Alternatives to Refined Sugar

In order to get refined sugar, there is a process that removes the molasses from raw sugarcane. Raw sugar is brown, not white. Now, most of us probably have been consuming white sugar for years in the form of granulated sugar, sugar cubes, or powdered sugar. You may want to consider trying some healthier alternatives. Some reasons are:

  1. It increases blood sugar levels. Refer to my blog post entitled How to Avoid Diabetes. Blood sugar levels spike; dopamine increases and secreted insulin drops blood sugar levels. The cycle begins again when blood sugar levels drop, and the hunger and cravings start.
  2. It is addictive. Just as some people struggle with drug addiction, it’s the same with sugar. I have friends and acquaintances that put multiple packets of sugar in their cups of coffee and tea. We all know folks that drink soda after soda on a daily basis. They need the sugar “high”. Refer to my blog post on Reasons to Stop Drinking Soda-Regular and Diet.
  3. It depresses your immune system. Consuming too much sugar inhibits the immune system cells to attack bacteria. For example, diabetics, whose bodies produce little or no insulin, are prone to frequent yeast infections because the yeast is attracted to sugar.

Here are some healthier, natural alternatives.

  • Stevia-you can find this at any health food store, Trader Joe’s, or you can order it on Amazon
  • Honey-make sure it’s all natural and not the blend
  • Maple syrup-you can purchase from any grocery or gourmet food store
  • Molasses-this results from refining sugarcane or sugar beets
  • Agave nectar-this is extracted from the blue agave plant 

For some healthy additions:

  1. Try adding honey and fruit to plain oatmeal. Instant, flavored oatmeal has lots of sugar.
  2. Now that the weather is getting cooler, you can add stevia, honey, or agave nectar to a cup of hot tea. They all work well.
  3. For coffee, depending on how you like it, just add flavored creamer and not sugar. There are many non-dairy, gluten-free creamers on the market. This is how I like my coffee.

Continue reading “Alternatives to Refined Sugar”

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Reasons To Stop Drinking Soda-Regular and Diet

As a kid, I loved soda…black cherry, orange, Dr. Pepper…Pepsi.  Even up until four years ago, I still loved soda. Then, I did my research.  I worked in laboratories for 9 years-it’s automatic. The next time you pick up a soda, think about these things.

1.    Soda is high in sugar.  We always watch how much sugar we let our kids have.  We should do the same as adults for ourselves.

2.    High fructose corn syrup.  We find this in many other foods.  It can make certain foods highly addictive and lead to obesity, diabetes, and other health problems. Has anyone ever told you that it’s hard for him or her to stop drinking soda? Do you find it difficult to stop drinking soda?

regular soda
regular soda

 

diet soda
diet soda

 3.    Diet soda contains aspartame.  Some people may think that drinking diet soda will be better than drinking the regular stuff.  No. Not at all.  (By the way, eating a bunch of fast food and washing it down with diet soda isn’t doing you any good).  Diet soda actually increases craving for carbohydrates and sweets.  Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that can produce methanol as a bi-product. Methanol is found in anti-freeze.

 4.    People use cola as a cleaning product.    Cola cleans stains in a toilet bowl and brings the shine back to a penny.  In addition, both regular and diet soda contain phosphoric acid, a strong acid that is commonly used to remove rust.  Now, if cola cleans all of these things, what happens in your body?

 5.    New study shows that caramel color may pose a health risk.  Brown soft drinks typically contain caramel color.  According to Consumer Reports, this artificial coloring contains 4-Mel (4-methylimidazole), a carcinogen (cancer-causing agent). Certain brands of soft drinks contain varying levels of it according to Consumer Reports’ experts.

 6.    Less cans and bottles.  Most of us saw the commercial with Scarlett Johansson promoting “sodastream”.  This system allows you to make your own soda with less sugar, no high fructose corn syrup, and of course, your own glass.  In this case, your recycle bin won’t be overflowing with soda cans and bottles.

Well, I hope that I at least gave you something to think about. I know that it’s not easy to give up something that you really love.  Always be sure to check the product label for its ingredients. When I was in high school, a friend at that time would always ask me why I always read the ingredients? The answer is simple:  I want to know what’s in my food and drink.  Wouldn’t you?

Works Cited

“Caramel color:  The health risk that may be in your soda”. http://www.ConsumerReports.org.

Dougherty, Rae Ann.  “Mythbuster & Science of Cleaning: Cleaning with Coca-Cola-Effective Green Cleaning Products?” http://www.greencleaningproductsllc.com.