The world of nutritional science is a fascinating field with new research constantly emerging that changes the way we understand the effects of diet on our body. Just like any other area of science, this fresh information can come into conflict with previously understood facts. When these type of developments occur, it is important that we take a step back and reevaluate what we know.
At Cappadona Ranch, we truly care about delivering products that are not only delicious but wholesome for our clients as well. As a family-owned business, healthfulness is a big priority for us and that’s why we strive to make organic, gluten-free products that everyone can enjoy. We are grateful to all our customers who have been with us on this path as we continue to grow and expand our selection of unique Texas treats.
One of the most important results of this growth is that we have begun to learn even more about our beloved mesquite trees and mesquite beans. An attention-grabbing attribute about mesquite beans that we have begun to study more in-depth is its sugar content.
The modern diet is full of sugars. Three of the most commonly consumed sugars are sucrose, glucose, and fructose, which are also referred to as carbohydrates and/or simple sugars:
There are many other forms of sugars as well but for the sake of this article, we will focus on these three. While all sugars are used as a source of energy in the human body, it is important to understand that they are all broken down and absorbed differently. The type of simple sugar that requires less effort to break down for energy is known as monosaccharides. Glucose and fructose sugars fall under this category and can be found in foods such as fruit, pasta, whole grain bread, honey, and some vegetables. Sucrose is a type of disaccharide simple sugar and is commonly found in sugarcane and products that have been sweetened.
While it may be tempting to categorize the different types of sugars simply as “good” and “bad”, what is more important to be aware of is how the different types affect your blood glucose levels - especially if you are dealing with diabetes, high blood pressure, or other health-related issues.
As with most foods, there are a number of differing views when it comes to mesquite bean products. While mesquite bean definitely provides some meaningful nutritional value including hefty doses of fiber, protein, and a number of other essential vitamins, there is some conflicting opinion about its sugar content.
On one hand, there is information circulating that suggests mesquite is highly effective at balancing blood sugar levels because of the fructose sugar in the pods and high rate of soluble fiber. It is argued that because fructose does not require insulin to be metabolized by the body, it is a safer sugar option for diabetics. Also, the healthy portion of fiber helps to slow down the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream and so prevents spikes in blood sugar. Furthermore, the mesquite’s low Glycemic Index (GI) rating of 25 is also taken into account, and so it is recommended that mesquite bean products (especially flour and coffee) are consumed as alternative, healthy items in comparison to traditional dishes that include white flour and sugar.
Note: The Glycemic Index ranks carbohydrates in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels, and by relation, insulin levels.
There are arguments against the use of GI system, though, and additional dietary considerations that should be noted in reference to mesquite bean as a “superfood” ideal for diabetics. The controversy with the GI rating system stems from a statement issued in 2002 by David S. Ludwig and Robert H. Eckel in which they said:
“During the past 20 y, >100 scientific studies have examined the application of the GI or GL to diabetes mellitus, obesity, cardiovascular disease, behavioral disorders, and physical performance (8–,10). Several popular nutrition books, with combined sales of several million copies, advocate the consumption of low-GI diets (11–,13). Moreover, use of the GI has been endorsed by the FAO/WHO (14) and numerous other international health-related organizations. However, there is by no means a consensus regarding the utility of the GI to human health and nutrition. Many clinicians and researchers, especially in the United States, have questioned the relevance and practicality of the GI (15,16).”
This uncertainty of the GI rating system is worth further investigation, and we in the mesquite bean “world” , look forward to clarification. Alongside this controversy, we should also take into account that while mesquite as a sweetener, flour, and product is more nutritious versus refined sugars, it does little benefit to individuals dealing with illnesses such as diabetes if they continue to maintain a diet high in other unhealthy fats and sugars.
As previously mentioned, while fructose sugar does not require insulin to metabolize, it is still a sugar that must be broken down by the body. With current research suggesting that it is fat forming and not simply a “good” sugar, it is in your best to remember that moderation is key to a healthy lifestyle.
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