GI-guide to the smartest sweetener choice

   date: 2012-09-09 time: 12:51:00
Pure refined sugar has a sky-high GI-value and is linked to a number of lifestyle diseases. It's not only our teeth that gets damaged, too much sweet also gives unnecessary blood sugar spikes which could ultimately lead to both cardiovascular disease, obesity and type 2 diebetes. From the GI point of view there are much smarter sweetener choices than sugar - but also worse! Here follows a GI-guide to our most common sugars and sweeteners.
Consists mainly of the sugar type sucrose, resulting in a high GI-value. Sugar's still the most common sweetener and you can find it in obvious things such as candy, soda, juice and cookies. But sugar is hiding in products where you probably don't expect it to be, such as meatballs, fish sticks and toothpaste. It's actually possible to each day subconsciously consume 46 sugar cubes through that kind of food!
GLUCOSE - GI = 141
Glucose, which also goes under the names dextrose and corn syrup, is less sweet than regular sugar. It's therefore required more if you want to achieve the same sweetening level that you get from regular sugar. The result is of course more empty and unnecessary calories!
The unrefined sugar is brown in color, has more flavor and is also more nutritious than white sugar. But from GI perspective, they're both on the same level.
HONEY - GI = 70
Honey has the same energy content as sugar, but a lower glycemic index. Just like other natural products, honey contains minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that are a pure thunder cure for the body. Honey can also help you burn fat! The type of sugar that you find in honey - palatinose - has a very low glycemic index, and has been shown to increase energy consumption so much that you actually loose weight.
The milk sugar lactose is naturally found in all dairy products. It has a lower GI than regular sugar, but the same energy content. People who are lactose intolerant lack the ability to absorb this type of sugar, with pains and stomach problems as a result.
Thanks to it's natural origin it's both rich in flavour and essential nutrients. It's extracted from the coconut flower and is said to have a slight taste of caramel.
This sweet syrup doesn't give such a sharp increase in blood sugar like regular sugar does and are therefore popular among diebetics. The texture is reminiscent of runny honey, and this syrup can be used in both pastry and cooking.
Xylitol occurs naturally in certain fruits and vegetables. It's added as a sweetener particularly in chewing gum and throat lozenges but might cause stomach problems at larger doses.
The natural sweetener stevia is popular among people who follow low-carbohydrate diets. Stevia is much sweeter than sugar but doesn't affect blood sugar levels and contains almost no calories at all.
Which one do you prefer? Which ones have you tested?

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