Are raw honey and pure maple syrup good sweetener substitutions?

From Halloween through Valentine’s Day, we are inundated with sweets and desserts for months. And through it all, we resolve to lose weight and improve our health. Let’s look at how all that sweetness affects our systems, and whether honey and maple syrup can help us curb our sugar cravings:

Truthfully, all sweeteners impact your metabolism.

“Toxic overload” from artificial sweeteners, the negative metabolic impact of zero caloric sweeteners, and seemingly “natural” products like honey and maple syrup have issues.

If serious health issues are not a problem, sweeteners like real maple syrup and unprocessed honey are the better options since they are nutritious and sweeter, thus requiring less use.  Also, they contain nutrients not found in artificial or zero calorie sweeteners.

·       Maple Syrup, for example, contains the minerals manganese and zinc, and special bioactive compounds like phenols provide antioxidant assistance to the body. Choose the darker Grade B syrup for the best phenolic content.

·       Honey contains phytonutrients that function as antifungals and antibacterials to keep our immune systems happy, as well as vitamins and minerals. Here again, choose the darker version of this food as the best option. 

Honey and maple syrup contain glucose, fructose and sucrose. Our bodies are completely able to tolerate moderate amounts of these sugars. All three occur naturally in fruits and vegetables. However, there is a limit. Otherwise, sugar behaves like a toxin in our bodies.

Though our taste buds don’t discriminate, these sweeteners are processed and behave differently in the body.

The important things to remember are:

·       Weight gain and diabetes are the result of increased blood sugar, and decreased insulin, from excessive amounts of glucose.

·       Excessive fructose adds to adipose fat tissue, resulting in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Theses are of particular concern, as our diet is dominated by sweeteners.

·       Sucrose, or table sugar, is composed of both glucose and fructose. Basically, sucrose raises our blood sugar and stores surplus fructose as fat.

Honey and maple syrup are “natural,” but they still carry health risks. Remember to practice moderation and use them sparingly.

Read the full article here: Food Bites with Dr. Hyman – Raw Honey/Pure Maple Syrup? – Dr. Mark Hyman