Comparing Agave Syrup, Maple Syrup, Honey, Coconut Sugar Sweeteners
Agave Syrup, Maple Syrup, Honey, Coconut Sugar are the heathier sweeteners that we can easily find in stores.
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Honey is made by bees for bees, and their health can be sacrificed when it is harvested by humans. We encourage people to avoid all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.
Keep in mind that agave nectar is about 75-90% fructose — a much higher percentage than plain sugar.
Consuming excess added fructose can wreak havoc on your metabolic health and may contribute to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and oxidized LDL. This is because your liver gets overloaded and starts turning the fructose into fat, which raises blood triglycerides.
Most commercially available agave is converted into fructose-rich syrup using genetically modified enzymes and a chemically intensive process involving caustic acids, clarifiers, and filtration chemicals. Here is a partial list of the chemicals many producers use:
- Activated charcoal
- Cationic and ionic resins
- Sulfuric and/or hydrofluoric acid
- Inulin enzymes
How natural does this sound?
The result is highly refined fructose syrup, along with some remaining insulin.
(Fruits are not High Fructose foods. "None of this applies to whole fruits, which are loaded with fiber.")
Maple Syrup is most sucrose 50-75%.
Your mouth, stomach and small intestine work hard to break down sucrose into glucose and fructose. Dietary sucrose is broken down into glucose plus fructose by an enzyme called sucrase. And the two sugars are absorbed into your blood. An increase in blood glucose stimulates insulin secretion from your pancreas to facilitate glucose transport into your tissues.
When blood sugar is effected, people will get irritable, angry, hungry, and craving everything in sight.
Maple Syrup contains minerals including iron, calcium, zinc, manganese, potassium, magnesium, copper, and manganese, a number of vitamins including vitamin B6, B5, B2, B1, niacin, folic acid, biotin and vitamin A which assist in things like energy metabolism and vision.
Real Maple Syrup is a straight-from-nature product that has a rather simple process flow. The sap is taken from a tapped maple tree and then boiled into a concentrated syrup. That's it!
The major component of coconut sugar is sucrose (70-79%). Sucrose is made up of half fructose. That makes coconut sugar 38-48.5% fructose, which is about the same as table sugar.
Coconut sugar have the same issue as maple syrup. But comparing to the others, it have much less calorie and carbs for 1 tablespoon.
According to the Philippine Food and Nutrition Research Institute, coconut sugar has nutrients like iron, zinc and calcium, but not much — you’d have to eat a ton of coconut sugar to get them in meaningful amounts. You’d be better off getting these nutrients from real foods.
Coconut sugar, more accurately coconut palm sugar, is made in a two-step process as well. The flower of the coconut palm is cut and the liquid sap is collected. The sap is then boiled and dehydrated and coconut sugar is what's left.
All these sweeteners either they are too high in fructose or sucrose. The best sweetener we recommended are using dates or natural juice from a sweet whole fruit, which are loaded with fiber, such as dates, yellow dragon fruits, figs. However, if we have to select one of those, we would suggest maple syrup, or coconut sugar. Maple syrup does contain some nutrients and antioxidants, and coconut sugar have less calorie and carbs per tablespoon.
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