At the risk of sounding preachy, there is no nutritional need for sugar in your diet at all – none. Let that fact resonate for a little while as once you start to think about it, it’s a little mind blowing that we are all eating something our bodies have no need or use for!
In the modern diet, sugar, is the single worst ingredient we consume. It spikes your blood sugar affecting your mood, weight, immune system, skin, appetite, energy levels and even the amount of money you spend. It’s addictive, nutrient void and if you can start to kick the habit – even just halve your consumption, you’ll notice a change in your health. Of course there are naturally occurring sugars fresh fruit however, there is also fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients and water plus they take much longer to digest therefore fruit has a valuable place in the diet. (preach over)
I’m a fairly cynical person when it comes to ‘new’ food advice. I don’t instantly believe in superfoods or dietary advice until I’ve looked into it/asked Hannah and decided for myself that it’s worth spending my money on it. When I was starting to investigate this slightly daunting ‘sugar free’ lifestyle, rice syrup was one of the first replacement sweeteners that came up and being one of the most cost effective, it needed closer examination.
Rice syrup is made from fermented cooked rice and is made up of complex carbohydrates, glucose and maltose, basically fructose free so acts as a natural slow releasing sweetener meaning you don’t have that horrid sugar crash after you’ve eaten it. It’s less sweet than traditional sweeteners so you may have to adjust the quantities you use until it suits your taste, but over time you’ll find you’re using less and less. To give you an idea of the conversion rate of rice syrup to sugar its: 1 1/4 cup rice syrup to 1 cup of sugar.
Oddly the most helpful thing I found this in was coffee, replacing sugar with a teaspoon of rice syrup helped me cut down more and more until now I don’t have anything to sweeten my coffee and only use rice syrup for sugar free baking – now I’ve just got to give up the caffeine!
I can’t lie, its not the most convenient thing to track down. I purchased mine originally from Infinity Foods in Brighton however I only do this if I’m in the area so more often than not, I buy online from whoever has the best offer. Like all sweeteners it should only be used occasionally but rice syrup is a useful alternative as you are transitioning aways from processed white sugars.