The Corn Refiners Association is changing the name of high-fructose corn syrup to “corn sugar” in an attempt to rid themselves of the stench that comes from the manufacture and use of this product. “Corn sugar or cane sugar; your body can’t tell the difference” is their sell tag. But that’s not exactly the truth. Certainly, calorically, these two sweeteners are similar. But that’s where it ends. Most medical experts agree that fructose is processed by the liver, unlike sucrose and glucose. It adds an additional burden on this much overworked gland and changes the way metabolic regulating hormones function, resulting in the release of more fat into the bloodstream (which raises triglycerides, among other things).
What to do?
There are many choices to make for sweet living. Honey, maple syrup, and fruit juice are all better for you than sugar (organic or not, raw or not), but they are largely simple sugars, so they digest quickly and make you crave more sugar. Brown rice syrup and barley malt top my list, as they are complex carbohydrate sugars, meaning that they digest slowly and don’t lead to sugar highs and low or insulin resistance. The desserts you make with brown rice syrup are sweetly satisfying and won’t spike your blood sugar, so you’re less likely to binge. How sweet is that?
Adapted from: I’m Mad as Hell, and I’m Not Going to Eat It Anymore: Taking Control of Your Health and Your Life – One Vegan Recipe at a Time, by Christina Pirello (Perigee Books 2012).