useful breakdown on sweeteners

21 Mar

While I do not follow the Traditional Foods way of eating (and have to confess that I think some of the tenets are a bit loony), I think Nourished Kitchen has some very interesting stuff. These two analyses of the different kinds of sweeteners are particularly useful.

If you’re not familiar with Traditional Foods, you can find an overview at Nourished Kitchen. Essentially, though, eating the Traditional Foods way means not eating anything your ancestors wouldn’t have eaten–including unsprouted, unsoaked grains; sugars; and processed foods. TF adherents also ferment a lot of their food. Since they don’t eat much sugar, there is a lot to be learned from the TF materials for people trying to reduce their consumption of processed sugars!

This post describes modern sweeteners, which include sugar (white and brown), agave nectar, and high-fructose corn syrup, as well as artificial sweeteners.

This post describes some traditional alternatives, such as honey, molasses, maple syrup, and sorghum. It also covers stevia, a noncaloric sweet herb. Personally, I don’t like the idea of stevia (or its taste). Any herb traditionally used for contraception seems a bit suspect to me as a sweetener for food! And I am also a bit skeptical that traditionally processed cane sugar is any better for you than any other cane sugar; it may have a few minerals in it, but it’s still going to wreak havoc on your blood sugar. Nonetheless, I definitely do see a difference in my own glycemic response when I use honey or maple syrup instead of sugar, and I think this is some useful information. Especially if you’re trying to eat low-GI, some of these things may be very useful to you.

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