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Sugars, Not All Created Equal--What Diabetics and We All Need to Know

I been asked what to store if you are storing for a type 2 diabetic. The simple answer is, store what you eat. If you eat canned fruits store those packed in water, check labels on processed foods for added sugar.

There are over 50 terms for sugars on food labels. The list includes anything ending in “ose” (fructose, dextrose, etc.), anything with the word sugar ( beet sugar, castor sugar, etc.), Cane juice crystals, Corn syrup solids, Dextrin, Diastatic malt, Ethyl maltol, Florida crystals, Glucose syrup solids, Maltodextrin, Sucanat, Agave Nectar/Syrup, Barley malt, Buttercream, Evaporated cane juice, Fruit juice, Golden syrup, High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), Malt syrup, Rice syrup, Refiner's syrup, Sorghum syrup, and Treacle.

Date Syrup

Date syrup is not just sugar — it’s actually a food made from a fruit. Date syrup is low on the glycemic index. Date syrup is packed with nutrients, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. It is the most nutritionally dense sweetener. The potassium in date syrup actually helps your body slowly absorb and regulate sugar in the bloodstream.

Raw Honey

Raw honey, especially raw local honey, is much like dates in that it’s a real food. Honey has amino acids, electrolytes and an abundance of antioxidants. It has been used as natural antiseptic, and local honey has the ability to alleviate allergy symptoms. It is relatively low on the glycemic index, making it one of the best sugar substitutes. Replacing sugar with honey may actually lower blood sugar levels and prevent weight gain or aid in weight loss.

Maple Syrup

Real maple syrup has a low glycemic index score and a low fructose content. It is minimally processed and packed with more minerals and antioxidants than honey, including manganese, riboflavin, zinc and magnesium. It has lower calories than most sweeteners. Be sure it is labeled 100% maple syrup. It should be used in moderation.

Blackstrap Molasses

Rich in iron, potassium and calcium, blackstrap molasses is nutritionally superior to many sweeteners. Blackstrap molasses is a good source of iron. About 1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses contains 20 percent of the daily requirement for iron. Be sure it is blackstrap.

All these should still be used in moderation but they are the best alternatives to other sweeteners. Also be aware of the dangers of sugar substitutes. They should be used very sparingly.

If you are looking for a sugar alternative that works well in baked good coconut sugar is the best to use.

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