Glucose as a sweetner

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 15, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Okay, now for my own health reasons, ive selected glucose to be my tea sweetner, and I have 2-4 tsps per day of this in my various teas. (My health reason is SIBO, glucose is quickly absorbed).

I only eat low sugar fruit like berries, and have no high starch foods in my diet, not even nuts. So despite my glucose and tea, I am low carb.

Yes its not paleo remotely. But you guys might have some good knowledge in the area anyway. Fructose causes the liver load of table sugar (sucrose), which is responsible for many of the health effects. In that sense honey, agave nectar etc are not much different from sugar health harm wise.

But glucose has a GI of 100 (as high as is humanly possible - its glucose), induces insulin response/lowers sensitivity, and of course its high calorie.

Wikipedia says and ill take anything it does with a pinch of salt - "foods generally considered to be unhealthy can have a low glycemic index, for instance, chocolate cake (GI 38), ice cream (37), or pure fructose (19), whereas foods like potatoes and rice, eaten in countries with low rates of diabetes, have GIs around 100"

Is the high GI of glucose going to be an issue with insulin sensivity? Or is small amounts not likely to be a major issue?

There might be some decent research out there ive missed.

Its not something I want to eat alot of, but I like the occasional sweet, and am weening myself off a sweet tooth...

Thanks for your input as always!



on June 15, 2012
at 01:43 PM

I am relatively new to paying attention to glycemic loads, but do other fruits bother you? Have you tried juicing an apple or pear and adding it to your tea? I don't drink my tea sweetened very frequently, but when melons are in season, I blend up either honeydew or cantaloupe in the blender and strain it into the pitcher of tea. It is so refreshing! I've also made ice cube out of the strained puree with mint leaves added and just dropped those into the glass.

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on June 15, 2012
at 01:59 PM

HI Jamie. I eat glucose in the form of dextrose powder post workout on a regular basis. When taken in that context, it will not reduce insulin sensitivity, and may even improve it. In my opinion, the glycemic index is irrelevant, but the glycemic load is (GL = (GI - fiber) / 100). Since you are only consuming a little bit of it, I would not worry. It is glucose, which is used universally throughout the human body.

A note about the cake, ice cream, etc. They have lower GIs despite the white flour and sugar because there is significant fat and fructose involved. Fructose goes to replenish liver glycogen- not muscle glycogen. Because your liver only stores about 100grams of glycogen (if you're healthy), any further fructose gets converted to triglycerides (fat), which elevates blood sugar in the long term by reducing insulin sensitivity. I have no clue why, but apparently fat slows digestion of carbohydrates as well (personally, I don't think it as good as it is made out to be).

You would be fine with small amounts if you're inactive. If you're an athlete, I wouldn't worry about at all.

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on June 15, 2012
at 03:24 PM

Unless you have high A1C and uncontrollable blood glucose I doubt that 2-4 tsp of glucose a day is going to cause you any problems. It might throw you off ketosis if you're doing that.

The main drawback to glucose is that it's not very sweet compared to fructose, so it takes more calories to get to a desired level of sweetening. Compare a regular corn syrup like Karo (which is nearly pure glucose - or used to be - they might be blending in HFCS these days) with white sugar to get the idea.



on June 15, 2012
at 02:54 PM

It probably isn't a big deal at the levels you mention, but the easy way to figure it out is to see how hungry you get. The blood sugar rises, then insulin comes and pushes it back down, and if there is a problem you'll end up at an uncomfortably low blood sugar level, so you will get hungry.

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