Is there really such a thing as healthy sugar? Sugar has had a bad rap for some time now. Once you start looking at nutrition labels, and more importantly INGREDIENT labels you will realize that sugar is in just about EVERYTHING! My personal theory is that the makers of processed food just want to addict you to keep you wanting more! I have yet to find healthy hamburger buns, for example, at the local grocery store. I have to drive to Mothers Market, a health food store, to get my favorite bread brand, Ezekiel. Some of the “healthy” whole wheat brands have up to 8 grams of sugar (or even worse High Fructose corn syrup) per bun ! That is way too much and you aren’t even getting to enjoy dessert!
Healthy Alternatives to Processed Sugar
I love sweets and sweet things! So whats a girl to do? Here are some healthy alternatives to sugar to start incorporating in your diet and get rid of the white processed poison, in moderation, of course!
- Raw honey (full of healthy enzymes, natural antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals)
- Sucanat (a great replacement for sugar cup for cup, full of molasses so it has a stronger warmer flavor, but it is delicious and full of minerals)
- Pure maple syrup and maple sugar flakes
- Date sugar (which is just dates ground up to make a powder)
- Coconut Sugar
- Evaporated Cane juice (the natural form of white processed sugar)
- Raw Agave Nectar (It has recently been under fire because of the way it is processed, but it still has a low Glycemic Index if in the raw form)
White Sugar Problems
Calorie for calorie sugar is sugar. Processed or not the calories are all pretty close, but health doesn’t always equate to just calories. However, what happens internally is of more concern. You will have less blood sugar spikes when consuming the natural source. Your body can process the sugar, it isn’t bleached or full of chemicals (fake calorie-free sugar).
White sugar is made by stripping the nutrients and color of the sugarcane plant through a refining process. It offers no substantial health benefits because all the wholesome stuff has been thrown out during its production.
Table sugar increases type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease risks. High intake of refined white sugar can also lead to the following conditions:
- tooth decay
- pancreatic damage
- multiple sclerosis
- vision problems
- nutritional deficiencies
- kidney problems
What happens when you remove the fake and/or processed stuff and start choosing the stuff God made? You will feel better, you will need less caffeine to get through your day, you will be clearer mentally, you will have more energy, and you will likely lose weight!
What should your next steps be?
- START READING LABLES AND INGREDIENTS. If there are ingredients you cant read, don’t eat it!
- Don’t eat anything with added sugar, corn syrup, or high fructose corn syrup added. But also be careful with added evaporated cane sugar, too much of anything natural or not isn’t good either.
- Stop eating artificial sugar. No splenda, no pink or blue packets, etc. It is full of chemicals your body cannot process and it makes you FAT.
- If you crave something sweet, have a piece fruit with some nuts. You will be more satiated.
- Enjoy a naturally made dessert once a week… and don’t feel guilty!
And remember, the BEST dessert with natural sugar is a piece fruit or a bowl of berries!