Q&A: Maple syrup?


The Question:

Thanks, as always, for your newsletter, Gillian. You don’t mention maple syrup in it. Any comments?

My Answer: 

For some time it was thought that any fructose sweetener was healthy because it registers low on the Glycemic Index. In other words, fructose doesn’t upset blood glucose and insulin levels too much. Table sugar, with half glucose and half fructose, has a high Glycemic Index due to the glucose, so the fructose sweeteners, such as agave and honey as well as maple syrup, was recommended.

More recently, however, the fructose molecule has been shown to be highly inflammatory, and the inflammation contributes to insulin resistance. So fructose does not make your blood glucose spike, but it does, over time, contribute to making your cells more resistant to insulin, and this is the basis of the problems known as metabolic syndrome.

Mostly I’m referring to products made from food such as fruit, and not the fruit itself. However, fruit juice is relatively high in fructose and for some people, even the tiny amounts of fructose in real fruit is not recommended as it will keep them too inflamed to turn around insulin resistance enough to lose weight.  

See my newsletters from January and March this year for more on this, together with references to the research. 

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