Sugar is an addiction that a lot of us have a problem breaking. It is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet and a huge reason why so many people are overweight. It can have harmful effects on metabolism and contribute to all sorts of diseases. Sugar is one of those foods that is considered a food that contains empty calories. It contains a lot of calories, with no essential nutrients aka all of the calories are empty. It also causes tooth decay by feeding the harmful bacteria in the mouth. And really the list goes on and on about how bad it is for you. Instead of harping on all the negatives, let’s chat about some alternatives that might be a better option for you, like Stevia, Xylitol, and Coconut Sugar.
What is Stevia?
The sugar substitute is extracted from the stevia plant. A species called Stevia rebaudiana is naturally grown in Brazil and Paraguay, where it has been used for hundreds of years to sweeten foods and treat burns and stomach discomfort, LiveScience reports. The plant gets its sweetness from naturally occurring glycosides, which are extracted from the stevia leaves through a process that starts by placing the plant in hot water. – Huffington Post
Benefits of Stevia
- A little goes a long way. Even though it is calorie-free, the plant extract can taste 200 times sweeter than the same amount of granulated table sugar.
- It can replace sugar in baking.
- Stevia can be purchased in liquid and powdered concentrates
Negatives of Stevia
- It does not caramelize.
- Packaged stevia isn’t necessarily all natural… it needs another ingredient added to it for it to survive on the shelves.
What is Xylitol?
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is a low-digestible carbohydrate that resists starches and includes fiber. There is a lot of talk about Xylitol mainly because of the claim that sugar alcohols are ‘natural. Other varies of sugar alcohols include:
Benefits of Xylitol
- It provides beneficial oral health. It is said to prevent cavities.
- It is safe to consume in small dosages.
- It can be a sugar substitute.
Negatives of Xylitol
- It has been reported that Xylitol can raise blood glucose levels, which suggests that diabetics shouldn’t consume it.
- Some Xylitol side effects include constipation, gas, bloating, diarrhea, nausea, increased bowel movements and weight gain to name a few.
What is Coconut Sugar?
Coconut sugar comes from the sap of the cut flowers of the coconut palm. It does not contain the actual coconut fruit but is used as a substitute for sugar.
Benefits of Coconut Sugar.
- One of the biggest health claims for coconut sugar is that it is low on the Glycemic Index.
- Coconut sugar is lower than table sugar on the Glycemic Index.
Negatives of Coconut Sugar.
- Coconut sugar does not come from the actual fruit, where the benefits are.
- Note that The Glycemic Index doesn’t directly apply to Coconut sugar because it doesn’t measure fructose–fructose is the main component of coconut sugar.
The bottom line is sugar is sugar, no matter what form it’s in. It is definitely oka to consume in small doses and when it comes to balancing out life. (You know the key to life). If you eat too much sugar in any form it can tax your liver, cause toxic accumulation, increase your risk of fungal infections, decrease brain function, negatively affect your liver and metabolize directly into fat. This is where the phrase, ‘fat doesn’t make you fat, sugar makes you fat’ comes from and it is completely true. Knowing your body and knowing what it can handle will give you the real answer as to when and how you should consume sugar and its substitutes.
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- The Sugar Rules you should be following
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