Archives for: June 2004, 20
As a O non-secretor my selection of sweeteners is very limited, no table sugar, no artificial sweeteners, no stevia, no honey, no maple syrup, of course no corn syrup, no dextrose, fructose, rice syrup or barley malt...the list goes on. What I can have are molasses and vegetable glycerine. Molasses works in some things, though for somebody who's not used to it, it just doesn't cut it. So I tentatively tried vegetable glycerine. I found it at one of the two local health food stores, in the skincare section. It didn't have any nutritional info on the bottle but did say it was derived from vegetable oils and pure enough to be taken internally. I was a little nervous at this point, so I did more research when I got it home. Heidi has some good information on it, and I've since noticed it as a main ingredient in a lot of prepared foods like protein bars, granola bars, baked goodies, etc.
I've discovered in my reading that not only is it safe & classified as a food, it actually has some health benefits and is big in weightlifting and athletic circles. I've also found it listed in some recipes for diabetics, even though one website says it does have an effect on blood sugar and that diabetics should be careful with it. It's been through some confusion as to whether it should be classified as a carbohydrate or a fat, presently it's classified as a carbohydrate. It's naturally occuring in the body, a product of the breakdown of fats. I'll have to get my Health Library Diabetes book back in my hands, as I heard it is mentioned in there pretty often. From what I understand the body will use it for glucose if it's short on glucose, but will use it as it would use a fat instead, if it has enough energy. For Os, fats are better than sugars most often. Like sugar alcohols, it doesn't interfere with ketosis, but unlike sugar alcohols (ie sorbitol, malitol), it doesn't cause digestive problems and diarrhea. I suppose that is because it is a naturally occuring substance in the body, easy to digest, and not perceived by the gut as a frankenfood.
That is my layman's read on glycerine; of course, remember moderation is best with all neutrals, for me glycerine is something that makes my occasional 'treat' more compliant.
Now on to the taste, it's quite sweet, a thinner liquid than maple syrup, and seems to be water soluble even though it seems like a oil. Works well in lemonade, herbal tea, brownies, chocolate...I'm continuing to experiment. When I made brownies with it they started smoking toward the end. The flavor was fine afterall, not burnt, but I'll reduce the temperature and/or baking time next time. One more try with it and the recipe should be postable.
I find it ironic that the only sweetener that doesn't cause cravings for more food and more sugar is the only one that isn't marketed as a sweetener. It just seems like a bit of a conspiracy, related to listing MSG as "Flavorings" in the ingredient lists even though it is somewhat addictive and dangerous for many consumers. The food industry seems to be able to protect it's interests and, in the process, fatten us all up quite well.