One of the biggest confusions people have is what kind of sweeteners to use. The media is saying that sugar gets you fat and you need to be using alternative sweeteners such as Splenda or Equal. The reason I want to tell you about sweeteners is because, well, they’re both wrong!
This has got to be one of the most popular questions I get, “What kind of sweetener should I use?” In order for me to better explain what kid of sweetener to use, let me make clear of what kind you shouldn’t.
Say NO to “Table” Sugar
Refined white sugar is extremely processed in order to get that ubber-fine, slip through the cracks kind of substance. While it’s being processed, all health regard gets tossed out the window. It’s completely deprived of its nutrients.
Ordinary table sugar lack vitamins and minerals, making it an empty calorie. Calories are okay in most instances, but not when you’re not getting any nutritional value out of them. It’s very hard for your body to break down sugar, which makes it hard to digest. Once you’re body can not digest it, or if it’s taking to long to digest it, it begins to turn into glucose and fructose. This, in turn, develops fat, and mostly in your stomach area.
By taking in too much sugar or if you eat a diet that’s high in sugar, your body will most likely develop a need for more sugar- the more it has, the more it craves. Also, you will start to develop high cholesterol and may even lead to diabetes. It’s pretty safe to say, “stay away from refined, table sugar”.
Pass on the Splenda and Equal
“Artificial sweeteners are just that- artificial,” Keren Gilbert, MS, RD, founder of Decision Nutrition in Great Neck, New York. She informs us that artificial sweeteners are made up of chemicals and just as empty as table sugar.
Here’s what our bodies go through when we consume artificial sweetener:
Since the artificial sweetener still taste sweet, once it hits our tongue, our tongue then sends signals to our brains saying that sugar is coming. That’s when our brain warns the rest of our body to prepare for a sweet surprise. Within minutes, our body gets confused because it never felt the energy of a sugar rush (because Splenda and Equal are not real sugar). Then our body isn’t happy until we actually give it sugar. That’s what we refer to as a sweet tooth.
Our body ends up wanting sugar so bad that it doesn’t leave us alone until it gets it. That’s when we get cravings and start snacking. So in essence, we actually tend to gain wait when we use artificial sweetener.
Where the Healthy Sweeteners are at
- Steva– It’s up to 300x sweeter than table sugar so be modest when you use it. Stevia comes from a plant in South America called, you guessed it, the Stevia. The best part of this sweetener is that it’s calorie-free and doesn’t really have an effect on your blood levels.
- Organic Evaporated Cane Juice– This is actually not a juice, its a form of sugar that is simply less processed. It isn’t as refined in which means still has some of the nutrients. Cane juice offers calories still, but compared to the calories in regular sugar, this is still highly recommended.
- Organic Honey– Organic honey is pretty hard to find, but some companies sell it. There is only about 60 calories per tablespoon. What’s more, it doesn’t really affect your glycemic index and also offers anti-bacterial properties.
- Maple Sugar Flakes– There is only about 8 calories in maple sugar flakes and they are well worth it. Made out of dehydrated maple syrup, they are a great alternative to sugar. They even taste much like maple syrup and my family loves it. They are easy to find in the stores and have very little effect of your blood sugar levels.