Tagged: low glycemic

The Dangers of High Fructose Corn Syrup

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a sweetener obtained from corn. Recently the corn industry has pushed to have high fructose corn syrup relabeled corn sugar. The attempts have failed and the attempt was made because people have a negative view of HFCS. And rightly so as HFCS can and does easily upset most people’s blood sugar levels. When our blood sugar becomes imbalanced we can feel irritable, lethargic, foggy, tired and unfocused. And in the long run this imbalance can lead to a host of health conditions such as diabetes. But there is another hidden danger to HFCS that most people are unaware of . . .

High Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury

HFCS contains mercury at a rate of up to 0.570 micrograms per gram of syrup.*1  While the rate of 0.570 micrograms per gram may not seem like a lot. It is when you consider that most people consume 50 grams of HFCS a day. And, HFCS is ubiquitous, so you must read nutrition labels for everything because it is in foods you wouldn’t think. Now, you may be wondering why mercury is found in corn syrup. This is because in the processing of corn to HFCS mercury is involved. The threat of mercury toxicity is just one more reason to steer clear of this unhealthy sweetener. 

A Sweet Alternative to High Fructose Corn Syrup

Coconut Palm Flower Sugar

Delicately sweet,
with a hint of smoky caramel, this natural plant sugar is the perfect
substitute for white or brown sugar. Similar to the syrup tapped from
maple trees, coconut sugar begins by tapping the nectar from the
flower buds hanging from the heart of coconut trees. Palm sugar is traditionally hand-harvested in the canopy of Indonesian coconut groves where farmers have harvested the nectar from coconut palm trees for herbal medicine and food for centuries. Coconut sugar is unrefined and has a low glycemic index. 

 
Palm sugar is a healthy alternative sweetener
that has a lower glycemic index (GI35) than regular sugar (GI100).
Organic evaporated palm sugar is especially high potassium, magnesium
and zinc, as well as vitamins B2, B3 and B6. This palm sugar is
unbleached, unfiltered and free of preservatives.

This delicate
unique sweetener is mild and smooth and perfect for your morning cup
of tea or as a recipe substitute for ordinary sugar.  
  

Learn More

Visit some of our previous posts regarding the health impacts of sugar:

And, most corn is genetically modified! Read about the French study on GM corn fed to rats. Shocking!

Closing Thoughts

We feel it is important to understand the ramifications of our food choices on our health and on the health of the planet. Growing corn requires a vast amount of resources including a staggering amount of water, fertilizer and land. And, if corn was not subsidized by the government corn and corn products would be priced out of the market. Another harrowing fact is most corn is genetically modified, which is just another reason to stay away from corn and corn products. Be well be wise and make good food choice that sustain you and the planet.

This piece was written and compiled for Zebra Organics by Mark D’Aquila, flower essence practitioner, www.essencealchemy.com

Agave, Stevia and the Glycemic Index

Agave Nectar

Ah, Agave a sweet and tasty nectar straight from the fields of Mexico. We feature both dark and light fairly traded and organic agave in 12 ounces jars from Essential Living Foods.
 

Agave Nectar Dark, 12 fl oz glass bottle, Essential Living Foods

The Agave plant is a succulent that grows in the arid regions of Southern Mexico, where traditionally the nectar has been fermented to make Tequila. The un-fermented nectar makes a sweet, raw sugar substitute, that is suitable for most diets and widely enjoyed by those who use it.

Dark Agave is the perfect alternative to brown sugar or maple syrup, sweetening with 25% fewer calories. Sweetening your life with Agave is easy, as it is similar in sweetness to sugar yet it has a much lower glycemic index level. It is great in tea, coffee, smoothies and can be used deserts and drinks. Agave rates 30 on the Glycemic Index Scale.

THE GLYCEMIC INDEX AND WHY YOU NEED TO PAY ATTENTION TO IT

The Glycemic index is a rating scale that measures the way carbohydrates affect blood sugar levels after being consumed. The index runs form 0 to 100, foods rated 55 or lower are considered to be low glycemic index foods. Foods from 56 to 69 are medium and from 69-100 are high glycemic index foods; white sugar and many processed junk foods fall into the high glycemic index category. There are many factors that determine how you react to sugars. So consider use this index as a reference guide because a variety of factors affect your blood sugar response.

In general foods with a lower glycemic index produce less of a blood sugar spike than foods with a higher glycemic index. So why is this important? With a large sugar load comes a spike and this large spike leads to a large crash and when this pattern becomes habit it can lead to a health crisis. But if we can avoid this by choosing foods that have a low glycemic load we can prevent the Spike/Crash/Crisis scenario. 

Out of balance blood sugar leads to a Yo Yo effect on your body’s glandular system particularly the pancreas and adrenals.  

Here’s how it goes: you consume sugar with a high glycemic load, your blood sugar spikes, your body secretes insulin to draw the sugar out of your blood stream and into your cells. It does this because too much sugar in the blood is dangerous. But them what happens is your blood sugar gets low and your body starts to secrete the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol and you eventually start to crave more sugar which continues the cycle. Now folks this is very simplified, mainly because I don’t want to go into the technical jargon. But what is important is that you understand the cycle, lets review again.

1.) You Eat Food with a High Glycemic Index
2.) This causes a dangerous spike in blood sugar levels
3.) To counter this your pancreas secretes insulin to draw the sugar from the blood into the cells
4.) This leads to a drop in blood sugar and a. . .
5.) Desire for more sweets

How many people are trapped in this cycle? We do what we need to do to survive but if we don’t consciously intervene and stop this cycle it will continue and lead to a crisis.  And, don’t just listen to me, I encourage you to try it yourself. Watch what happens when you eat high sugar foods, watch the cycle see how it feels in your body, pay attention.

These spikes and peaks and valleys also cause a massive increase in the release of stress hormones in the body, such as cortisol and adrenaline. This leads to a host of other issues with weight gain and insulin resistance being two of the main outcomes. 

SWEETNESS AND HEALTH

Take your sweetness and health one step further, consider using Stevia, a naturally sweet substance that rates ZERO on the Glycemic Index. Meaning it will not affect your blood sugar in any way. We have a variety of Stevia options for you to choose from making it easy for you to start using it in a number of different ways. 

Packets and Liquid

Tuck a few of the packets into your purse, pocket or backpack for use on the go. Or pick up a dropper bottle which also conveniently fits into a purse or backpack.


But, no matter how you choose to sweeten your life beware of the dangers,options and choices involved. Because over time your body will suffer from an overload of sugar. The body is resilient and with proper care and attention it will be there to serve and support you to live a healthy balanced life.

This piece was written and compiled for Zebra Organics by Mark D’Aquila, flower essence practitioner, www.essencealchemy.com

Coconut Palm Flower Sugar

Enlighten your sweet tooth with this delicious alternative to ordinary sugar: Coconut Sugar. 

Delicately sweet, with a hint of smoky caramel, this natural plant sugar is the perfect substitute for white or brown sugar. Similar to the syrup tapped from maple trees, coconut sugar begins by tapping the nectar from the flower buds hanging from the heart of coconut trees. Palm sugar is traditionally hand-harvested in the canopy of Indonesian coconut groves where farmers have harvested the nectar from coconut palm trees for herbal medicine and food for centuries. Coconut sugar is unrefined and has a low glycemic index. 

Essential Living Foods Palm sugar is a healthy alternative sweetener that has a lower glycemic index (GI35) than regular sugar (GI100). Organic evaporated palm sugar is especially high potassium, magnesium and zinc, as well as vitamins B2, B3 and B6. This palm sugar is unbleached, unfiltered and free of preservatives.

This delicate unique sweetener is mild and smooth and perfect for your morning cup of tea or as a recipe substitute for ordinary sugar.