The Science of Sweeteners: Sweet Alternatives to Save Your Waistline

If there’s one good thing that’s come out of the diabetes epidemic, it’s all the options available for sugar substitutes. And not just questionable chemical options like Equal, Splenda or the dreaded, Sweet n’ Low. With alternatives like stevia, xylitol and another new sweetener called monk fruit, there’s really no needs to use regular sugar…ever, and at all.

Ladies, white sugar and it’s derivatives is deadly. From the Macrobiotic Guide

…Refined sugar contains no fiber, no minerals, no proteins, no fats, no enzymes, only empty calories. What happens when you eat a refined carbohydrate like sugar? Your body must borrow vital nutrients from healthy cells to metabolize the incomplete food. Calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium are taken from various parts of the body to make use of the sugar. Many times, so much calcium is used to neutralize the effects of sugar that the bones become osteoporotic due to the withdrawn calcium.

Likewise, the teeth are affected and they lose their components until decay occurs and hastens their loss.

…Refined sugar is void of all nutrients, consequently it causes the body to deplete its own stores of various vitamins, minerals and enzymes. If sugar consumption is continued, an over-acid condition results, and more minerals are needed from deep in the body to correct the imbalance. If the body is lacking the nutrients used to metabolize sugar, it will not be able to properly handle and rid itself of the poisonous residues.

These wastes accumulate through the brain and nervous system, which speeds up cellular death. The bloodstream becomes over-loaded with waste products and symptoms of carbonic poisoning result.

Sugar also makes the blood very thick and sticky, inhibiting much of the blood flow into the minute capillaries that supply our gums and teeth with vital nutrients. Therefore, we wind up with diseased gums and starving teeth. America and England, the two largest sugar consumers, have horrendous dental problems.

 

Peeps, I’ve reduced my sugar intake to 15-20 grams per day, with one “cheat day” where I just eat what I want. My clothes are literally falling off my body.

And even if you’re not taking spoonfuls of the stuff out of a C & H bag, manufacturers put sugar in everything.

Ketchup, bar-b-que sauce, flavored oatmeal, soy sauce, tomato sauce, crackers, soy milk, almond milk, bread, nutritional bars and protein bars, frozen dinners, fruit smoothies, energy drinks, fancy vitamin water, you name it. Even the so-called, “low fat” snack offerings are often loaded with sugar to enhance the taste.

First, Look at the Labels!

You may be buying tomato sauce and not even be thinking about checking the labels, but you’d better. Depending on the brand and flavor, there could be several grams of hidden sugars. Combine that with the high carbohydrate content of white pasta, and you’ve just clogged your blood up with sludge. Even if you think you’re being good with say, protein drinks, be mindful of the sugar content of the formulation. For instance, if the base of the protein powder has 15 grams of sugar and you and 8 ounces of milk, you just added 12-15 EXTRA grams of sugar. If you haven’t already, that a look at the video demonstration I did on low-sugar alternatives to protein drinks.

Natural Sugar Substitutes

I know many of you use Splenda or Equal in your coffee or tea, and I urge you to back off them that. Studies have indicated that these types of artificial sweeteners have been liked to headaches, fatigue, and cancer in lab mice. Think you’re doing something good by using agave nectar? Think again. Manufacturers process they hayell of of it. According to Mercola.com, “Most agave “nectar” or agave “syrup” is nothing more than a laboratory-generated super-condensed fructose syrup, devoid of virtually all nutrient value, and offering you metabolic misfortune in its place. While agave syrup does have a low-glycemic index, so does antifreeze — that doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Most agave syrup has a higher fructose content than any commercial sweetener — ranging from 70 to 97 percent, depending on the brand, which is FAR HIGHER than high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which averages 55 percent.”

Stevia

Stevia, derived from a plant in Paraguay, Brazil, Japan and China is the new “it” natural sweetener that has been shown to be a safe alternative to artificial sweeteners. It’s zero calories and zero carbs, so that’s good. I use it, but…I don’t particularly care for the taste, which ironically reminds me of aspertame. However, I have found on brand that has a decent taste, called Better Stevia by NOW Foods. They produce they sweetener using the whole leaf (unlike others) creates less of a bitter after taste. As an aside, if you LOVE soda, go to your local health food store and get some Zevia. OMG…so good (cream soda is my fav!)…doesn’t taste funny and is zero sugar, zero calories. Of course it costs more than Coke and Pepsi, but so does lap band surgery and chronic diabetes. Another calorie-cutting alternative is a 50/50 split of stevia and sugar, but some still complain of a “chemical” aftertaste.

Xylitol

This is part of the family of sugar alcohols, but don’t worry; they don’t get you drunk. (boo! I wouldn’t liked them more) This is my top pick for sweeteners, because it has NO aftertaste and is as sweet as sugar…scratch that–it’s milder that sugar. Sweet, but not syrupy. Best brand to sweeten your coffee or tea–hands down, Xylo Sweet. Sugar alcohols like maltitol are suitable for cooking. Caution: Copious amounts of xylitol might give you the runs.

 

New on the Horizon…Monk Fruit

This may be the new hot thing. Monk fruit grows in China and has a sweetness 200x more than sugar. Manufacturers are already starting to use this as a sugar alternative, and I’m just learning about it too. Take a look: