Not all Sugars are Created Equal
As we talk more about real food ingredients, we wanted to take a deeper dive into the options companies have when making jerky, to add a sweetness and also break down the meat in the marinating process. Adding a bit of sugar is instrumental in making jerky- but- the kind of sugar is equally important.
Below we will discuss coconut sugar, cane sugar and Erythritol.
Coconut sugar is a natural sweetener that is derived from the sap of coconut palm trees. Compared to regular table sugar, coconut sugar is considered to be a healthier alternative due to its lower glycemic index and the presence of certain nutrients. Some potential benefits of natural sugars like coconut sugar are:
Lower Glycemic Index: The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels. Coconut sugar has a lower GI than regular table sugar, which means it doesn't cause a spike in blood sugar levels, making it a better option for people with diabetes or those watching their blood sugar levels.
Rich in Nutrients: Coconut sugar contains trace amounts of nutrients like iron, zinc, calcium, and potassium, which are lacking in regular table sugar.
Sustainable and Environmentally Friendly: Coconut sugar is produced from the sap of coconut palm trees, which are renewable and require less water and fewer resources to produce than other crops like sugarcane. It is also free from artificial chemicals and pesticides.
Good for Baking: Coconut sugar is a great substitute for regular sugar in baking. It has a caramel-like flavor that can enhance the taste of baked goods.
When we consume cane sugar, our bodies break it down into glucose and fructose. Glucose is a simple sugar that our body uses for energy, while fructose is metabolized by the liver. Here's how our body reacts to cane sugar:
Insulin Release: When we consume cane sugar, it causes a rapid increase in blood sugar levels, which triggers the release of insulin from the pancreas. Insulin helps to move glucose from the bloodstream into our cells, where it can be used for energy.
Energy Boost: The glucose from cane sugar provides a quick source of energy for our cells, which can help improve alertness and focus.
Increased Risk of Health Problems: Consuming too much cane sugar can lead to health problems such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. This is because the excess sugar is stored as fat in the body, leading to weight gain and insulin resistance.
Sugar Crash: After the initial surge of energy from consuming cane sugar, our blood sugar levels may drop rapidly, leading to a sugar crash. This can cause feelings of fatigue, irritability, and hunger.
Consuming cane sugar can have an impact on the brain, specifically in the short term. Here are a few ways that cane sugar can affect the brain:
- Increased Alertness: Consuming cane sugar can cause a temporary surge in blood sugar levels, which can lead to increased alertness and mental clarity. However, this effect is usually short-lived and may be followed by a crash.
- Reward System Activation: Sugar can activate the reward centers in the brain, leading to feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. This is why many people crave sugary foods and may have difficulty controlling their sugar intake.
- Mood Changes: Consuming cane sugar can lead to mood changes, such as irritability, anxiety, and fatigue. This may be due to fluctuations in blood sugar levels or changes in brain chemistry.
- Addiction: Some research suggests that consuming sugar may have addictive properties, similar to drugs like cocaine. This is because sugar can activate the same reward centers in the brain as these drugs, leading to cravings and dependence.
Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that is commonly used as a low-calorie sweetener in food and beverages. It has come under fire in recent weeks as a link to possible heart attack and stroke as seen here in this article. Some people may experience digestive issues when consuming erythritol. Here are some potential health problems that may be linked to erythritol consumption:
Digestive Issues: Erythritol is not well absorbed by the body, which means that it passes through the digestive system largely intact. This can lead to digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea, especially when consumed in large amounts.
Allergic Reactions: While rare, some people may be allergic to erythritol. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing.
Headaches: Some people may experience headaches after consuming erythritol, although this is a rare side effect.
Interactions with Medications: Erythritol may interact with certain medications, such as antibiotics, leading to decreased effectiveness or increased side effects.
The bottom line is that all ingredients matter when it comes to what you are eating. Companies sub in fake ingredients and tell you it's better for you. Label reading is becoming more prevalent as consumers are looking into what they put into their bodies. Choosing snacks that have a clean label and contain only real food ingredients that won't spike your blood sugar levels are a great choice. That is why when it comes to high protein snacks that are low in sugar we choose PREVAIL Jerky.