Nutrition

Reduce the sugar and think about your sweetener choice!

Natural sweeteners
Natural sweeteners

I am hopefully coming to a conclusion with my book. At last I can actually see light at the end of the tunnel. After many reviews of the recipes I noted how little sugar in terms of Raw Honey/Organic Maple syrup/Natural unrefined sugars are used in the recipes.
Reducing processed sugar(s) such as white sugar, sucrose, high fructose corn syrup etc. is a key step to overall better health, weight, skin, teeth and reducing cancer and diabetes risks to name just a few.

I am not going to go into detail of why it is essential to reduce sugar as there are many books, blogs etc on this topic. What I want to do is to talk about alternatives.
Reducing sugar usually means moving to clean natural foods and ingredients and reducing the amount of packaged foods, soft drinks, confectionery and yes even chocolate!
Now some people say ‘just move to other sweeteners’, however they are all usually processed and still addictive. I will and have always avoided such products as stevia, aspartame, brown rice syrup, not only because of the above reasons but also I have not seen any evidence they do us any good what so ever and all prove to have a level of additional risk so could actually do us more harm! Usually as a result of the processing.
I always try to avoid foods that provide no nutrient value!
For an example of why not to use these products I will use Brown Rice Syrup. This is currently seen as a popular alternative by some. How can it be healthy though when it has a GI (glycemic index) of 98? Normal table sugar has a GI of 65!. Therefore it will provide a huge blood sugar spike, which is not really what you want to put your body through. All these alternatives are empty calories and the goal of a good diet is to indulge in tasty nutrient dense foods which is why am looking forward to coming to the end of my book project.
If you are going to use a sweetener in your recipes stick to the natural ones which are able to provide some additional nutrients, such as Raw Honey, Pure organic Maple syrup or use a small amount of dates, figs or banana that will actually add natural sweetness with beneficial minerals and vitamins.

If you do need to use sugar in a recipe then look to the raw unrefined sugars i.e. muscovado or rapadura but use them sparingly in your recipes, you really don’t need the volume of sugar / syrup that many or most recipes ask for.
Richard my partner has at last taken sugar out of his diet, though he still sneaks a bit of honey into his porridge. He’s already seen the benefits in terms of weight, skin and energy! Though I think he still misses his chocolate brownies with his coffee, he is determined to keep them out!

2 thoughts on “Reduce the sugar and think about your sweetener choice!

  1. The reason why aspartame is beneficial for use is because it is approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar. Therefore a very small amount is required to achieve the same level of sweetness without the added calories or change in blood sugar levels, making it ideal for controlling weight and blood sugar.
    Although a lot of misunderstanding surrounds the ingredient, aspartame is one of the most extensively studied ingredients in the world with hundreds of studies steadily showing that aspartame can be safely consumed. This is because the three components that make up aspartame (aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol) are naturally found in similar or greater quantities in common foods that are regularly consumed as part of a balanced diet. This includes dairy product, meats, fish, fruits and vegetables. In addition, both aspartic acid and phenylalanine are amino acids (protein) needed for growth and body maintenance. Therefore, whether these three components come from aspartame or from a naturally occurring food source they are broken down and used in the body in the same way.
    Thus, aspartame has been approved for use by all major regulatory authorities around the world with even the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society recognizing its safety despite claims of carcinogenicity.

    We hope this information has been helpful for understanding the safety of aspartame and perhaps you may consider using it as an alternative to sugar for your dietary needs.

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  2. Whow, I feel honoured that the “sweetener council” have taken the time to pass comment on my article blog about “reduce your sugar”.
    I noted in this post that I am not a fan of artificial sweeteners, they have kindly commented on it, to tell me that Aspartame does not pose a risk to health and they make it sound lie it’s actually good for me! I have allowed this comment to be posted as I think everyone is allowed a voice and a perspective even when the organisation is potentially supported by large multinational companies .
    However recent research in Nature has indicated a risk of increasing glucose intolerance due to the use of Aspartame, though the testing was largely done on mice. However we have been putting mice through hell for many years to test medicines and so if it is causing issues for them, although it may not mean it will cause issues in us humans, I will continue to avoid it and advise my clients to do the same.
    They noted it as an aid for weight loss; there are better things to use!
    The bottom line is: try to keep sugar and all varieties of highly processed food products to a minimum. If you need to sweetened things, keep it as natural as possible i.e. cinnamon, fresh or dried fruit, raw honey, pure maple syrup. and organic if your budget allows!
    Even if it is proved correct that Aspartame does you no harm, which I doubt, I see no benefit in you being a mouse in a chemical experiment and taking that risk. If it provides you no nutritional benefit don’t eat it!

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