The foundation of any healthy lifestyle is a balanced diet consisting of mostly whole, unprocessed foods. It’s best to fulfill the majority of our daily nutritional needs by eating vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains, as recommended by the ADA, American Heart Association, Mayo Clinic, Harvard Medical, and more. At GoMacro, we’re passionate about spreading the power of a balanced, plant-based lifestyle, which is why we use clean, organic ingredients like whole grains, nuts, and plant-based protein. Still, it’s important to remember MacroBars are still snacks! We recommend enjoying one a day and getting the rest of your nutrition from vegetables, fruits, grains, and other whole foods.
Why We Chose Organic Brown Rice Syrup
The recipe for the first MacroBar was inspired by our family’s transition to a plant-based, macrobiotic diet, and we remain committed to making delicious bars without sacrificing the quality of our ingredients. There’s no shortage of sweetener options available today, but our decision to use brown rice syrup rather than artificial sweeteners or refined sugar was intentional. Here’s why:
It’s Not an Artificial Sweetener
We don’t use any artificial ingredients in our MacroBars, and that includes artificial sweeteners. We opted for brown rice syrup because it’s derived from natural and nutrient dense brown rice. Plant-based and sustainably sourced, our organic brown rice syrup is made by breaking down the starch in cooked rice, which turns it into an easily digestible sugar.
Underlying most forms of sugar are two molecules: glucose and fructose. Fructose can only be broken down in your liver, whereas glucose can be broken down and used in other parts of your body. Most sweeteners contain high amounts of fructose (hence the name “high fructose corn syrup”) in combination with glucose.
Brown rice syrup, on the other hand, does not contain fructose. It actually contains three sugars — maltotriose (52%), maltose (45%), and glucose (3%). However, don't be fooled by the names. Maltose is made up of two glucose molecules, while maltotriose is three glucose molecules. Therefore, your body processes brown rice syrup the same way as it would process 100% glucose. The maltose and maltotriose also take a little longer to breakdown giving you longer sustained energy as compared to simple sugars that give a ‘sugar high’ followed by a low. Because brown rice syrup does not contain fructose, it doesn’t have the same negative effects on liver function and metabolic health as other sweeteners that contain fructose.
We only use brown rice syrup made from organically grown InfantSafe® brown rice to ensure the best quality and the use of sustainable growing practices. The InfantSafe® organic brown rice syrup we use is put through a proprietary safety validation process that removes heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, and mercury, to levels undetectable by conventional methods, without affecting the other nutrients. Our brown rice syrup is verified to contain less than 10 ppb of arsenic and lead, below the FDA standard for drinking water.
Binding & Sweetening
Organic brown rice syrup is used both to sweeten our bars and to help bind the ingredients to give the bars their shape. The stickiness of the organic brown rice syrup keeps the bar intact which means we don’t have to bake it. This helps to keep all the nutrients in the fresh nuts, fruit, and berries in our bars.
By law, ingredients on a food label have to be listed in order of weight. Brown rice syrup is very dense, and it weighs more than the other ingredients that we use. For example, 1/2 cup of brown rice syrup weighs the same as 2 cups of oats. Even though we are using more oats by volume, brown rice syrup has to be listed first due to its weight.
So although brown rice syrup appears first on the ingredient list for many of our flavors, MacroBars actually are not as sweet as other bars on the market and tend to have less sugar per bar. You often do not see the sweetener first on other bar ingredient lists because they are using multiple sweeteners to ensure sugar isn’t the first ingredient. If you were to put all the sweeteners together into a blend, it would often come first in their ingredient list as well.
Are you on a Low-Glycemic Diet?
While we feel organic brown rice syrup is a better sweetener, it is still a sweetener. It does contain glucose so if you are on a low-glycemic diet or unsure, please consult your doctor before eating any of our bars.
Contact us and we’ll do our best to answer any questions that you may have.