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    You "Ask", I Answer: Evaporated Cane Juice

    Evaporated cane juice has more minerals [than sugar].

    — Anonymous
    Via the blog

    Wow, the evaporated cane juice lovers have been out in full force lately.

    They appear to be offended by the fact that I referred to it as sugar under a fancier name.

    I clarified that it undergoes less processing than sugar.

    However, for all intents and purposes, from a caloric and metabolic standpoint, it is standard table sugar.

    So what about the claim that evaporated cane juice has more minerals?

    Let me start off by saying that one of the many reasons why high intakes of sugar are discouraged is that, in order to convert it to glucose, our bodies need B vitamins.

    Since sugar is entire lacking them, our body must take B vitamins away from our cells in order to metabolize it.

    Advocates of evaporated cane juice are quick to point out that their sweetener one-ups sugar since it contains vitamin B2.

    Fair enough, but what they are forgetting to mention is that in order to get even a small fraction of nutrients from it, you need the equivalent of seven teaspoons — roughly 100 calories!

    Seven teaspoons provide 9% of the B2 daily requirement, 3% of our daily calcium needs, 3% of the iron recommended daily vale, and 4.5% of our manganese needs.

    What’s always funny to me is that all the B vitamins (apart from B12, which vegans need to specifically seek out) are very easy to get, as they are present in most foods.

    Fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, dairy, meats, and fortified soy products are good sources.

    Remember, too, that, by law, enriched grains must contain some of the B vitamins (including riboflavin, also known as B2). So, even something as nutritionally insignificant as Wonder Bread is a source!

    Therefore, the presence of vitamin B2 does not make evaporated cane juice all that special.

    A cookie, brownie, or any candy made with evaporated cane juice is not nutritious; it should be considered discretionary calories.

    You could munch on a handful of cereal, eat a quarter of a banana, or have a few almonds to get that much riboflavin.

    This concept that evaporated cane juice is far superior to sugar because it contains trace amounts of certain vitamins and minerals (unless consumed in large quantities) seems faulty to me.

    It’s equivalent to someone defending their choice to eat nothing but vegetables because lettuce contains protein.

    Yes, at a mere 0.6 grams per cup. You would need six cups to get a pretty irrelevant 3.6 grams.

    I have no problem with people buying or using evaporated cane juice for sweetening purposes. Basing that purchase on nutrition, however, is not accurate or informed.

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    2 Comments

    1. Anonymous said on February 20th, 2008

      Who ARE you? It’s love at first site, I mean bite! I just found your site, or your blog, or whatever it is, and I can’t stop reading!

    2. Mike & Pam said on January 6th, 2009

      I agree – awesome information here, and well written too.

      Very enjoyable blog!

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