Sugar Alternatives

Detox Sugar and Live Longer

Sugar is a silent killer. It physically ages your body. And it’s as addictive as heroine. Fortunately, you can detox sugar and gain back your years by changing your eating habits.
A new study published in the American Journalsugar poison of Public Health has found that sugary soft drinks make you older. An 8-ounce drink will age a healthy adult by two years, and a 20-ounce drink adds four-and-a-half years to one’s age. (Read the full article on sugar aging here)

safe sugar

Stevia

Stevia is an herb from the sunflower family that is native to South and Central America. Stevia has been shown in many studies to have a positive effect on blood sugar management. Stevia was administered every six hours for three days to one group of 8 subjects and contrasted with administration of another sugar to 8 more subjects. Stevia “significantly decreased plasma glucose levels during the test and after overnight fasting in the volunteers.”

In another study, stevia reduced after meal blood glucose and potentiated insulin secretion in type 2 diabetic patients. In addition, it has traditionally been used to treat heartburn and as a sweetener in herbal teas.

It is 10 times sweeter than sugar and has a slight bitter after taste when using large amounts. Thus, it is best utilized in smaller amounts. We have found that it is most useful in teas, lemonades and when added to sweeten fruit dishes. It is a great sugar substitute for those who must reduce sugar intake, but want a natural sweetener. Stevia comes in either liquid or powdered form.

Xylitol

Xylitol is a low-calorie sugar alcohol or polyol sugar which is a naturally occurring sugar substitute found in the fibers of fruits and vegetables. It is also a natural, intermediate product which regularly occurs in the glucose metabolism of most animals, as well as in the metabolism of several plants and micro-organisms. It is naturally produced in our bodies. In fact, we make up to 15 grams daily during normal metabolism

It is much sweeter than sugar, but has the added advantage of tasting like refined sugar. As such, it has no bitter aftertaste as experienced with stevia. It is safe to use by diabetics in that it metabolizes without insulin.

Xylitol builds immunity and prevents the growth of bacteria.There is research available on its use for dental health. Results from a two year study conducted in Finland in which young children consumed 10g. per day of xylitol in chewing gum showed a 30 to 60% reduction in new dental cavities compared to a control group who didn’t chew any gum. In fact, as a result of this study, all gum now sold in Finland uses xylitol as the sweetener.

Maltitol

Maltitol is another sugar alcohol which has about 90% of the sweetness of sugar. It is usually extracted from corn and is used in sugarless candies, sweets, chewing gum, chocolate, baked goods and ice cream. Like other sugar alcohols, if eaten in excess in can have a laxative effect. In fact, in other countries such as Australia and Norway, there is a warning label on products that contain maltitol, stating that “excessive consumption may have a laxative effect.”

But, most people don’t consume very much in a day and it is rare to experience any side effects.

Tagatose

It is a naturally occurring sugar found in dairy products and is similar in texture to table sugar. It is extracted from the lactose sugar. Even though it is a natural sugar and has 40% less calories than sugar, products that carry tagatose cannot be labeled “sugar-free.” But, it can state that it doesn’t cause dental cavities. Tagatose is now extensively used by the health food industry as a sweetener in protein bars, and sold as a low-calorie sweetener.

Agave Nectar

A recent trend in the health food community is to include agave nectar as a natural sweetener in all types of prepared foods and sell it as a liquid syrup. It is commercially produced primarily in Mexico from several species of agave, a cactus like plant. The juice is expressed from the plant and then heated at a low temperature to release the sugars. The main sugar is fructose. In fact, it contains 90% fructose and 10% glucose. Studies conducted on the syrup indicate that it is a low glycemic sweetener – 27 on the glycemic index and 1.6 on the glycemic load scale.
Some critics contend that since it is so high in fructose (even higher than high fructose corn syrup) that it can have some of the side effects attributed to high fructose corn syrup – obesity, metabolic syndrome. They also contend that isolated fructose in any form contains no enzymes, vitamins or minerals, which makes it similar to table sugar. It is important to be aware when purchasing sweeteners that you not only consider the taste but the nutritive value and health benefits as well.

Other Natural Sweeteners

There are a host of natural sweeteners that may be substituted in recipes and in food preparation that provide nutrients as well as sweetness. They are more calorically dense than the sugar alcohols and herbal sweeteners, so they will have an effect on raising blood sugar and increasing insulin output:

Rice bran syrup
Barley malt
Honey
Maple syrup
Fresh fruits

It is best to use a natural sugar substitute, rather than a chemical and synthetic sweetener. Aspartame and Sucralose are the two most popular artificial sweeteners on the market are ubiquitous to our prepared food market. The problem inherent in consuming these sweeteners is that the chemicals are released into our bodies and can have deleterious effects as the body tries to process these chemicals. There have been many reported incidences of health issues associated with them.

The natural sweeteners listed in this article offer a safe alternative to the toxins in sugar. To find out how to detox sugar, and take back your health, contact Universal Wellness Associates today.