sweetener made from the stevia plant. I do feel like this fits in more with the life style I'm trying to create of clean, healthy eating.

Plus, it gives me an excuse to "practice" all my baked good recipes. :)

On note on a agave nectar, this substance has confused me for some time. While it's low on the glycemix index (and therefore good for those with impaired pancreai), it apparently isn't any better for you then the high fructose corn syrup. It's just as processed. It happens to also just be marketed a way to make you think it's healthy. Talk about informed consumers!

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