Okay.. Sugar. I'm totally baffled by this one and can't figure it out.
I know I'm not supposed to have sugar and as far as food goes I'm okay with that. I just use 1 and a half teaspoons in a large cup of tea (I'm in love with earl grey tea and will probably never stop drinking it.. ever) I don't drink tea very often anymore maybe 1 cup a day sometimes none at all.
My question is.. what kind of sugar is the healthiest kind? Is there any difference?
I started using brown sugar when I ran out of the refined white because I refused to buy another bag. Now I'm running out of that and I'm not sure what to use next.
I tried using raw honey but I didn't really like the taste, although I could probably get used to it after awhile. I thought about using pure maple syrup but of course that would give it a maple flavour. Maybe it would taste good in coffee? I don't drink coffee very often, maybe once a week or less. I'm mostly interested in what I should be putting in my tea.
I found this Organic Coconut Palm Sugar at bulk barn and decided to give it a try. Its clumpy but looks like brown sugar. The description on the product says "Organic coconut palm sugar is a natural sweetener and is derived from extracting the sap of palm trees. Because of it's low glycemic index and high nutrient profile, organic coconut palm sugar is gaining popularity in a wide array of uses, catering to sugar conscious consumers." After reading that I was hooked. I bought a scoop and gave it a try it's not too sweet so I had to use more (2 teaspoons instead of 1.5) so I'm thinking that's going to be an expensive option. It was like 4x more expensive than brown sugar. Is it worth it?
What other sugar options are there?
Does anything else really differ that much from plain old brown sugar? What about the darker grainy pebbly type of brown sugar? It looks less processed so I thought about trying that. My mom used to buy it at the health food store when I was a kid and now I see it on the grocery shelf next to regular brown sugar.
I'm not really interested in sweeteners or stevia. Just doesn't appeal to me even if they claim to be "natural" I still think they are artificial in some way and I'm a little hesitant to try anything thats really new to the market.
I'm not trying to lose weight and don't have any medical conditions I just want to be a bit healthier overall.
There are only two types of simple sugar: glucose and fructose (there's also galactose in milk, but our body immediate processes it into glucose so it's treated the same).
Everything else is just a combination of the two in different amounts. If it's sweet, it has to have fructose in it, because glucose isn't very sweet. If you're buying sugar (white sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar, blah blah blah) it's all the same. It's sucrose. Sucrose is one glucose plus one fructose.
Other "natural" sweeteners are also the same, honey, maple syrup, etc are all very close to the same proportion of 50% glucose, 50% fructose.
HFCS is often 55% fructose, that's why it's sweeter, and agave nectar is around 90% fructose.
If it's "low glycemic" then it's higher in fructose, because the glycemic index is a measure of your body's reaction to glucose. Coconut "sugars" are generally polymers of fructose (look up innulin).
There is no free lunch when it comes to sugar or sweet. It's only supposed to be a treat and not part of your diet.
When I was giving up sugar, I did one Splenda in my coffee and a tiny tad of maple syrup. I do not taste the maple syrup. Wean yourself off it. Being off sugar is the absolute best feeling in the world.
I don't understand the hate on sugar. If having some in a morning cup of coffee or tea is the only time you have it, or in your treat of a few squares of dark chocolate, then I see nothing wrong with this.
I eat raw honey, and add about half a teaspoon, maybe a bit more to a cup of tea. But not always. I'll drink yerba mate straight with nothing in it. I also like using xylitol a lot, but be careful, as it can give you the runs when you first start consuming it ;) It is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial to boot, and I think it tastes 'cleaner' than plain white sugar.
I have a small bag of coconut sugar, and I'll use it here and there for tea or coffee. Or a big mug of coconut milk hot chocolate! Yum!
Even Mark Sisson takes a teaspoon of WHITE SUGAR OMG OH NOES in his morning coffee. Control the amount you eat and be done with it.
You're searching for a lesser evil, or some kind of excuse it seems like, something to justify why it's "okay" for you to have sugar, some sort of rationale.
"What kind of sugar is the healthiest kind?"
Answer: NONE. This is like asking what's healthier, wheat or rye bread. A marginal difference if any, that has no affect in the long run.
"I'm not trying to lose weight and don't have any medical conditions I just want to be a bit healthier overall..."
Then drop the sugar/sweetener! It's that simple.
I believe honey and maple syrup are whole, paleo foods (they contain valuable nutrients for the proper metabolism and use of the sugar they contain, and so are not nutrient deficient), and as long as you don't have a specific reaction to them, there is no reason why you can't consume them in moderation.
When I first went Primal, I went through a whole experimentation period trying to avoid sugar but still satisfy my sweet needs. I tried Stevia which tasted terrible to me and then Xylitol which I tried to believe was OK since supposedly it is good for your teeth. Xylitol acted the most like normal white sugar in baking, but between its sci-fi name and the fact that it causes digestional distress in some people, I got nervous and quit it. Around this time I was coming to understand just how profound gut health can be on the rest of your health, and I didn't want to mess that up with an alcohol-sugar.
I finally came around to the position I see many here taking: A tsp/day of regular sugar in your tea plus a little dark chocolate is real (compared with Xylitol anyway) and won't kill you (unless you have special health concerns......Oh, the legalese of writing an acceptable PH answer). Now when I succumb to pressure from my family to bake a Primal treat, I use a fraction of the called-for sugar and sub it out with coconut sugar or maple syrup.
I have let this one go in terms of being perfect. Sometimes it is fine, and maybe ultimately better, to be good enough.
Ever thought about making bulleproof tea? I love coffee and I usually "prepalo" drank it full of sugar and cream...its the only way I like it. Needless to say I was bummed when I went paleo because no more starbucks haha best thing I ever did. I have found 3tbs of grassfed butter in my coffee blended makes it creamy and slightly sweet. It is addictive try it yes I know it sounds gross. Those who don't drink coffee do this with tea.
RAW ORGANIC UNHEATED HONEY. A friend of mine just sent me a huge bottle from a nature reserve. To die for. It has antimicrobial properties - even water kefir grains die from it. If you are adding it to your tea - make sure the water is lukewarm. Heat destroys its potency. Oh, and add some lemon :)
I don't know about this one... but maybe you can check - coconut palm sugar. It supposed to be... healthier :)