Sugar by any other name is still sugar

Agave nectar
Barley malt
Beet sugar
Brown sugar
Cane juice crystals
Cane sugar
Corn syrup solids
Carob syrup<
Castor sugar
Date sugar
Diastatic malt
Ethyl maltol
Fruit juice concentrate
Grape sugar
High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
Malt syrup
Maple syrup
Muscovado sugar
Raw sugar
Refiner’s syrup
Rice syrup
Sorghum syrup


Organic agave nectar seems much more righteous than corn syrup. Just the word “nectar” smacks of divinity. Turbanado sugar “in the raw” has to be better for you than denuded white table sugar. It’s so natural-looking. And yet, somehow it’s all the same when it hits your bloodstream. The most precious organic, fairly traded, boutique cane juice crystals require the same flood of insulin as the nasty, ultra-refined, chemically processed goop we affectionately call high fructose corn syrup: sugar is sugar is sugar from a metabolic point of view.

That said, molasses, maple syrup and raw honey may have redemptive qualities:
Molasses is the residue left behind after boiling the sugar cane to make table sugar. Blackstrap molasses is the third and final boil, the “bottom of the barrel” literally but the best nutritionally. Since sugar cane is an actual plant, grown deep in the ground, it contains loads of minerals left behind in the process of boiling out the sugar.However, if the sugar cane plant is genetically-modified or grown in soil with pesticides, the bad outweighs the good. But if not, that earthy flavor and the rich mineral content may be good reasons to sweeten your batch of gingersnaps with molasses.

Pure maple syrup is a minimally processed delicious sweetener. The sap tapped from maple trees is slowly simmered: approximately 40 gallons make one gallon of sweet syrup, also mineral rich.

The star is raw unfiltered, unpasteurized honey from wild bees (not those fed sugar water) has perhaps the most to offer you in a sweetener. Phytonutrients and enzymes, the same flavonoids found in the vegetables and fruits that the bees visit, pollen and propolis are effective for healing wounds, calming asthma, allergies and inflammation. Sweeeeet! Here’s the guideline: only eat as much as you would be willing to gather from nature. That’s right. Not much.

Andrea DiMauro is the founder of the website Food Truth. For more great information on how to actually eat healthy check out her site AND be sure to download the Food Truth mobile app!

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