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Glycemic Index Guide


Glycemic Index of Sugars and Sweeteners (use as little as possible)

Table of Glycemic Values for Sugars and Sweeteners

(Based on white bread = 100, sucrose, table sugar = 92, fructose sugar = 32)

People with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, trying to lose weight, or trying to correct other ailments should eat only very low, low, and medium glycemic index category foods.


Glycemic Index Category


Check for which sweeteners   are natural and which are artificial.   The natural sugars generally are more acceptable to the body. They usually have smaller side effects,   especially with heavy use. The values   below all assume that the item is in its pure form and not mixed with   anything else. Many of these are mixed   together with other items.

< 20 Very   Low

  • Nil –   aspartame, artificial sweetener
  • Nil –   saccharin, artificial, pure
  • Nil – acesufame   potassium, artificial, pure
  • Nil –   sucralose, artificial, pure
  • Nil – sugar   alcohols – sorbitol, manitol, xylitol (watch out for sorbitol which causes   diarrhea in small children)
  • 14 – organic   agave nectar, natural

21-40 Low

  • 32 – fructose,   fruit sugar, pure (This is probably your best choice for an overall   sugar/sweetener additive.)

41-60   Medium

  • None

61-80   Medium High

  • 65 – lactose,   natural milk sugar
  • 75 – blackstrap   molasses pure

81-105   High

  • 83-90 – honey,   natural, various kinds, darker is better
  • 85 – barley   malt
  • 85 – maple   syrup, natural, 100% pure, darker is better
  • 89 – high   fructose corn syrup, mix of 60% corn syrup and 40% fructose
  • 92 – sucrose,   regular white table sugar, natural
  • 94 – turbinado   sugar and invert sugar
  • 95 – carmelized   sugar, natural
  • 95 – date   sugar, natural
  • 95 – brown   sugar with molasses, natural
  • 80-100 – Most   sugar free sweeteners mixed with maltodextrin or dextrose like equal, nutrasweet, sweet’n low, sweet   thing, sweet one. Yes this is a   shocker but these are mixes of aspartame and the highest glycemic   starches. They are saved only by the   fact that their sweetness is so concentrated that you usually only consume   very small quantities of these.   Diabetics should be careful to not   consume large quantities of these sugar free sweeteners all by   themselves. That means watch out for consuming   large quantities of crystal light or adding many packets of these to your   coffee or tea.

> 106   Very High

  • 120 – corn   syrup
  • 135 – dextrose,   a starch
  • 138 – glucose,   natural sugar. The digestive processes   convert all sweeteners and carbohydrates to glucose for the energy used in   the body.
  • 146 – glucose   tablets
  • 150 – glucose   polymers
  • 150 –   maltodextrin, a starch
  • 150 – maltose,   malt sugar, a double glucose

General Guidelines for Glycemic Categorization of Sugars and Sweeteners

1. None of these sugars or sweeteners should be consumed in large quantities by themselves.   It is best to only add them in small amounts to food as part of a meal or snack. Blackstrap molasses and honey are the best natural sweeteners and molasses is packed with many nutrients. Use artificial sweeteners sparingly even though they are low glycemic index because most are toxic to the body and can cause other health issues.

2. Fructose is also a good for a sweetener. It is natural and its glycemic index is so low that it is OK to be used by all people. It can be your preferred sweetener in all of your regular food with sugar added. Check for fructose as the sweetener in breads, baked goods, syrups and many other items.

3. Many of the natural sweeteners that are not pure sugar, like honey or molasses, usually have some vitamins or minerals that are useful. However do not consume large amounts of honey, molasses, dates, or pure maple syrup just to get the vitamins.

4. Any of the above can be consumed, but the ones that have a very high GI should be avoided as much as possible or just consumed in very small amounts with substantial other low glycemic food.

5. Try to avoid corn syrup, maltose, maltodextrin, dextrose, and high fructose corn syrup. Look for them in the ingredients list for foods. They are much worse for you than regular sucrose, table sugar.



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