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Which is better? Processed sugars or raw honey/maple syrup?

by (1804)
Updated about 1 hour ago
Created March 13, 2012 at 3:22 PM

I've been reading about sugar lately and how it is composed of both fructose and glucose in different quantites depending on the type of sugar. The main difference between the two ingredients is that glucose is metabolized by every cell in the body, as opposed to only the liver like fructose is.

From my readings, it appears that fructose is the bad guy here. If the liver is overloaded with too much fructose too quickly, it will begin processing it into fat (i.e. why sodas make people fat!).

My question is, in many paleo recipes they call for natural sugars like raw honey and pure maple syrup yet these sweeteners still have a relatively high fructose level. Why exactly are these sweeteners better*** for us?

* I use "better" lightly, becuase I do know they are only okay in moderation. Just trying to justify the purchase of these expenseive "raw" sweeteners as opposed to the cheaper, processed sugars if they both contain similar levels of fructose.

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41422 · March 14, 2012 at 1:45 AM

Will point out that all fructose has the same handedness. Though it is known that the unnatural handedness of many sugars are equally sweet as their natural counterparts.

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12847 · March 13, 2012 at 11:13 PM

Raw starch and other fibers can cause problems not just the pectin.

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24523 · March 13, 2012 at 10:04 PM

That's what I suspected, but I actually bought pectin as a shake thickener and was okay with it. Time will tell.

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12847 · March 13, 2012 at 10:03 PM

Eating the cooked fruit with some fat will help protect you from endotoxin.

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12847 · March 13, 2012 at 10:01 PM

If your ok with white sugar it's definitely the fiber. Apples, pears, bananas and a lot of fruits are usually under ripe and contain raw starch/too much pectin. Honey can cause issues because it can be allergenic. Fresh squeezed strained orange juice is usually tolerable or cooked fruit.

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24523 · March 13, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Still in experimental stages with that. My recollection is that I'm okay with white sugar, not as great with honey, and worst with fruit. My family has weird digestion stuff though. I wonder what my ancestors in India farmed...

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12847 · March 13, 2012 at 7:21 PM

What about pure sugar or honey?

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24523 · March 13, 2012 at 6:07 PM

Sadly, I cannot eat too much fructose:glucose rich fruit without tummy upset. I'm not saying it's definitely the fructose at fault, but that's certainly a possibility. Or it could be certain soluble fibers. Who knows.

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12847 · March 13, 2012 at 5:53 PM

I've never had an intolerance to fructose and all the fructose malabsorption hype is based on eating fructose alone which is literally impossible in real life.

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24523 · March 13, 2012 at 5:33 PM

cliff, aka Peat Jr.-- have you noticed an increase in gut fructose tolerance since eating more sugar?

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3 Answers

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12847 · March 13, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Raw sugar probably contains allergens and is pretty high in iron. White sugar is pure and safe in the right context(nutrient rich diet).

Fructose is good for you and better to get from fruit.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c
12847 · March 13, 2012 at 11:13 PM

Raw starch and other fibers can cause problems not just the pectin.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7
24523 · March 13, 2012 at 10:04 PM

That's what I suspected, but I actually bought pectin as a shake thickener and was okay with it. Time will tell.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c
12847 · March 13, 2012 at 10:03 PM

Eating the cooked fruit with some fat will help protect you from endotoxin.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c
12847 · March 13, 2012 at 10:01 PM

If your ok with white sugar it's definitely the fiber. Apples, pears, bananas and a lot of fruits are usually under ripe and contain raw starch/too much pectin. Honey can cause issues because it can be allergenic. Fresh squeezed strained orange juice is usually tolerable or cooked fruit.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7
24523 · March 13, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Still in experimental stages with that. My recollection is that I'm okay with white sugar, not as great with honey, and worst with fruit. My family has weird digestion stuff though. I wonder what my ancestors in India farmed...

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c
12847 · March 13, 2012 at 7:21 PM

What about pure sugar or honey?

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7
24523 · March 13, 2012 at 6:07 PM

Sadly, I cannot eat too much fructose:glucose rich fruit without tummy upset. I'm not saying it's definitely the fructose at fault, but that's certainly a possibility. Or it could be certain soluble fibers. Who knows.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c
12847 · March 13, 2012 at 5:53 PM

I've never had an intolerance to fructose and all the fructose malabsorption hype is based on eating fructose alone which is literally impossible in real life.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7
24523 · March 13, 2012 at 5:33 PM

cliff, aka Peat Jr.-- have you noticed an increase in gut fructose tolerance since eating more sugar?

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11682 · March 13, 2012 at 8:34 PM

I'm personally a big proponent of raw, unfiltered and local honey, which has major health benefits when eaten raw, especially for those with gut or allergy issues. Just brush your teeth after eating some and you will be fine.

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806 · March 13, 2012 at 3:37 PM

I feel there is little difference between so-called "more natural" sugars vs. refined.

Though "natural sugars" consumed from WHOLE FOODS such as fruit WILL be less problematic than isolated sugars taken apart from whole food. Fruit contains fiber and antioxidants which helps to partially offset the bad stuff fructose does, such as raising uric acid levels.

Honey is actually MORE cavity causing than refined sucrose because it STICKS to teeth. Kinda like dried fruits do. Though honey does contain some antioxidants apparently, which MAY partially offset some of the internal damage it can do.

There is also a specific honey from New Zealand, which supposedly does NOT cause cavities due to very high anti-bacterial properties. It's even used to treat antibiotic resistant infections it works so well.

I may have also read that high fructose corn syrup is a "left hand" version of the "right hand" version of fructose which occurs in nature? Not sure about that though.

All I know is I avoid all sugars. I use a bit of stevia or truvia instead.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
41422 · March 14, 2012 at 1:45 AM

Will point out that all fructose has the same handedness. Though it is known that the unnatural handedness of many sugars are equally sweet as their natural counterparts.

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