Just a reminder about xylitol, in case you didn’t know.
It’s a natural sweetener, taken from birch trees, found in fruits and even our own bodies. And it’s almost ½ the calories of sugar.
New sweeteners are coming on to the market constantly, but xylitol has been around for some time and has nothing artificial about it – in fact it can be used in cooking in the same way as sugar and is suitable for diabetics.
As a brand of xylitol, Total Sweet is a sugar alternative, that looks, feels and tastes just like sugarand has a GI value of just 7.
For an example of the kind of recipes you can use xylitol with, jams, mirangues and pastries for example, check the Total Sweet website.
Both carbohydrates and fats, though often cited as unhealthy dietary components, are macronutrients that play a vital role in maintaining your overall health. Added sugar, on the other hand, doesn’t provide much of a benefit to the body.
What does all this mean for 2013?
I think we can expect more sugar alternatives to come onto the market, so watch this space…
One such alternative already appearing is Sukrin – a natural sweetener developed in Norway from erytritol, a sugar alcohol fermented the from glucose found in pears, melons and mushrooms.
Most importantly: Sukrin has zero calroies and zero GI (ie. it doesn’t affect blood sugar – important for diabetics and dieters). And it can be used in baking too.
Sukrin is in fact only 75% as sweet as sugar, it has not artificial sacharin taste and is totally safe for sonsumption. But what I really like about this product is the diversity of products available from Sukrin…
In addition to normal white Sukrin crystals, you can also get Sukrin + which is mixed with Stevia to give a taste twice as sweet as sugar! (In other words you only have to use half as much.)
Also there is an icing sugar version called Sukrin Melis – very useful indeed… But, my personal favourite is Sukrin Gold, wich is composed of several natural sweeteners to make a brown caramel flavoured sugar at less than 1 calorie per teaspoon. Perfect for coffee!
I don’t how to say this, but I think St Dalfour have totally hit my sweet spot.
St Dalfour deserve to be well known for the excellence they pour into all of the foods they make, taking the best in natural ingredients and making something special.
This time they’ve conjured up some amazing organic dessert sauces. Because all those ingredients are the best, when they say Strawberry Sauce they mean it’s full of real strawberries (at least 50%) and the rest is simply grape juice – that’s it!
St Dalfour rightfully call these Gourmet Sauces. And the best news is there is an incredible tasting Chocolate Sauce and a tantalising Blueberry Sauce too. All the sauces are Low GI, there’s virtually no fat in there at all, meaning they’re good for the waist line and all are also gluten free.
You have got to taste these, they truly deserve an award.
If you are living, breathing member of the human race…
You are also likely to love pizza.
But, if you are a conscientious type of person, you may also be concerned all that white flour dough, oil and cheese which can’t be so good for you.
So Whole Creations have gone and made the whole thing healthy for you.
If you want a full, delicious tasting pizza here it is. It comes with a nutritious thin wholemeal base made from 100% wholegrain and lots of vegetables on top to count towards your five a day – at least 2 or 3 on every pizza.
It’s low GI (the best way of losing weight) and makes a good source of protein with just the right amount of cheese. Best of all, it’s vegetarian and the taste is unique.
Here’s some interesting news on the effect of different diets…
3 different diets were arranged which gave paticipants the same calorie intake but had varied results. The first was a low fat diet, the second a low carb diet and the third was a low glycaemic index diet.
(Glycaemic Index (GI) could basically be described as how much sugar a food has in it, but more accurately refers to how slowly it releases energy into your body.)
The low fat diet was found to increase the chance of the dieters developing diabetes or heart disease. Similarly, the low carb diet was found to increase the chance of diabetes. The low GI diet didnt produce such side effects.
So, what are low GI foods? Well the simple answer is go for the unprocessed brown foods and avoid the white stuff. But the figures might surprise you eg. crisps have a lower GI than baked potatoes! But we shouldn’t swap baked spuds for crisps because of their high fat content. What you are really looking for is a low Glycaemic Load (GL) – that’s the real number that tells you how the food will affect you. It’s best to get some advice from an individual who has studied the subject, but here is a list of high, medium and low GI foods.
Granola is reputedly a low GL food, because it is made of slow energy releasing oats. However, you do need to be careful of what granola you buy as they often add oils and sugars to get the taste right.
An ancient form of sugar is gaining new popularity partly because of its low GI status.
Coconut Palm Sugar (sometimes just called palm sugar) has a GI level of just 35. Such a low glycemic value means that it is beneficial to diabetics and people watching their weight alike. It is also low in fructose, even though it is taken from the sap of a coconut tree.
The taste is described as a mild butterscotch or caramel flavour. It can be used in the same proportion as sugar in cooking and it has a low melt temperature and a high burn temperature which makes it a useful ingredient. It doesn’t turn food brown when cooking either.
Biona’s Organic Coconut Sugar offers a rich supply of mineral salts, B vitamins and amino acids but is completely natural, not filtered, processed or bleached. It is considered to have health benefits among some cultures and is known by many names including gula kelapa, jaggery or gur.