Sweet and Low Down

Must I Trade Sweetness for Taste?

If you strive to live a healthy lifestyle, you have probably caught some of the buzz about a low-glycemic diet and the negative effects of eating lots of sugar and simple carbs. First the paleo diet was popular, then the keto. You may be wondering if these diets are just the latest food trend or if there is real merit to this low-sugar, low-glycemic thing.


Regardless of whether or not you follow a particular diet, there is significant evidence to back up the value of minimizing refined sugar and choosing whole, low-glycemic foods whenever possible.


What is the Glycemic Index?

In a nutshell, the glycemic index ranks foods based on how they affect your blood sugar. Foods with a high glycemic index, such as white sugar, rank at about 60 on the glycemic index. Maple syrup ranks around 54, and yacon syrup is way down on the scale around a 1.


A higher score essentially means that the food raises blood sugar more quickly. This causes spikes which can lead to crash and burn energy spikes, blood pressure and blood sugar imbalances, and may affect the chemistry in the rest of your body as well.


There is significant scientific research that demonstrates that eating a high-glycemic diet is linked to an increased risk of weight gain, obesity, and even serious conditions such as heart disease, gallbladder disease, and diabetes. This is because eating large amounts of refined sugar and starches causes insulin spikes. Abnormal insulin patterns throw off the entire metabolic balance, which can lead to weight gain, obesity, inflammation, and other serious illnesses.


Benefits of Eating Low-Glycemic

On the other hand, eating a low-glycemic diet has been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and even certain types of cancers. In addition, choosing low-glycemic foods will help you smooth out your energy levels, which can contribute to a more even-keel mood as well as greater success with weight loss and weight management.


Yacon to the Rescue

The idea of cutting back on sugar may all sound well and good. But, if you are someone who cares about taste as much as health, you may be wondering about better-for-you sweeteners. Fortunately, you’ve got options! You can still add a touch of sweetness to your coffee and tea without throwing your blood sugar levels and hormones out of whack.


Yacon syrup is an excellent choice when it comes to low-glycemic sweeteners. Extracted from  the yacon plant, it ranks at about a 1 on the glycemic index. In addition, yacon syrup has about 1/3 the calories compared to white sugar. And, this flavorful syrup contains a special fiber called fructooligosaccharides (FOS). In fact, yacon syrup is composed of about 40-50% FOS. This fiber is not digested for the most part, which is why yacon contains about 1/3 the calories of sugar.  


Still Adding Sugar to Your Coffee?

There are so many great alternatives to plain sugar. Looking for more ideas? Date syrup also ranks on the lower end on the glycemic index. Plus, dates are one of the most alkaline foods. And if you are still searching, maple syrup is a flavorful choice that is full of minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc.


The evidence is in, the choices are out there, and this is a new era when it comes to sweeteners!

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