Honey? Agave? Maple Syrup? Table Sugar? Which sugar is best for you?
Sugar has recently become one of the most debated subjects in the health world. In my time as a health coach, I have received many inquiries concerning sugar. Is it ok to eat honey? Or should I use stevia in my coffee? Are bananas unhealthy? Full fat yogurt or low fat? Here 3 of the most popular questions I receive regarding sugar. I hope that they are helpful to you in navigating your healthy diet and lifestyle.
Is fruit sugar healthy?
Sugar in fruit is known as fructose and still metabolized in the body just the same as any other sugar. What makes fruit healthy is all of the other nutrients and antioxidants that are living in the skin and body of the fruit. It is good for you and fruit has many health benefits but you must remember the sugar content in it. I recommend 1 cup maximum per day.
All fruits are not created equally. Fruits low in fiber are generally going to be higher in sugar and will spike your blood sugar more like bananas. Fruits higher in fiber like raspberries, pears, apples and strawberries are going to have less sugar and will have a more positive effect on your blood sugar.
If you are an athlete and looking to get a quick dose of healthy sugar for instant energy, fruit is 100% the way to go. If you are wanting a sweet snack but don’t want to blow your diet, grab a piece of fruit higher in fiber. And lastly, if you are looking to lose weight, limit your fruit content to the choices lowest in sugar and highest in fiber like anything in the berry family.
What are ways you can stabilize your blood sugar?
My three favorite tricks are cinnamon, Apple Cider Vinegar and essential fatty acids. Cinnamon has been used in Aryuvedic medicine to heal many ailments like nausea, bloating and anorexia. Recent research has proved that it also has health benefits on healthy blood sugar metabolism. I love the taste of Cinnamon and sprinkle it on almost all of my desserts.
Apple Cider Vinegar is a very powerful liquid that can improve your digestive system and also the quality of your hair. So crazy! ACV has the qualities to break down proteins in your digestive system by stimulating the production of HCL (stomach bile). This in turn will help stabilize your blood sugar. Take a sip of it before and after a carb heavy meal for best results.
Essential Fatty Acids are essential for blood sugar health. Fats stabilize blood sugar which explains why full fat yogurt is actually more healthy than low fat. “When you are eating enough fats, you tend to crave fewer starches and sugars, so it is easier to reduce your overall calorie intake without feeling deprived. Your blood sugar and energy levels also remain more consistent.” (https://experiencelife.com/article/essential-fatty-acids/). At FITtec, we have recently started to carry an amazing line of supplements that includes EFA’s. Please check them out when you come in for your next appointment!
What is the difference between the sugars in honey, maple syrup, agave and table sugar?
All types of sugar have one thing in common, they cause your insulin to spike and that causes fat gain and metabolic issues. In terms of vitamins and nutrients, they all lack in that department and sugar is never healthy. But there are options that are better than other.
Honey is the most nutritious of the sweeteners. It is loaded with vitamin C, magnesium and antioxidants. Maple syrup is in the same category for sweeteners as it contains zinc, calcium, riboflavin and magnesium. Agave has more fructose than any other sweetener which means that it will have less of a spike in your blood sugar but is processed by your liver. When your liver has too much to process the extra will be turned into fat. Table sugar has undergone a bleaching process which removes most of the few nutrients it does contain. It would be the least nutritious of them all.
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