Low Glycemic Sweeteners
SUGAR!! Bahh there was a time in my life when sugar, more specifically white granulated sugar was the ingredient I sought out most. Need. Sugar. All the sugar. Desserts, with that sugar. Gimme. I can’t believe it’s been almost 6ish years since I’ve stopped using that traditional refined white sugar of my younger years!
I’m not crazy, you guys, I don’t hound people about whether there is sugar in foods that I indulge outside of my house. If I eat a doughnut, or sauce, or cookie (or insert literally any other food you can think of) that someone else has made, I enjoy it and move on. What I’m saying is, I don’t use white granulated sugar in my everyday life.
Because of my husband’s Type 1 Diabetes, keeping food low glycemic and lower carb is important so that it doesn’t spike his blood sugars. It hasn’t been too crazy of a switch for me. Instead of detoxing completely from ALL sugar, I swapped in sweeteners that worked for our family and ditched that refined white sugar we used to use.
What I found as I switched from refined white sugar to low glycemic sweeteners, is I didn’t have the sugar high and corresponding downward spiraling crash. Because there’s no crash, for me, there’s less of a CRAVING to get back to the high.
So here are my low glycemic sweetener recommendations and the ones I use in my daily life: If I want a sticky sweetener, I go for agave nectar. Lately agave nectar has a bit controversial and people have wondered whether it is a truly “healthy” alternative.
Here’s the deal: Agave ranks lower on the glycemic index because it is higher in fructose. Fructose doesn’t spike blood sugar levels because your body can’t really metabolize it. Newer studies have suggested that excessive fructose consumption can mess up liver function and promote obesity.
I’m always an advocate for more scientific studies into the food we consume so we can make educated decisions as to what we put into our body. For now, because it’s the only lower glycemic “sticky” sweetener that works for my family, and because we by no means consume it excessively, I’m comfortable using it occasionally in recipes.
If you aren’t too concerned with the glycemic index of your sticky sweetener, I definitely recommend honey or maple syrup over agave nectar. Feel free to sub in honey or maple syrup to any of the recipes on my blog that calls for agave nectar! The sub ratio is 1:1 and they will be equally delicious 🙂
Let’s move to granulated sugar!! My favorite thing to use lately is coconut sugar! The carb count is similar to other granulated sweeteners, but it’s low glycemic! I love the flavor it adds to baked goods, sauces, you name it! It tastes similar to brown sugar and adds a whole different depth of flavor.
When we made the switch to a lower carb, low glycemic lifestyle due to my husband’s diagnosis, I felt a push to try artificial sweeteners. At the time, it was all I knew about the “low carb” world and tried out a few. I know there are safe, plant-based artificial sweeteners like Stevia, but I haven’t felt the desire to really try them out and find one that fits our dietary (and tastebuds) needs 🙂
I’ve been really happy with our sweeteners, though I do wish there is a better alternative to agave. I hope this was helpful for you guys if you’re looking for guidance in the natural sweetener world. Let me know if you know of any other low glycemic sweeteners and what your faves are!! xo