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

Answered on August 19, 2014
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.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41777)

on March 14, 2012
at 01:45 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.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12867)

on March 13, 2012
at 11:13 PM

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

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on 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

(12867)

on March 13, 2012
at 10:03 PM

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

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12867)

on 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

(24543)

on March 13, 2012
at 07:45 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

(12867)

on March 13, 2012
at 07:21 PM

What about pure sugar or honey?

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 13, 2012
at 06:07 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

(12867)

on March 13, 2012
at 05:53 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

(24543)

on March 13, 2012
at 05:33 PM

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

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3 Answers

2
E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12867)

on March 13, 2012
at 05:12 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.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 13, 2012
at 06:07 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

(12867)

on March 13, 2012
at 07:21 PM

What about pure sugar or honey?

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on 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.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 13, 2012
at 05:33 PM

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

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on March 13, 2012
at 07:45 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

(12867)

on March 13, 2012
at 10:03 PM

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

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12867)

on March 13, 2012
at 05:53 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.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12867)

on March 13, 2012
at 11:13 PM

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

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12867)

on 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.

1
3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on March 13, 2012
at 08:34 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.

1
0a0afca93a127c82ec4192a2e99647f4

on March 13, 2012
at 03:37 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

(41777)

on March 14, 2012
at 01:45 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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