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Glycemic Index: Where Do Sweeteners Fall?


If you don't know much about the glycemic index (GI), it could be affecting your health. The GI ranks specific carbohydrates from zero to 100, based on how they affect your blood sugar levels after eating them. Typically, eating foods that have a high GI (such as white bread and soda) causes a spike in blood sugar levels. When you consume these foods, you may feel a surge of get-up-and-go at first, but will have an energy crash soon afterward. High GI foods have also been linked to an increased risk for cancer, type 2 diabetes, acne, Alzheimer's, and weight gain. Foods that are low on the GI have been associated with feeling full, which can prevent you from overeating.

Sweeteners are a type of carbohydrate that are tough to avoid since many people crave sweet foods such as chocolate, cookies, candy, and ice cream. All these treats are made with different types of sweeteners, so when cooking or choosing foods, it's good to know how they compare. To see where different types of sweeteners fall on the glycemic scale, read more.


Sweetener GI
Glucose 96
Fructose 22
Lactose 46
Sucrose (white sugar) 64
Brown sugar 64
Barley malt syrup 42
Brown rice syrup 25
Raw honey 30
Agave syrup 15
High fructose corn syrup 62
Stevia less than 1
Sugar cane juice 43
Evaporated cane juice 55
Maple syrup 54
Black strap molasses 55

Sweeteners don't need to be completely avoided, though, since both the type of food and the amount you consume affect your body's glycemic response. If you know you're the kind of person who can't eat just one homemade cookie, then you may want to make them with agave syrup instead of white sugar.

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