It’s beginning to show up on coffee counters everywhere, Blue or Raw Agave syrup is the new sweetener in town. Tapped from the plant in the same way other sap-yielding crop are approached, this subtle new goo is absorbed more slowly by the body and is therefore lower on the glycemic index (GI of about 40-45).
Like maple syrup, you can find the stuff in Premium Dark, Premium Light, Standard Dark or Amber, Standard Light, and Raw Varieties. And now Organic Nectars has created Raw Agave Gelato. Let us rejoice!
I’ve been getting terrible headaches lately and think it might be because I need carbs in the morning, otherwise I feel like I’m running on empty all day. So there I was, in the bread aisle of my local health food store this week and found this Diabetic Lifestyles Low Glycemic bread by Alvarado Street Bakery.
Here’s a breakdown of the nutritional facts.
It’s nice and soft and toasts up to a good crunch and it doesn’t have that strange, yeasty, ‘sprouted loaf’ taste that some other breads have. I definitely give it a 9/10 and at around two bucks, it’s an easy substitution for your groceries budget.
Label-readers will quickly learn to identify added sugars in store-bought items. Generally, if I can’t pronounce half of the things on the ingredients list, I’ll put the product down, but here’s a little alphabetical list of common added sweeteners.
- brown sugar
- corn sweetener
- corn syrup
- fruit juice concentrates
- high-fructose corn syrup
- invert sugar
- malt syrup
- raw sugar
Many glucose-spiking additives end in “ose” and syrups pretty much speak for themselves. Since I started avoiding dietary sugars, I find I crave sweet things less and less but occasionally a little drizzle of something atop a fruit or yogurt desert is called for. I’ve turned to Blue Agave Nectar. The Glycemic Research Institute has deemed the product a safe sweetener for diabetics and it’s increasingly showing up next to the honey and raw sugar packets at coffee counters. We’ll keep an eye on this one.
Eek! the Diet Blog has put together the list of the most sugar-filled drinks on the shelves and I was (but shouldn’t have been) shocked to see Minute Maid’s Cranberry Grape come in at number two. (via Slashfood.)
Juice drinkers should go to the Minute Maid site to check out all of the nutritional data before your next shopping trip. Cranberry juice is one of the label must-reads for those of us watching our sugars. As a rule, avoid anything that calls itself out as a ‘juice blend’ and look out for high fructose corn syrup.
If you’re drinking cranberry juice to tame a Urinary Tract Infection or simply for a good antioxidant boost, go for the natural, nothing but juice, options. They’re often very dark and have some sediment at the bottom of the bottle. I occasionally soften out that sharp flavor with a little apple juice and then water the mix down by about a fifth.
I’ve long had a bit of an issue with the milk consumption in the US. Billboards and magazine ads left, right, and center, make me dubious of the claims — there’s money behind all that momentum and I’m simply not buying it.
I love my lattes and support the promotion of calcium as an important part of a healthy diet and lifestyle but too much dairy, like too much of anything, has never seemed like a good idea. Not least because of the naturally-occurring lactose (which is a sugar, although not one we need to be super wary of).
So I had to share this NYT story about the Dairy Council pulling the ads that centered on milk-drinking and weight loss.
But while we’re on the subject of milk, I found out that if you specifically ask for organic milk at your local Starbucks, the majority of the time, they have it. Yay! that’s good news for those of us who can’t stomach soy and don’t want a dose of hormones with our jolt of joe.
For non-dairy sippers and cereal-eaters, have you tried hemp milk? I first heard about the stuff on Cool Hunting and have since seen it elbowing the soy products out of the way at my local market.
- cleaning out the cupboards — what to stock to make meals much easier
- snacks — maintain healthy blood sugar levels with snacks that won’t wreck your waistline
- spice things up — a few herbs and spices to brighten up potentially boring foods
- a few favorite new finds from the supermarket shelves
It’s finally starting to feel like summer and the farmer’s market is in full bloom. It’s impossible to walk through there without being seduced by robust buttery avocados and beautifully dimpled citrus fruits, bright red peppers, and serene green Mexican zucchini.
I’m excited to be launching this project when it’s the perfect time of year to find inspiration for light meals that will snap and crunch with zesty punches so that those heavy starches won’t be missed or later craved.
I picked up a small stack of magazines, all featuring summer salads and light meals, so I’ll be reading and taking notes for the next few days, putting together a few ideas to try out in my kitchen and share here.