Limiting Simple Sugars (Simple carbohydrates) and assorted sweeteners in our diet.


Sugar (simple carbohydrates) should be consumed in moderation. Like we discovered with sodium 10-15 years ago, processed foods that are available to consumers today contain far too many sugars. Sugars and sweeteners, as we all know, are available in many forms. Some are natural products harvested from nature (maple syrup, honey), while others are man-made (corn syrup, white/brown sugar).


Through the years, mankind has developed sweeteners for commercial benefit that are both cost efficient to produce as well as for consumers to acquire (corn syrup, white/brown sugar). Although cost effective to process, these sweeteners have evolved in a fashion that limits the delivery of any type of nutritional value to the human body.


We have also discovered in recent years that too many simple sugars can have a negative effect on out health. When consumed, sugar in our bloodstream draws on our pancreas to release insulin in order to remove these sugars (burning calories) from our blood. When the pancreas secretes insulin it simultaneously reduces the production of another hormone called glucagon. Glucagon is the only hormone that allows stored fat to be released into your bloodstream to be burned as energy. Therefore, when the pancreas has to elevate its production of insulin it reduces its supply of glucagon, and in turn, the body locks-in excess body fat.



How much carbohydrates (simple and complex) should be consumed on a daily basis



Roughly 30-35% of your daily calorie requirements should come from protein, 10-15% from fats and the remaining 50-60% from carbohydrates.


All carbohydrates consist of sugar molecules, which your body converts into glucose for energy. Simple carbohydrates include one or two sugar molecules. Your body breaks down simple carbohydrates quickly, which gives you a fast burst of energy but raises your blood sugar levels by increasing insulin levels. Complex carbohydrates consist of three or more sugar molecules. Your body converts complex carbohydrates to glucose more slowly, so their energy is released gradually and your blood sugar stays stable. Simple carbohydrates include the sugars in fruits and dairy products, as well as the refined sugar in processed foods and natural sugars such as maple syrup. Complex carbohydrates include the sugars and starches in vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole-grain foods.


We know that a 200lb male needs roughly 3000 calories/day and that a 130lb woman needs roughly 2000 calories/day. If say, 55% of your daily calories are derived from carbohydrates than, if you require 2000 calories/day, your body should derive roughly 1100 calories/day from complex and simple carbohydrates. If we know that 1-gram of carbohydrate equals 4 calories, than 1100 divided by 4 = 275 grams of carbohydrates/day being consumed in a healthy diet.



As complex carbohydrates are released into the bloodstream at a slower rate than simple carbohydrates, they have less impact on sugar levels in your bloodstream and thus the majority of your daily carbohydrate intake needs should come from complex carbohydrates (once again, vegetables, whole grain breads, legumes, and wheat pasta), rather than simple carbohydrates (fruits, refined sugars, maple syrup, honey). A report released in 2006 from the World Health Organization suggested people limit simple carbohydrate consumption to less than 10% of their total energy intake or approximately 12 teaspoons or 48 grams/day. We can conclude that 80-85% of your daily intake of carbohydrates should come from complex carbohydrates leaving only 15-20% to come from simple carbohydrates.


If your going to include simple sugars in your diet than those sugars should at least deliver some nutritional value.



 If you were to eliminate all other forms of sugar and sweeteners from your daily diet and use only Maple syrup as your daily sweetener, then with a 2000 calorie/day diet you would consume roughly 60ml of maple syrup/day. This amount equates into 12 teaspoons (48 grams) and delivers roughly 210 calories of simple carbohydrates/day.

This quantity of refined white and brown sugar delivers no nutritional value while this quantity of maple syrup provides

  • 40% of your daily requirement of manganese

  • 18% of your daily requirement of zinc

  •  6% of your daily requirement of calcium

  •  5% of your daily requirement of potassium

  •  4% of your daily requirement of iron

  •  6% of your daily requirement of magnesium

Maple syrup is also an excellent source of anti-oxidants and malic acids as well has trace amounts of amino compounds, riboflavin and thiamin


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