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 Post subject: Why you shouldn't substitute honey for maple syrup
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:53 pm
Posts: 5
Location: Texas
I know I've seen people ask in the past if they can substitute honey for the maple syrup in the master cleanse. I didn't know why you shouldn't do this previously, other than the author certainly has an aversion to the idea of how honey is made by the bees.

However, I just found out recently the science behind why you shouldn't sub. honey for maple syrup in the drink, and thought I would pass it along.

This is not medical advice, but maybe this explanation will help.

Here goes:

Most sugars are made up of 2 types of sugar molecules, fructose & glucose. (There is also galactose or milk sugar, but I won't go into that here). Table sugar, brown sugar, honey, and molasses are pretty close to a 1:1 ratio of fructose & glucose, or are exactly a 1:1 ratio.

Our body cannot use fructose. However, every cell in our body can utilize glucose without it being converted by the liver. Our brain can ONLY run on glucose. Since our body cannot utilize fructose, all fructose is sent to the liver to be converted into a useable form.

I put a blurb at the bottom of this regarding a fructose-rich diet (such as the high-fructose corn syrup that is in almost EVERY processed food product in America) for anyone wanting to know a little more. Sadly enough, there is no difference in appearance between a person with liver cirrhosis from alcohol and the liver of someone who has continually consumed too much fructose. Anyway...

So, when you are on the cleanse, and you are SEVERELY limiting your calories and your "energy" intake, you need to add a source of glucose, if nothing else, to run your brain. Our body can utilize other sources of energy, such as the breakdown of fats, and breakdown of muscles (which could be an extremely harmful side-effect of going without an alternate energy source for lengthy periods of time). But not our brain. It must have glucose. Either from your own intake, or from the liver pulling from other sources and converting, though not the most ideal.

Maple syrup is a 4:1 ratio - 4 parts glucose to 1 part fructose. So it helps to fulfill the needs of your brain instantly and ideally.

As a side note, agave nectar is only 8% glucose and 92% fructose.

Also an interesting side note, corn syrup (NOT high-fructose corn syrup, but regular corn syrup/sugar) is 100% glucose. Corn sugar is also called dextrose. And I think I've only seen it in powder format lately. Karo syrup is NOT 100% corn syrup/sugar. It is made of about 20% corn syrup and 80% other sugars.

My personal opinion is that dextrose may be a better substitute for maple syrup, if you are looking to sub for maple syrup. But there's the reason behind not substituting honey, agave nectar, table sugar, or high-fructose corn syrup for maple syrup.

Hope this helps explain this. I have often wondered this myself in the past, and was so glad to learn a scientifically-based explanation. So I hope some of you benefit from it also.

On my sidenote about high-fructose corn syrup:
First of all let me state some of this is my opinion, and some from studies easily found on the internet. Do your own research and make your own assumptions - that goes for anything in life. Never take any person's opinion as what is right for you, and that goes for the opinions of the author of master cleanse or other diet books. Research everything you can, determine the credibility of the source, and form your own opinion. No one but you has to live your life. Make sure you are the one who directs your life, not the opinion of others.

Our recommended daily intake of sugar is appx. 1 gram of sugar (carbs) for every 50 calories we eat. I try to stick to a 1500 calorie diet daily, so my sugar intake should be appx. 30 grams daily. If a person ate a "natural" diet with no processed food, but lots of veggies, some fruit, meat, etc - a balanced diet; they would consume close to a 1:1 ratio of glucose to fructose. So about 15 grams of fructose daily and about 15 grams of glucose.

However, eating today's processed food, most American's consume roughly 75 to 100 grams (or more) of sugar (carbs), and a larger percentage of that sugar is fructose rather than glucose (typically 75% fructose). High-fructose corn syrup used in processed food is between 55% to 90% fructose.

Glucose passes right through the liver and is metabolized directly by our body's cells and organs. It is instantly used. Fructose remains in the liver and must be metabolized by the liver and made into something else before our body can use it. But here's why we need fructose - our liver uses it to synthesize glycogen, which is basically a bunch of glucose molecules stuck together that is ready for our body to break down and use for instant energy when needed. According to several sources, fructose is a better agent for the synthesis of glycogen in the liver than glucose itself is. So this is a good benefit of fructose.

The bad side - once our liver has made an adequate source of glycogen, our liver goes to work using fructose as the means to synthesize triglycerides for long-term energy storage.

It would not matter if you ate too much glucose vs. too much fructose, the outcome would be the same or similar as far as weight. The body is going to store the extra in the form of glycogen and triglycerides (sugars & fat). The difference is, that for the immediate needs of the body, the liver is not required to metabolize the glucose. By eating more fructose, we may be saturating our livers beyond the point it was intended to work. If you consume an abundance of fructose, as in most American diets, we are overworking our liver. Our liver becomes saturated, bloated, fatty, and tired. Have you ever been overworked & stressed? How about if there was no end in sight. No break, no rest, no stopping to sleep. How many days could you go like this? Our body's organs are amazingly resilient, but can only do so much. They have a limit also.

You would never sign up for a job that said you would work 18 hours a day and the entire 18 hours you would be pushed to your absolute max without rest and it would be extreme manual labor, and you probably have to take some work home after hours to work on then also. But everyday many of us do this exact thing to our liver, without thought. The amazing thing is that it can takes years of this before we are diabetic, hypertensive, or just plain sick. I don't know how the body can take so much abuse and still take years to give out.

I know it's hard to make a switch, especially starting out, but we need to look at our lifestyle not as being deprived of the sweet "junk" available, but as a means of fueling a phenomenal life that is about so much more than just eating. 99.99% of us don't see all the illegal drugs out there that can take us to euphoria and think we are depriving ourselves of that pleasure by not getting high. We see them as a detriment to the life we want to live, so we don't think twice about the fact that we would not take those drugs. Maybe this is how we should be looking at a lot of food products also. Just a thought.

My 2 cents worth...and priced just right! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Why you shouldn't substitute honey for maple syrup
PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:37 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:48 am
Posts: 36
Location: austin
Very scientific approach. Kuddos. Thanks for posting such and informative blurb. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Why you shouldn't substitute honey for maple syrup
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:11 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:52 pm
Posts: 19
what is the sugar content/make up of sugar cane juice?


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 Post subject: Re: Why you shouldn't substitute honey for maple syrup
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:32 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:53 pm
Posts: 5
Location: Texas
inspirexxme wrote:
what is the sugar content/make up of sugar cane juice?


It would be the same as table sugar - appx 50% glucose/50% fructose
Table sugar is basically dried sugar cane juice, so the same composition.


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 Post subject: Re: Why you shouldn't substitute honey for maple syrup
PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 8:04 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:15 pm
Posts: 271
Thanks for the very interesting write-up.


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