Organic malt syrup, also known as maltose syrup, is a natural sweetener made from sprouted barley grains. It has a rich, malty flavor and a thick, sticky consistency. It is widely used in baking, cooking and brewing, especially in Asian cuisine and medicine. But how does it compare to other sweeteners in terms of health benefits and drawbacks? Let’s find out.
One of the main advantages of organic malt syrup is that it contains complex carbohydrates, which are long chains of glucose molecules that provide energy and fiber to the body. Complex carbohydrates are digested more slowly than simple sugars, such as sucrose or fructose, which means they do not cause sudden spikes or drops in blood sugar levels. This can help prevent or manage diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular diseases.
Organic malt syrup is composed of about 50% maltose, 30% maltotriose and 20% other polysaccharides. Maltose is a disaccharide made of two glucose units, while maltotriose is a trisaccharide made of three glucose units. These are considered complex carbohydrates because they require enzymes to break them down into glucose before they can be absorbed by the body. However, some people may have difficulty digesting maltose or maltotriose due to a lack of the enzyme maltase in their intestines. This can cause bloating, gas, diarrhea or abdominal pain. Therefore, organic malt syrup may not be suitable for people with maltase deficiency or irritable bowel syndrome.
Minerals and Enzymes
Another benefit of organic malt syrup is that it contains various minerals and enzymes that are essential for the body’s functions. Minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and copper are involved in bone health, blood formation, immune system, metabolism and antioxidant activity. Enzymes such as amylase, protease and invertase are involved in digestion, protein breakdown and sugar conversion. These minerals and enzymes are naturally present in the barley grains and are preserved during the sprouting and roasting process of making organic malt syrup.
However, the amount of minerals and enzymes in organic malt syrup may vary depending on the quality and source of the barley grains, the sprouting conditions, the roasting temperature and time, and the concentration level of the syrup . Therefore, it is important to check the label and certification of the organic malt syrup before buying it to ensure that it meets the standards and requirements for organic production.
Glycemic Index and Calories
One of the drawbacks of organic malt syrup is that it has a high glycemic index (GI) and calories. The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels after consumption. Foods with a high GI can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, which can lead to insulin resistance, diabetes, obesity and inflammation. Organic malt syrup has a GI of about 105, which is higher than table sugar (65), honey (58) or maple syrup (54). This means that organic malt syrup can raise blood sugar levels faster and higher than other sweeteners.
Organic malt syrup also has a high caloric content. One tablespoon (20 grams) of organic malt syrup contains about 60 calories, which is similar to table sugar (64 calories), honey (64 calories) or maple syrup (52 calories). However, because organic malt syrup is thicker and stickier than other sweeteners, it may be harder to measure and control the amount used. This can lead to overconsumption and excess calories intake.
Organic malt syrup is a natural sweetener that has some health benefits and drawbacks compared to other sweeteners. It contains complex carbohydrates that provide energy and fiber to the body without causing sudden changes in blood sugar levels. It also contains minerals and enzymes that are essential for the body’s functions. However, it has a high glycemic index and calories that can raise blood sugar levels quickly and contribute to weight gain. Therefore, organic malt syrup should be consumed in moderation and with caution by people who have diabetes, obesity or digestive issues.