Did you know that the average American consumes 100 pounds of sugar and sweeteners each year?
How does this happen? By eating lots of processed and commercial foods. Many food companies add sugar and sweeteners to ther “food” products, especially foods for children. We get used to it, and become addicted to foods tasting sweet.
In May we’ll be kicking off another round of Sugar Crackdown. This program is a great way to calibrate our taste buds because when we are exposed to so much sweetness in the foods we eat in the standard American diet, we don’t appreciate the natural sweetness found in natural foods such as a banana.
But until then. Let’s avoid the worst sweetners and choose healthy substitutions. Here is a list of the best and the worst sweeteners:
THE WORST SWEETENERS:
1) White Sugar
It’s so addictive, it’s an inflammatory, and it’s found in so many foods! Eating white sugar will create a spike in blood sugar, then later you will crash and be left feeling tired and craving more sugar. Sugar causes inflammation of the joints, muscles, and is led to respiratory issues such as asthma.
2) High Fructose Corn Syrup
You know those commercials stating the product is “natural”, right? Well, don’t believe it! You don’t need a Bachelor of Science degree to know that high fructose corn syrup is not natural.
HFCS is created in a lab from corn. It’s cheap and added to so many foods. To see just how much it’s in our foods, next time you are at the store, check all the labels of everything in your cart. It’s in breads, buns, pickles, juices, bars, cereals and more! High Fructose Corn Syrup is like white sugar on crack! It’s creating blood sugar havoc which leads to leptin resistance and increases your appetite.
This sweetener was discovered in a lab while making insecticides. Disturbing, right? But it’s true. It’s a sugar molecule treated with chlorine that is closer to DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane – an organochlorine insecticide), than it is to sugar. As with all zero calorie sweeteners that try to fool the body, they just don’t work. The body tastes sweet when consuming sucralose, and your body looks for calories to back it up. Since there are no calories present, your body will still be hungry – therefore, you will eat more.
Another zero calorie sweetener discovered in a lab by combining two amino acids: phenylalanine and aspartic acid. Asparatame is in many popular diet sodas. Want to know something really disturbing? Aspartame breaks down in our body and turns into formaldeyhde when it reaches 86 degrees. Your body is 98.6 degrees… so what’s happening inside of you?
Aspartame can be found in sodas, breath mints, chewing gum, syrups for coffee/latte’s, sugar free/low sugar ice creams, fat free yogurts, pudding, some sports drinks, iced teas, cereals, meal replacement drinks, protein shakes, even some nutritional bars. So here’s a good way of looking at it. Just because it’s sounds healthy, doesn’t mean it IS healthy. If it says sugar free/fat free, they are putting something like aspartame INTO the product to make it taste good, and so good that you keep buying it.
But what is it doing to your health? Aspartame spikes blood sugar just like sugar does, which leads to excess weight gain and diseases. Aspartame is linked to headaches, neurological disorders, cancer, chronic fatique, emotional disorders (anxiety/panic attacks), even epilepsy. The dangers go on and on. Scary stuff people. Read your labels and stay away from this one!
5) Agave Syrup
WHAT? Wasn’t this promoted as a healthy sweetener? It was… but agave has higher fructose levels than High Fructose Corn Syrup!! All that fructose gets sent right to the liver to be dealt with and it’s converted to triglycerides. High levels of blood triglycerides in linked to heart disease.
THE BEST SWEETENERS:
1) Raw Honey
This is an excellent sweetener choice, especially if purchased from a local source. Honey has been used for it’s healing properties as well. It’s high in antioxidants as well as enzymes, amino acids and minerals. Take some time to read up on all the natural health benefits of raw honey!
NOT Truvia!! Stevia is derived from a plan and is a great way to start getting off of zero calorie sweeteners. Just like any other food, the source is important. Choose organic stevia which is void of toxic fillers like the sugar alchols that you will find in Truvia.
3) Maple Syrup
100% Pure Maple Syrup is packed full of minerals, low in calories, and is super, super sweet! Great to use while baking and of course on top of your coconut flour pancakes!
4) Brown Rice Syrup
This sweet syrup is gluten free, and great for vegans that don’t eat honey. Brown Rice Syrup is low on the glycemic index, full of minerals like Magnesium and Potassium, and also full of B-Vitamins.