Alternative Sugars You Should Actually Avoid
Artificial SweetenersArtificial and low-calorie sweeteners, such as aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, and neotame are considered the worst of the worst in the realm of alternative sweeteners. While the actual science is still out on the safety of aspartame and saccharin, theres plenty of anecdotal evidence that shows this stuff just isnt that good for you.
Many people report headaches, stomach aches and a general ill feeling after eating artificial sweeteners. And some studies have shown that chemical sweeteners can actually change the bacterial makeup of your microbiome, throwing your entire gut health out of whack.
The FDA does a pretty terrible job of regulating this industry, so its pretty hard to know if what youre eating is safe. Sucralose is the worst offender. Others like Nutrisweet, Truvia and a number of brands from the stevia plant claim to be better, but theres little data to support any claims.
High-Fructose Corn Syrup
This one almost goes without saying. High-fructose corn syrup, which is made through a chemical process thats anything but natural, is one of the worst offenders for insulin spikes, as it doesnt have to be digested by your body. This stuff simply filters right into your bloodstream and goes wild.
The problem is that your body cant digest most sugar alcohols, so they travel to the large intestine where they are metabolized by gut bacteria.
May Improve Heart Health
Swapping out regular sugar for high-quality honey in your diet may improve different aspects of heart health, as it has been shown to reduce several risk factors for heart disease.
For example, one 30-day study comparing the effects of table sugar and honey in 55 people found that honey helped decrease levels of total and bad LDL cholesterol while increasing good HDL cholesterol (
Additionally, animal studies have found that supplementing with honey may reduce systolic blood pressure , another major risk factor for heart disease .
Animal and human studies suggest that trading regular sugar for honey may help reduce cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure.
The 5 Best Sugar Substitutes
Wouldnt it be sweet if you could eat sugar without worrying about health consequences? Well, you can. You just have to choose the right sugar.
Heres the deal: processed sugars can be toxic to the body. Beyond providing nothing but empty calories, refined sugar is highly addictive, causes blood sugar levels to spike, interferes with nutrient absorption, and even has been linked to contributing to heart disease, weight gain and other degenerative disease. But theres no need to live a sugar celibate life.
Swapping out the white stuff for another minimally processed, more natural sugars could be better for your bodyand your recipes. There are alternatives to the processed regular sugar that provide some surprising benefits. While still sugar, these alternatives sweetners are much easier for the process and boast a range of other nutrients and health benefits.
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What Is Crystallized Honey
I think we all saw crystallized honey at some point in our lives. When honey got crystallized, some parts of it started to look more solid and lighten than the actual color of the honey. This part is called crystallized honey. Just the same taste as your regular honey except the shape and color is kind of different than usual.
Sometimes people throw their jar of honey just because it got crystallized in the edges, that is just not true. It would be such a huge waste of food and money to throw it away, and its not a green environmental thing to do. You can enjoy your crystallized honey, just as same as your liquid honey on bread, with oatmeal inside your tea or else.
If so, then what is happening with this different shaped and colored formation inside the honey? Its not something else besides, its the same honey, but solid form. The only differences between liquid honey and crystallized honey are its texture and color. In crystallized honey, because of the amount of sugar, it consists, by the time it gets more solid shape. If you are curious about how and why it got crystallized, go on and read the explanation down below.
So Which Is The Better Choice
When it comes down to it, moderation is the name of the game with both sweeteners. Overconsumption of either one can lead to some serious health issues, and while honey has a better reputation because of the additional nutrients, by no means is it a healthier alternative. Sugar is also generally preferred for baking, but that post-sugar rush crash is no joke. The takeaway is this: treat yourself occasionally, but dont overdo it with either sweetener.
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Health Benefits Of Honey
Honey contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals, including niacin, riboflavin, thiamin and vitamin B6. It can also aid digestion. Sugar does not have these benefits. Honey is also typically less processed than table sugar.
A scientific study to measure the effectiveness of honey on children’s health with acute cough found that honey was effective in reducing frequency of cough, reducing bothersome cough and improving the sleep quality of the child but had no significant benefit in resolving severity of cough. The effects of honey were equivalent to the medication Dextromethorphan, which is available under brand names like Robitussin Pediatric Cough Suppressant, Tylenol Simply Cough and Vicks 44 Cough Relief.
Honey In The Supermarket
The sad truth about a lot of honey on our supermarket shelves is that it potentially may not be honey at all. According to the Guardian, a recent study suggests that 75 percent of honey in US supermarkets comes from unknown origins.
You see, scientists examine the nectar to pinpoint where honey is from by determining what plants the bees used to pollinate the nectar. However, since most of the bottles found on our shelves have the nectar filtered out of it, theres no telling geographically where it came from and just how much of it is actually real honey . This could mean that a lot of the honey you see is with added sugars and mixed with high fructose corn syrup.
So be sure to check the labels.
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How Long Does It Take Honey To Crystallize
There are different types of honey that honey producers produced in the markets. The crystallization duration varies according to the type of honey. Some honey can get crystallized within a couple of weeks, and some of them may not get crystallized for months or even years. It depends on these three main factors
1. The type and percentage of the sugar honey consists.
2. Different applications used in the process of honey processing
3. Storage degree of the honey
The honey contains different types of sugar, fructose and glucose . The main thing that affects the time of crystallization is the percentage of these sugars.
If honey contains a high percentage of glucose sugar, with a low fructose sugar ratio against glucose sugar, the crystallization process will occur swiftly. Your sugar may get crystallized within a couple of weeks. Examples of such honey types are cotton, mesquite, alfalfa, mustard, dandelion.
Opposite of this, when honey contains a high fructose sugar level than glucose sugar, the crystallization procedure can take even years because, with a high fructose level, crystallization will occur slowly. Theres no need to be worried about your honey being fake, just check out the fructose sugar and glucose sugar level in the table of contents and you will know what to expect from your honey. Robinia, Tupelo, sage, and Longan can name as examples of that kind of honeys.
Is Honey Good For You
There isnt much scientific consensus on the health benefits of honey. Naturalists have long touted it as something that is universally good .
However, before I delve into honeys benefits, let me first say: Do not give a child under the age of one any honey.
Giving an infant honey could cause botulism. Kids under the age of one dont have the stomach or the immunity to protect themselves from this terrible disease that comes from spores, such as those found on plants . So before you decide to give your little one a spot of honeydont. Let them wait for the joys of honey, as A.A. Milne says in Winnie-the-Pooh:
Well, said Pooh, what I like best, and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didnt know what it was called.
Hes talking about the joy of anticipation! The excitement of waiting for that yellow, sticky, sweet-tasting honey!
Now, to buzz-ness!
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Shopping For The Sweet Stuff
Unfortunately, a lot of honey in the market is also cut with cheaper sweeteners like sugar or corn syrup, Sharpe says, so its important to know the source of the product.
You also want to ideally look for honey with the pollen visible, which we know is what carries a lot of the health properties.
She recommends honey from a farmers market where you can speak to the producers to make sure youre getting a high-quality product. I also prefer to use raw honey, which means the honey hasnt been heated or filtered and the pollen is often visible in the jar.
Tong adds the risk of raw honey is it can contain bacteria that causes botulism, which can lead to weakness or blurred vision.
Raw honey should not be consumed by babies, infants, pregnant women, or anyone who is immuno-compromised, she said. Regular honey, on the other hand, has undergone pasteurization. However, due to this heating process, it does not contain as many health benefits as raw honey.
Highest Sugar Content Per 100g
Using the list below for the 2 different honey nutrition entries in our database, the highest amount of sugar is found in Honey which contains 82.12 g of sugar per 100g. The associated percentage of RDA is 91 %. For this 100g serving the Calories content is 304 kcal, the Protein content is 0.3 g, the Fat content is 0 g, the Carbohydrate content is 82.4 g.
The lowest amount of sugar in 100g is in Honey loaf, pork, beef which contains 0.17 g. This gives as percentage of the recommended daily allowance 0 % of the RDA. For this 100g serving the amount of Calories is 125 kcal, the amount of Protein is 11.12 g, the amount of Fat is 4.47 g, the amount of Carbohydrate is 9.98 g.
The difference between the highest and lowest values gives a sugar range of 81.95 g per 100g. The range for the other nutrients are as follows 179 kcal for Calories, 10.82 g for Protein, 4.47 g for Fat, 0 g for Carbohydrate.
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Sugar Consistency In Different Types Of Monofloral Honey:
There have been more than 25 different sugars identified in honey, comprising about 95 % of honey dry weight. Fructose and glucose are the main sugars in honey, monosaccharides, that is, simple sugars.Sucrose is also present in some honeys, usually comprising a little over 1% of the composition of honey. It is composed of fructose and glucose linked together, a disaccharide.Some other sugars are also present in different honeys: maltose , turanose , erlose, levulose , melezitose and raffinose , perseitol etc.Oligosaccharides are mainly a product of honey invertase . Read more about Enzymes in Honey.
Tips For Eating Honey With Diabetes
It is best to be aware of any honey you may be adding to foods because the calories, carbohydrates, and sugar can add up quickly. Just a few items that may call for honey include tea, peanut butter sandwiches, ricotta or hard cheeses, teriyaki sauce, and salad dressings. Without caution, honey in all these foods can contribute hundreds of calories without realizing it.
Lark for Diabetes can help you stay aware of the honey you are consuming when you log your foods. In addition, your Lark coach can offer insights, such as noticing that you had a lot of honey on a day when your blood sugar is higher than normal, for example.
With about 15 grams of carbs in each tablespoon of honey, a tablespoon counts as 1 of the 2 or 3 servings of carbs you might be aiming for in each meal. When planning meals and counting carbs, remember to count honey along with other carbohydrates such as fruit, bread, cereal, and other grains, beans, and starchy vegetables.
It is good to keep in mind that wholesome honey is different from honey-flavored foods, or foods with a small amount of honey and a large amount of refined carbohydrates or solid fats. For example, honey ham is high in sodium and nitrates, honey-flavored cereal and graham crackers, often has more sugar than honey, and honey mustard dressing and teriyaki sauce may be high in sodium and high fructose corn syrup.
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Sugars In Honey And Why Honey Is So Sweet
- Composition of honey
- Sugars in honey and why honey is so sweet
Some say it is the sweetest natural food. There are many sugars in honey and they all count for its sweetness. However, the sweet taste is different with each type of honey, as they all contain different types of sugar.
Why is honey so sweet?Because it is made from the nectar honey bees find in flowers, which is really sweet. And because other sugars are subsequently formed under enzymatic process.
What is the nectar of a flower?A liquid secreted by plants in glands called nectaries, either within the flowers or by extrafloral nectaries. Honey bees are attracted to both forms of this nectar. They resort to extrafloral nectar whenever the plant doesnt have enough nectar into the flower .
Its a less common type of nectar. Its composition differs from floral nectar, varies by taxa, and may or may not flow in a daily pattern. Generally it is about 95% sugar and 5% a wide array of amino acids and other important nutrients.
Extrafloral nectaries secreting nectar on the stems of young elderberry plants. via edis.ifas.ufl.edu
Why does a plant secrete extrafloral nectar?
Examples of flowers that produce extraflower nectar: Passion flower , partridge pea , hairy vetch and elderberry common Florida plants with large extrafloral nectar on the leaves and/or stems. Also easy to find on most cultivars of peach and Prunus spp. in general.
Raw Honey Nutritional Facts
Raw honey has been used as a food and medicine by generations of people in different civilizations. When you look at honey’s macronutrients, raw honey nutrition reveals it to be just simple sugar, but if you delve a little deeper you find the sticky stuff has a number of often overlooked benefits.
Video of the Day
Before you disregard honey as just another simple or added sugar that you should avoid, learn the nutritional facts and potential benefits of raw, unprocessed honey.
Raw honey is mostly sugar, but contains trace nutrients and antioxidants that make it a valuable addition to your diet.
Are There Downsides To Sugar
Eating too much sugar can increase your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Sugar is a common ingredient in many processed foods, so you may eat more of it than you realize. This can lead to weight gain and obesity.
People with diabetes should be mindful of their sugar consumption, as it can cause blood sugar to spike.
If consumed in quantities greater than your body needs, sugar can provide a quick burst of fuel followed by a sharp drop in energy.
Highest Amount Of Sugar Per Serving
Please remember that the above gives an accurate value in 100g for high sugar foods in your diet. For example 100g of Honey contains 82.12 g of sugar. However, there are other factors to consider when you are assessing your nutritional requirements. You should also take into account portion sizes when you are considering the sugar nutritional content.
The food with the highest sugar content per typical serving is Honey which contains 278.39 g in 1 cup . The percentage of the recommended daily value for this serving is 309 %. For this serving the Calories content is 1030.56 kcal, the Protein content is 1.02 g, the Fat content is 0 g and the Carbohydrate content is 279.34 g.
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More Nutrients And Less Processed Than Sugar
Honey varies in its nutritional composition based on the origin of the nectar used to make it. In general, it contains trace amounts of local pollen along with other substances, such as:
- amino acids
Some research indicates that dark honey has more antioxidants than light honey.
Also, honey is less processed than sugar as it is usually only pasteurized before use. Raw honey is also edible and contains more antioxidants and enzymes than pasteurized varieties.
Is Honey A Good Substitute For Sugar
by Gundry MD Team | Feb 26, 2020 | Comments
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You hear it all the time: sugar is bad. And you know its addictive and can lead to some major health concerns. But if youre looking to sweeten without refined or granulated sugar, what can you do? Is honey a good substitute for sugar? What healthy substitutes exist?
When the consumption of regular sugar is discussed, its often related to the following health concerns:
- Weight gain
- Fatty liver health problems
- Cognitive health issues1
No wonder the world wants to know the answer to, Is honey a good substitute for sugar? And heres the answer if youre ready for it: Plain and simple No. Honey is not actually a good substitute for sugar. The reason being is that honey is sugar. Lets take a look at the different types of sugar.
- Fructose from honey and fruit
- Lactose and Galactose from dairy products and milk
- Glucose from honey, fruits, and even some vegetables
- Maltose from grains like barley
- Sucrose is table sugar. Its made from equal parts of glucose and fructose
- Xylose from straw or wood
If you see those names on your grocery products, steer clear. And remember, even though sugar may be natural, its still sugar. So when youre eating fruit, you may as well consider that your dessert.
Read on to learn which sugar alternatives to completely avoid and which are acceptable in moderation.
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