Brown Rice Syrup – Good or Bad?

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Modern diet comprehends the ill-effects of added sugar. Sugars can be placed usually under categories of glucose and fructose. It is also cited that large amounts from added sugar can have detrimental effects on health, so people use low-fructose sweeteners – like brown rice syrup.

What is Brown Rice Syrup?
Brown rice syrup is a sweetener that is derived from brown rice. It is thick and sugary syrup that is produced by exposing cooked rice to enzymes that break down starches and turn them into smaller sugars, then filtering out the impurities. The syrup is both vegan and gluten-free, which can also be used in baking and cooking to sweeten foods with fewer calories. However, it should be consumed in moderation, as two tablespoons of brown rice syrup are said to contain 110 calories and 25 grams of sugar.

Nutrient Content
Brown rice is highly nutritious, however, the syrup is said to be very high in sugar and has very few nutrients.

Fructose and Glucose
In the context of glucose content, brown rice syrup is known to have high glucose, which is a plus for the syrup. Glucose can be metabolised by every cell in the body, whereas fructose is known to be metabolised in significant amounts by the liver.

Arsenic Content
Arsenic is a toxic chemical that is found in trace amounts in foods including rice and rice syrups. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) claims that the amounts are too low to be harmful. Nonetheless, it’s best to use brown rice syrup in moderation and completely avoid infant formulas sweetened with the syrup.

Glycemic Index
The syrup has a glycemic index (GI) rating of 98, as compared to 64 for refined table sugar and 96 for pure glucose. The syrup due to its GI value can cause the blood sugar to spike quickly.

In conclusion, for the modern dietician, the syrup can be a healthy sugar substitute however it should be consumed in moderation.

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