Malt syrup is a natural sweetener made from sprouted grains, such as corn, barley or rice, that are roasted and cooked down to a thick, sticky liquid. It has a rich, mellow taste and a milder sweetness than sugar, honey or maple syrup. Malt syrup can be used to sweeten hot drinks, baked goods, sauces, desserts and more. But what are the health benefits and side effects of organic malt syrup? Let’s find out.
Health Benefits of Organic Malt Syrup
- Organic: Organic malt syrup is made from organically grown grains that are free from pesticides, herbicides and GMOs. This means that it is safer for your health and the environment than conventional malt syrup or other sweeteners.
- Complex Carbohydrates: Organic malt syrup is composed of complex carbohydrates that are broken down slowly by the body, providing a steady source of energy and preventing blood sugar spikes and crashes. It also contains some fiber, which can help with digestion and cholesterol levels.
- Minerals: Organic malt syrup contains trace amounts of minerals, such as iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc, that are essential for various bodily functions and processes. For example, iron helps with oxygen transport and hemoglobin production, calcium supports bone health and muscle contraction, magnesium regulates nerve and muscle function and blood pressure, potassium balances fluid and electrolyte levels and zinc boosts immunity and wound healing.
- Enzymes: Organic malt syrup is produced by a traditional malting process that involves sprouting the grains and using their natural enzymes to break down the starches into sugars. This process preserves some of the enzymes in the final product, which may aid in digestion and metabolism.
Side Effects of Organic Malt Syrup
- Calories: Organic malt syrup is still a form of sugar and contains calories that can contribute to weight gain if consumed in excess. One tablespoon of organic barley malt syrup has about 60 calories, while one tablespoon of organic rice malt syrup has about 55 calories. To avoid overconsumption, use organic malt syrup sparingly and in moderation.
- Allergies: Some people may be allergic or sensitive to the grains used to make organic malt syrup, especially barley or gluten. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include hives, itching, swelling, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. If you experience any of these symptoms after consuming organic malt syrup, seek medical attention immediately.
- Diabetes: Organic malt syrup may not be suitable for people with diabetes or prediabetes, as it can still raise blood sugar levels and affect insulin sensitivity. Although it has a lower glycemic index (GI) than refined sugar, it still has a moderate to high glycemic load (GL), which measures the amount of carbohydrates in a food and their impact on blood sugar. For example, one tablespoon of organic barley malt syrup has a GI of 42 and a GL of 9.8, while one tablespoon of organic rice malt syrup has a GI of 55 and a GL of 10.5. If you have diabetes or prediabetes, consult your doctor before using organic malt syrup.
Organic malt syrup is a natural sweetener that has some health benefits over refined sugar or other sweeteners. It is organic, contains complex carbohydrates, minerals and enzymes and has a rich, mellow taste. However, it also has some side effects that should be considered before using it. It is high in calories, may cause allergic reactions or affect blood sugar levels. Therefore, it should be used sparingly and in moderation as part of a balanced diet.