The Pro’s and Cons of Rice Malt Syrup – Is It Right For You?
OMG, how confusing is the whole issue around which sweetener is best?! We know that refined white sugar is considered “Evil Eddie” but then what is the best alternative? Stevia, Xylitol, Raw Honey, Coconut Sugar, Agave, Maple Syrup…….the never ending list of healthier alternatives!
One of our favourite ‘Wholefood’ Heroes, Jude Blereau, recently wrote a fantastic blog on a “Sensible Discussion About Sugar” to bring some balance back into the extremist approach to all things sweet.
We think that it is just about making good informed choices about what is best for you personally. Each of us have our own goals and intentions around what we eat and why. Often foods have both pro’s and cons and it is a matter of weighing up what is most important for you and your health outcomes and basing decisions on quality information.
We hope we have achieved that here by bringing you the low down on rice malt syrup, from a qualified Sports Nutritionist and Triathlete.
Read About RMS Here
What is rice malt syrup?
Rice malt syrup (RMS) is made from 100% organic brown rice. It is made through culturing rice with enzymes to breakdown the starches and then cooking until it becomes syrup. The final product contains soluble complex carbohydrates, maltose and a small amount of glucose. RMS is 100% fructose free.
Why is fructose free important?
The importance here is that the carbohydrates in RMS provide a steady supply of energy, requiring up to 90 minutes digestion time. Other sweeteners like sugar, honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar and agave, which range from 50-90% fructose, are faster releasing sugars which cause insulin spikes, the associated blood sugar crashes (the blood sugar-insulin rollercoaster) and therefore cravings, hunger and fatigue. Or in other words, the all-too-common 3.30-itis. Chronically elevated insulin levels lead to fat accumulation and longer term, obesity and diabetes.
In short, avoiding the blood-sugar rollercoaster is the key to satiety, hormonal control and weight management. In comparison to fructose, glucose is used by every cell in our bodies and our liver only metabolizes 20%. Remember, glucose is also found in starchy carbohydrates like sweet potato – our perfect post-exercise glycogen replenishment.
To quote Sarah Wilson, the I Quit Sugar expert, the problem with fructose is that the metabolic burden rests on your liver. It is converted directly to fatty acids, and then body fat.
For more information on fructose, I highly recommended Sweet Poison by David Gillespie.
Why wouldn’t you use RMS?
As it is made from brown rice, RMS is technically not grain-free. Those following a strict paleo protocol usually use honey or maple syrup as sweeteners for that reason.
Those following a low-carbohydrate protocol would also not use RMS. It contains 8 grams of carbohydrate per 10g serve (80% carbohydrate) and the reason why sweet treats are exactly that: “treats”.
Source: The Natural Nutritionist