The Flaming Vegan

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Your Sugars and Syrups
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Your Sugars and Syrups

White sugar is not only bad for your health; it is processed through animal bone char. So as a vegan, your best bet with your sugars is to get to as close to organic as possible. Organic is not 100% safe, but it is the safest for all our foods. You're avoiding the organic meats and diary. You can still eat organic fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, carbs and sugars.

With this said, there are many good sugars out there so that your foods and drinks are not bland tasting. Stevia is grown right from the plant in Africa and is extracted from the leaves. A lot of people have trouble with the bitter taste. If you are one of those people, there are other good vegan sweeteners out there.

There is organic Florida Crystals. I use this sweetener myself and it is very good. You can order it at You can also get organic cane, brown or turbinado sugars. Sugar in The Raw, is another good one that I use. It has organic turbinado sugar in the ingredients.

Some of you like to use the Agave Nectar for sweeteners. This is good for vegans, too. It's got organic and all natural ingredients in it.

On your maple syrups, check the labels very carefully because they sometimes drip animal lard in there, after the boiling process. Plus it may not be listed in the ingredients. This is because to produce maple syrup, the sap has to be collected and then boiled down. To avoid this, look for the organic or kosher label on the bottle. If you don't have those, call the company to confirm that they used vegetable base defoamers, instead.

You get 100% maple syrup from Vermont. Grown from the mother ground. The sap is animal fat free and they used vegetable base defoamers to boil it down.

Other good vegan syrups are Malt Barley, Sweet Cloud Organic Brown Rice, and Maple Valley.

All of these sugars and syrups do not have emulsifiers in them, which are very unhealthy and cause you to gain wait. Plus they cause your glucose levels to go batty. They aide in bringing on diabetes or hypoglycemia. They are put into foods to stimulate your stomach hormones to increase sales. Always avoid emulsifiers at all cost. They are fructose, high fructose, corn syrup and muti-dextrin.

Plus these sweeteners and syrups are also good for diabetics. Please check with your doctors first and use in moderation.

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  1. Carolyn
    Vote #2 Susan! Great article!
    1. pftsusan
      Thank you Carolyn. I was mostly concerned about the facts being right with this blog. So I put a lot of work into it. I personally, only eat organic sugars and I limit my intake of them. With the 30% rule and intaking in right around 1700 cals a day, with exercise, I got rid of my diabetes. Other than that, this is my field and I worked in health foods. So I am familiar with Vegan Lifestyle, the foods and what is suppose to be in them and what isn't suppose to be in them. We are not fully there yet. However in the last few years, a lot of companies have stepped up to the plate, to serve this lifestyle, putting things out there and are correcting their foods for vegans. The supplement company has come a long way, but are still researching why they have to have some buy animal ingredients in Vegan supplements while the vegetable jell caps. They are getting to now where they are starting to move off of processed soy. I am happy to see this coming along for my vegan family and friends.
      1. pftsusan
        With that said "wait=weight". The spell checker didn't catch that one because wait is a word.
  2. Virtually Homemade
    Virtually Homemade
    I just bought stevia and love it! I think it's a great substitute for sugar. Voted! Check out my blueberry mint lemonade post and vote if you like. You can substitute any of these sweeteners for the sugar :)
    1. pftsusan
      Thank you. Glad to be of assistance. Going right over to your blueberry mint lemonade post, to vote.
  3. BuddhasDelight
    thank you for this! it was only in the last year that i heard of vegan cane sugar (love whole foods fair trade version) and vegan wine! thank goodness for looking into the details of things, who knew?! :) voted!
    1. pftsusan
      Thank you. I'm involved in this field, through my passion, health and fitness. I do eat non processed chicken, turkey, organic eggs, and seafood. I switch them up every once in a while with some totally vegan foods like tofu dogs, vegan-organic chocolate cake. I eat quite a few fruits, vegetables, smoothies, yogurt. Plus there are some nice Vegan recipes from here to try too. I used to go camping with my friends, in Vermont every summer. It was there that I got the 100% Vermont Maple Syrup. It tasted better and different then the other maple syrups, because it wasn't processed with crap. They used the vegetable based deforming to drain the sap. That was the first that I have learned of this.
  4. Veganara
    Vote no 5, great blog. A lot of this information is new to me. I have started using agave syrup, which is really good, as it is low-GI and it is supersweet, so you don't need very much of it. Sugar is responsible for so many health problems, isn't it? Obviously it is a major factor in causing diabetes and obesity. I think it has been proven that sugar is a worse culprit than fat, as in moderation fat is good for you (vegetable fats, at any rate), whereas sugar is just empty calories! Most of us can't do without at least a little of it in our diets though, for pleasure!
  5. dianabart
    Great info.. thank you. I broke my sugar habit over a year and a half ago.. and if I get to much (even natural) as in too much fruit I get a painful headache. Voted!
    1. pftsusan
      thank you.
  6. Carolyn
    Congrats for making Top Posts!
    1. pftsusan
      Thank you Carolyn. This is my second one to make top posts. I have faith in the system and my family, here.
  7. SnakeWitch
    Another one I would like to add to the list is panela. Commonly used in areas where they grow sugar cane, it is the original brown sugar - the one everybody says is 'the' healthy one. It has a flavour to it, so some people don't like using it for cooking or for their coffee, but many people enjoy the slight extra kick it gives. It comes in either powdered form or, for those who seek bargains, a block that is easily scrapped into portions with a paring knife. You can find it in Latin American grocery stores. Other than that, I think we covered pretty much every kind of vegan sweetener out there!
  8. Akanksha
    Very good information here. I touched the same topic in my post here but this one definitely clears the why aspect. I try to use organic jaggery and honey wherever possible.
  9. mahrain
    I like this article and would like to point out that Agave syrup from the US is not processed in the same way as it is in South America or Mexico and this makes it unhealthy in the States
    1. mahrain
      A 2010 follow-up study, published online in Hepatology, goes one step further and links increased consumption of high-fructose corn syrup to the progression of liver injury, such as fibrosis (scarring in the liver), among people who already have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. The concern is that continued consumption of fructose will lead to more serious liver damage. Most people with NAFLD feel well and are not aware that they have a liver problem. Nevertheless, this disease can be severe and can lead to cirrhosis, in which the liver is permanently damaged and scarred and no longer able to work properly. For this reason, I do not advocate the use of agave. It is unfortunate and disappointing if you have been using agave under the belief that it is a healthy natural sweetener. If so, don't feel bad. For several years, I was duped right along with you. miel de magueyIf you do want to use agave, there is a natural unprocessed agave product that is made in Mexico. It's called miel de agave, or miel de maguey - a molasses-like syrup made by boiling the agave sap - but its availability is limited and it is expensive to produce. I once saw a bottle of it on the shelf at my local Whole Foods Market with a hefty price tag of twenty dollars! You'll still see plenty of bottles of agave on the shelves of health food stores, but unless it's miel de mahuey, you should just walk on by. As for agave in "healthy foods," you should pass on those, too. If you're looking for a low glycemic replacement for agave, you may want to try a relatively new product on the market made by Coconut Secret called "coconut nectar." Coconut nectar is not made from the actual coconut, but rather from the little white flowers that grow on the coconut tree, called coconut blossoms. The blossoms contain a sap that can be pressed out, then evaporated at low temperatures to allow the sap to thicken into a nectar. According to the "Coconut Secret" website, coconut nectar is raw and low glycemic (GI=35), containing amino acids, minerals and vitamins. This has become a favorite of mine and my alternative to agave. It has a mild sweet taste and is very versatile. Other alternatives to agave are brown rice syrup, raw honey, and pure maple syrup. These are all healthy natural sweeteners. But just remember, sweeteners are for occasional use, not daily!
  10. VBoy
    Thank you for the informative article. What about coconut sugar?
  11. moregreensplease
    8th to vote. This article was informative and insightful. Now I am not in the dark anymore about what to look for in my sweetener. Thank you.


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