6

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If you use sugar what kind do you use?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 21, 2011 at 2:20 PM

I notice that Mark Sisson and other paleo folks use a small amount of sugar in there coffee and was wondering if it makes a difference with the kind of sugar to use. Obviously HFCS is a no no, but is Raw Sugar better than off the shelf white sugar? Is Cane Sugar better than white sugar? Do you use beet sugar, Coconut sugar, or another type of sugar? I see a lot of these "healthy" sugars in organic products but not sure if there really is a difference.

I'm not looking to debate weather to use sugar substitutes like stevia or splenda, but if weight isn't an issue and you like to use a teaspoon of sugar in your coffee from time to time does the type of sugar make any difference for health reasons?

B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on July 22, 2011
at 08:20 AM

As an aside I saw a study a while ago that showed the higher the molecular weight of the dextran the more prone your teeth were to tooth destroying bacteria.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 22, 2011
at 12:39 AM

Honey is 39% fructose, similar to HFCS 42.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on July 21, 2011
at 07:16 PM

cliff - it's not the worst of the worst. they are plenty of things 'right' about it. but it is a sugar alcohol. some people have digestive issues with those. I think Xylitol is one of the better ones, and most of the research I've done on it leaned more toward positive actually. I was just saying that the new big bags of "Birch Sugar" that you will see on the shelves of stores like WF are just big bags of Xylitol.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on July 21, 2011
at 06:57 PM

Whats wrong with xylitol?

A65499f2f8c65602881550fe309cd48c

(3501)

on July 21, 2011
at 06:17 PM

stevia doesn't have calories but it also doesn't hit your (my) system like a ton of frickin' bricks either. That compels me greatly, regardless of weight to lose or not. (which, yes, I do have weight to lose, but sugar is only 15 cals a tsp. which really overall isn't that much if you only use a miniscule amount for coffee, which is what I use the stevia for). Just sayin'.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 21, 2011
at 05:59 PM

Oh! I should note that the coconut sugar and raw honey are used for my Paleo desserts. I do make non-Paleo and for those I use Turbinado. Umm.. and I should also mention that I don't partake of either variety of desserts, except for tasting and refining the recipe, and pretty much stick to dark chocolate. Yes - I'm one those who make and create and give to others :) I just don't crave sweets anymore except for the dark choco and fruit.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on July 21, 2011
at 05:42 PM

The "stevia doesn't have any calories reason" isn't compelling to you? I don't use stevia, but lots of people cutting weight find it useful.

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18 Answers

6
B76f22ed4373946b3c8990b667562683

on July 21, 2011
at 02:23 PM

Sugar is not something I use often, at all. I'm just not a fan of sweet anymore. But when I "need" to use sugar for something, or feeling like splurging once in a great while on something somewhat decadent, I use organic raw sugar. I figure that if you're going to cheat, just cheat and do it right. Enjoy REAL sugar.

It seems to me that when people start looking for substitutes, they also start making excuses for more frequent use. If you use it at all, it should be a very infrequent indulgence. So I say again, when that time comes, enjoy REAL sugar!

2
Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 21, 2011
at 02:45 PM

Coconut sugar. Date sugar - might exit this one, tho. Sometimes raw honey. If I use any of these it's for my ice creams only. I'm a huge fan of just macerating really ripe fruit and then running through a chinoise for a smooth consistency. I get the sweet from the fruit and will use in a cocktail, a spoonful in seltzer or ice tea, on top of greens, etc. Natural fruit sweet without adding anything else.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 21, 2011
at 05:59 PM

Oh! I should note that the coconut sugar and raw honey are used for my Paleo desserts. I do make non-Paleo and for those I use Turbinado. Umm.. and I should also mention that I don't partake of either variety of desserts, except for tasting and refining the recipe, and pretty much stick to dark chocolate. Yes - I'm one those who make and create and give to others :) I just don't crave sweets anymore except for the dark choco and fruit.

2
Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on July 21, 2011
at 02:36 PM

In general, there is no free lunch with sugar, so it's probably best to just use in moderation as well as you can, and avoid whenever you can. Organic raw sugar may be a 'better choice' than white sugar overall, because it is less refined, but the metabolic affect is probably the same.

I've read all kinds of claims about the benefits of coconut sugar, but in the end of the day, it's still sugar. It just has a slightly lower GI than cane sugar and might be slightly less processed, although they still have to heat it up and dry it and grind it into crystals, so take that for what it's worth.

Also, the new exciting sugar on the shelves now is "Birch Sugar". Don't be fooled. It's just another name for Xylitol.

Some decent substitute-ish type sugar options are:

Rice syrup - basically pure glucose and no fructose. It tastes kinda like caramel.

Raw Honey - although it has fructose, it is probably better than other pure fructose sweeteners because of the other compounds in it.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on July 21, 2011
at 06:57 PM

Whats wrong with xylitol?

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on July 21, 2011
at 07:16 PM

cliff - it's not the worst of the worst. they are plenty of things 'right' about it. but it is a sugar alcohol. some people have digestive issues with those. I think Xylitol is one of the better ones, and most of the research I've done on it leaned more toward positive actually. I was just saying that the new big bags of "Birch Sugar" that you will see on the shelves of stores like WF are just big bags of Xylitol.

1
2c037de5930ca8641c52c84e387a270b

(270)

on July 21, 2011
at 10:41 PM

I use stevia in coffee and iced tea. I use a little bit of honey in baked goods (I mean almond meal type baked goods). Sugar makes me feel TERRIBLE (honey, too, but I don't eat the baked goods, my kids do). I <3 stevia, paleo or not. :~)

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 21, 2011
at 05:29 PM

I use, in this order:

1) Fructose, in the form of fruit or fruit juices.

2) White sugar, usually in my ice-cream or I am eating a fair amount of chocolate.

3) Honey: don't eat this often but will occasionally have a spoonful of it.

That said, I usually have my coffee black. I don't see anything wrong with stevia, I just don't see the reason to use it when you have these other (I imagine cheaper) forms of sugar.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on July 21, 2011
at 05:42 PM

The "stevia doesn't have any calories reason" isn't compelling to you? I don't use stevia, but lots of people cutting weight find it useful.

A65499f2f8c65602881550fe309cd48c

(3501)

on July 21, 2011
at 06:17 PM

stevia doesn't have calories but it also doesn't hit your (my) system like a ton of frickin' bricks either. That compels me greatly, regardless of weight to lose or not. (which, yes, I do have weight to lose, but sugar is only 15 cals a tsp. which really overall isn't that much if you only use a miniscule amount for coffee, which is what I use the stevia for). Just sayin'.

1
Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on July 21, 2011
at 03:56 PM

i use it fairly rarely, but when i do i go for dark molasses, grade B maple syrup and raw unfiltered honey. i definitely prefer the strong flavors of those things over the straightforward intense sweetness of cane sugar.

mmmmmmm molasses.......

0
B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on July 22, 2011
at 08:07 AM

I use the old fashioned white table sugar. I'm skeptical of the "raw" sugars. I feel fine when I eat refined sugar and feel sick after I eat raw sugar. It could be dextran contamination but I'm not sure. Dextran is a deterioration product formed by bacteria common in the sugar industry. It is essentially a branched chain of glucose. The chains can vary in length but it seems the more branched the molecule the more toxic it is. At least in rat models.

B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on July 22, 2011
at 08:20 AM

As an aside I saw a study a while ago that showed the higher the molecular weight of the dextran the more prone your teeth were to tooth destroying bacteria.

0
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on July 21, 2011
at 10:56 PM

Sugar is sugar is sugar. I don't care if it's "raw sugar" or "cane sugar" or "evaoporated cane juice", it's all sugar.

Sugar is a mixture of Glucose and Fructose in different proportions. Glucose is seen by the pancreas and causes an insulin response. Fructose is invisible to that (hence being called low glycemic), and is processes solely in the liver. Fructose is sweeter and more toxic than Glucose.

Fancier things like Maltodextrin, or Inulin, or any other "sugar" or "startch" is just a polymer of glucose and or fructose. BUT it passes through your gut and into your blood in the monomeric form, i.e., you can have all of the inulin, or coconut nectar you want, but when it gets to your blood it's fructose. (Granted, some of the polymers are so big that all of it doesn't make it into your blood and stay in your gut feeding the bacteria)

Then you have the other fancier stuff like the sugar alcohols, e.g., xylitol. Go look up the structure of these things and compare them to the monomeric sugars. They're incredibly close, and inside your body the enzymes and whatnot can trivially interconvert them. So eating xylitol will be see fructose in your liver because your body will convert it to fructose.

For every "natural" sweeter you think of, go look up it's glucose:fructose ratio and if it's a sugar alcohol, go look what it's going to turn into. It will be one of those sugars after you eat it.

For example:

Agave Nectar: 90% fructose: 10% glucose HFCS: 55% fructose: 45% glucose

Agave Nectar should be called High fructose agave syrup.

So just remember, sugar is sugar is sugar, no matter what fancy name you give it.

And: If it's sweet, it will kill you.

Anyway, here's another good rant on the same topic: http://www.nakedfoodcooking.com/best-sweetener/

0
9846ee79687cfcdb8f67da838f295e0c

(209)

on July 21, 2011
at 08:24 PM

I just go for raw organic honey because it's natural an doesn't have a lot of fructose

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 22, 2011
at 12:39 AM

Honey is 39% fructose, similar to HFCS 42.

0
Ba27b59aa877fad44ddc4c50c9ed905a

on July 21, 2011
at 06:24 PM

Jack, birch sugar (xylitol) is dextrose (glucose) just like rice syrup. So why do you think one is bad and one is good? Just curious.

0
5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 21, 2011
at 04:36 PM

I usually (actually rather rare) use just raw cane sugar, and in small amounts as a seasoning - typically in Thai or Vietnamese dishes where it balances the flavors. Occasionally for a big treat I like maple syrup on some Greek yogurt. Haven't had honey in quite a while - sad, I have some sourwood honey slowly crystallizing in the cupboard.

I've discovered that coconut milk, coconut butter and (recent exciting yummy discovery!) macadamia oil fill that sweet need for me - something about the flavors.

My biggest sweet desire though is for fruit. Tempting devilish delicious fruit.

0
8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on July 21, 2011
at 03:09 PM

I use a bit of unrefined cane sugar or honey when I need some, otherwise I stick to stevia or a bit of sucralose.

0
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on July 21, 2011
at 03:08 PM

I usually try to use organic raw honey in my tea or coffee when I want it (which isn't often anymore) and in baking.

0
3558d8feb56bc681144f87e67140f885

on July 21, 2011
at 03:03 PM

I really need to get off the sweets altogether, personally, but for now, I eat dark chocolate (the cheap kind, not like, 80 percent or anything), and for baking and other treats, I use date honey or bee honey. I'd use coconut sugar if it was available here.

0
A65499f2f8c65602881550fe309cd48c

(3501)

on July 21, 2011
at 02:59 PM

I just use a teeny bit of KAL stevia (I know that's not the answer you're looking for) for my coffee...could I use honey? Maple syrup? etc. etc. sure...but I find the stevia (yeah, it's processed) seems to do the least (none actually) to my body as far as physical response (sugar will make my heart palpitate like the dickens, makes me almost sleepy and trembly). It's the least of the evils for me and the little itty bit I use isn't going to flip me out cause it's not "paleo". Look for what works for you...if you feel the need to stick with "real sugar" then I would suggest maple syrup or just plain raw sugar or honey. STick to the least processed of it and if it's just a little, don't add cortisol to your system by worrying about it :) Life is too short!

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 21, 2011
at 02:37 PM

I personally go for sweet fruits(only organic) and good honey(organinc or small local from wilderness areas)

Or some sweet heavy cream.

here is a list of sugar altenatives. Anyway i dont feel well with dried fruits. sometimes they are good. i also think they will leack your bodies minerals and weeken teeth. Is this true?

http://www.sacredchocolate.com/agave-blues-david-wolfe/

0
62f89aa727cf3ce77c36651347cabc14

(884)

on July 21, 2011
at 02:36 PM

Dextrose. Pure glucose ftw.

0
24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on July 21, 2011
at 02:32 PM

I like the taste of Truvia, I either use that or palm sugar in my daily coffee (just one cup, sometimes an additional cup of decaf in the evening). I've noticed over the last 6 mos I've gradually increased the amount I've been using in each cup- I'm now doing a Whole30 program I definitely can tell my sweet tooth is being recalibrated (I went off program on vacay last weekend and had an iced latte at McD's and it was so sweet I threw most of it in the trash).

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