BUT... HOW DOES IT MATCH UP?
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Free radicals - why do we need to combat them? Free radicals are unstable, reactive molecules that act haphazardly in the body. A proliferation of free radicals can lead to destruction of healthy cells and tissues, including DNA. Free radicals lead to oxidative stress, which leads to many of the chronic illnesses we see today.
Enter antioxidants. They counteract free radicals by stabilizing them, and our bodies rely on the appropriate balance of antioxidants with free radicals. A diet rich in antioxidants is extremely important, especially as we grow older, because our ability to produce antioxidants declines with age. Antioxidant values in food are determined by the ORAC value (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity). You can see a comparison of ORAC values below, with date syrup scoring 10x that of maple syrup, and 45x that of honey.
How quickly is food converted to sugar (glucose) in your blood? For the answer, we look to the glycemic index. The glycemic index (GI) measures how rapidly carbohydrates are digested and metabolized. Some higher GI carbohydrates (like refined sugar) quickly elevate your blood glucose, while lower GI carbohydrates (like dates) produce a slower, sustained increase in blood glucose.
Why does glycemic index matter? These spikes in blood sugar cause you to become hungry again quickly, leading to cravings and crashes, versus the sustained energy of low glycemic foods. More importantly, these fluctuations in blood glucose are taxing for the pancreas, which works hard to produce insulin in an effort to control elevated blood sugar. This can lead to insulin resistance, which means that the pancreas can’t produce enough insulin to keep blood glucose within normal range. Ultimately, insulin resistance may lead to diabetes.
A note on the below chart: Agave is low glycemic index because of its extremely high fructose content. Fructose does not raise glycemic index as dramatically as glucose. Agave is 70-90% fructose, higher than high fructose corn syrup. High consumption of fructose may lead to toxic free radical formation in the liver. High fructose consumption is consistently linked to heart disease, diabetes, fatty liver, and more.
Vitamins & Minerals
Why consume sweetness empty of vitamin and mineral content? That’s what we do every time we use cane sugar, beet sugar, high fructose corn syrup, jaggery, and agave. We’d like to suggest a different approach. Date syrup, honey, and maple syrup all offer additional nutrients to help you get important vitamins and minerals in your diet. As you can see below, date syrup offers the heftiest dose. A cup of coffee could easily offer a morning potassium boost with the swap of date syrup for refined sugar!
Why is potassium important? It helps maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body, helps keep you hydrated, and is required for the function of the cell membranes in your body. Low potassium may lead to dehydration, muscle cramping, swelling, and heart palpitations. Just one serving of date syrup offers 4% of your daily value of potassium. Does refined sugar offer that? Most definitely not.
Let’s not forget about magnesium. Magnesium regulates calcium, sodium, and potassium, and is essential for cellular health. In fact, magnesium is a crucial component of many biochemical functions in the body. Deficiency can lead to anxiety, muscle cramping, muscle pain, fatigue, and more.
Date syrup also offers phosphorous, iron, zinc, among other trace vitamins and minerals.
OUR COMMITMENT TO
NUTRITION & HEALTH EDUCATION
Supporting Diabetes Education
for At-Risk Youth
We sponsor Sprouts Cooking Club with 2% of our profits to support low sugar cooking education for youth in the Bay Area.
Developing clinical studies to show the impact of refined sugar on health
We are working with medical researchers to examine the short and long-term health impacts of refined sugar and different sugar replacements (agave, honey, maple syrup, stevia, monkfruit sugar, date syrup and more). This is our most long-term and highly valued project, and ultimately a percentage of Just Date Syrup sales will be directed towards funding this proposal.
Crafting health education campaigns
We are working with Bay Area cooking programs for children to develop educational programs about refined sugar, in an effort to expose young kids to health education as early as possible.