The Paleo List Answers:Is Chicory Root Sugar Paleo?
You might not know exactly what chicory root sweetener is, but you’ve probably seen the brand Just Like Sugar on your grocery store shelves. You already know you should be avoiding all processed and most pre-packaged goods, but when you need that sweet fix, is chicory root sugar Paleo?
What is Chicory Root Sweetener?
Chicory root sweetener is basically a sugar-like substitute made of chicory root, calcium, and orange peel. The unique thing about chicory root is that it is an inulin-based sweetener, which makes it an appropriate option for diabetics as it is low on the glycemic index and won’t spike blood sugar as much as refined sugar. Chicory is also incredibly high in fiber. Large amounts can be added to processed foods without much compromise in flavor, but the high levels of fiber can also cause gastrointestinal distress.
Is Chicory Root Sugar Paleo?
Remember, just because we don’t know a lot about it, doesn’t mean it is safe. Chicory root is often used as a substitute for coffee for those who try to reduce or eliminate their caffeine intake, so we already know the root is definitely safe. There are two main issues with this chicory root sweetener product: 1) if it seems too good to be true, it probably is and 2) based on the other products made by this company, they’re not afraid of intense processing.
This is one we can’t really decide for you. It definitely wasn’t around during the Paleo era, and it is just as processed as most other sugar products. It’s probably not good for you, but it is less bad than many other options. It is found in many “sugar-free” products, but is certainly processed. We’d say chicory root sweetener is probably not Paleo-approved, and we’re not likely to use it, but if you’re using it pretty rarely, it’s probably all right. It’s just another one of those things that is safe in its natural form, in normal amounts, but when processed and extracted and over-consumed, things can easily get out of hand.
Are you struggling with which foods are Paleo? Do you need help planning some Paleo meals? Check out this great Paleo cookbook: