Glycemic Index and Sugar: Know What You Eat

For those that love sugar, it’s difficult trying to slim down or fight health issues connected with sucrose intake. When eating sugar in all forms, it affects your Glycemic Index, which plays a big part on how your body metabolizes and uses the sugar consumed.
To successfully control your sugar intake, it is essential to understand what types raise or help to keep your glycemic levels low. The closer the number is to 100, the higher the Glycemic Index. Therefore, professionals consider it Low Glycemic if you are under 55.

Sugar in all forms is a Simple carbohydrate. It’s a carbohydrate that the body breaks down and uses for energy. So if you have too much sucrose in your system that the body doesn’t need, your body stores the extra sugar as fat.

Types of  Sugars and Their Scientific Names:

Natural sugar found in fruits is also known as fructose.

Natural Sugar found in Cows milk and cheeses is also known as Lactose.

Refined sugar made from sugar cane/ beets is sucrose, which is the combination of glucose + fructose. This type of sugar has a glycemic index of 80.

HFCS-High Fructose Corn Syrup mostly comes from Genetically Modified corn.  Its glycemic index is 87.

Sugar alcohols are plant-based and are found in berries and fruit. Most sugar alcohols will have the “ol” at the end of their names such as Erythritol, sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, and maltitol. Sugar Alcohol digest slower and have a lower Glycemic Index which helps prevent fluctuations in blood sugar. Meanwhile, most sugar alcohols have a Glycemic Index of 12 or less.

Lower Glycemic Index Sugars

Here is a List of Sugar alternatives with a low Glycemic Index (GI):

Swerve- Erythritol GI 0
Coconut Palm Sugar- GI 35
Maple Syrup- GI 54
Date Syrup- GI 40-50
Stevia- GI 0
Blackstrap Molasses- GI 55
Xylitol- GI 13
Tagatose- GI 3
Yacon Syrup/ Powder- GI 1
Monk Fruit Powder- GI 0

One thing to double check, especially if you are trying to lose weight, is the calorie content. Just because these alternatives are low glycemic doesn’t mean they are low calorie.