The Findings Clearly Demonstrate That Intense Sweetness Can Surpass Cocaine Reward Even In Drug
While sugar addiction is a real thing, theres nothing wrong with a little sweet indulgence every now and then! Like most things in life, it’s all about balance. What many don’t realize is how addicted to sugar they actually are.And it’s not an easy habit to kick.For sake of this analogy, you can break a cocaine addiction by changing who you hang out with, but breaking up with sugar is painfully more difficult.Think about it.You can’t go to a gas station, grocery store, or even office supply store without seeing the checkout isles lined with sugar-filled candy bars, sodas, and packaged foods.And, the worst part?The vast majority of “natural” and healthy foods that line our supermarket aisles are no different.And, that shouldn’t come as a surprise.After all, just a handful of companies control the majority of our food supply.
If you really think Nestle, Coca-Cola, Proctor & Gamble, Unilever, Kraft, and Kellog have your best interest in mind and want the best for your health…think again.Your dopamine sensors are constantly triggered and fuel your desire for junk food. While no amount of willpower can withstand the endless temptation that we all face daily, a little education and changing the way you fuel your body can make a massive difference!It starts by understanding that not all sugars are created equally.Read to the end of the article to learn how to choose the best natural sugar alternatives for your health and lifestyle goals.
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Another example of clever marketing, high fructose corn syrup disguises itself as a “natural” sugar but it couldn’t be further from the truth. With corn being one of the highest production crops in the U.S. it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they’ve found a way to include it in almost everything we eat. Everything these days, from sauces and salad dressing to desserts and pastries, seem to contain this harmful sweetener. So what makes it so harmful? With corn being one of the most common genetically modified crops, the majority of HFCS is produced using GMO corn, but that’s not the only issue. The problem is that just as the name suggests, this sugar alternative is extremely high in fructose. The problem with fructose in highly concentrated forms is that it gets rapidly metabolized by the liver, which has downstream effects that contribute to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease , insulin resistance, and obesity.This is very different than the type of fructose you get when eating a piece of fresh fruit.It’s not as highly concentrated and the fiber helps to slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.
Drawbacks Of Using Substitutes
Some studies show that eating foods with zero-calorie sweeteners may have the opposite effect intended and may promote weight gain. For instance, some research shows that an increased intake of very sweet substitutes may boost ones desire for sweetened foods. Theres also no telling what the long-term impact of consuming sugar substitutes may have on the body and overall health.
Certain substitutes may have immediate concerning effects on the body. Some people, for instance, may have allergic reactions to specific substitutes. Other individuals complain that alternatives like aspartame cause headaches and may act as a trigger for migraines. Several sugar substitutes also cause gastrointestinal distress.
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Acesulfame Potassium A Popular Sugar Substitute In Diet Soda
Also known as Ace-K, this nonnutritive sweetener is FDA-approved and about 200 times sweeter than sugar. Often manufacturers combine it with other sweeteners, though it is also sold for tabletop use under the brand name Sweet One. You will also find it in some of your favorite diet soft drinks, such as Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and Diet Mountain Dew. The FDA recommends an ADI of 15 mg or less of Ace-K per kilogram of body weight per day.
A 132-pound individual would need to consume 23 tabletop packets of the artificial sweetener per day to reach that limit.
Dates Date Sugar Or Date Syrup
Dates and their derivatives have a naturally sweet taste. Although dates contain sugar and carbohydrates, they boast an impressive nutrient profile. Dates are especially high in fiber, so your blood sugar wont spike as quickly as it would with refined sugar.
Due to the fiber content, the net carbohydrates in dates may be suitable for keto dieters depending on unique carbohydrate goals. Those with diabetes should stick to smaller servings, due to the higher carbohydrate and sugar content. I use dates to sweeten a lot of my healthy dessert recipes.
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How To Get More In Diet
Getting more natural sweeteners in your daily diet isnt hard if you completely stop using refined table sugar and use healthier sugar substitutes instead. Plus, you also can look for food products that are sweet thanks to ingredients like stevia rather than refined sugar.
To find your best sugar substitutes, youll likely have to test out a few. You might end up liking one for your morning coffee but a different one for your baking needs.
Even when using natural sweeteners, like raw honey, you still want to be mindful of your overall sugar consumption.
How much natural sugar should you have a day? According to The American Heart Association , you should limit the amount of added sugars you consume to no more than half of your daily discretionary calorie allowance.
For most American women, this is no more than 100 calories per day and no more than 150 calories per day for men . The AHA defines added sugars as any sugars or caloric sweeteners added to foods or beverages during processing or preparation.
So added sugars include refined sugar as well as natural sweeteners like honey.
If you are being treated for any ongoing health concern, especially diabetes, check with your doctor before incorporating any new sweeteners and sugar substitutes into your diet.
Why You Should Lower Your Added Sugar Intake
Its good to bear in mind that eating too much added sugar may harm both your physical and mental health.
For example, diets high in sugar are associated with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and fatty liver (
All the same, you dont have to avoid added sugar at all costs.
Instead, make an effort to follow a healthier diet, only eating foods high in added sugar sparingly. A balanced diet that consists mostly of whole, nutrient-dense foods especially vegetables and fruits provides the nutrients that your body needs for optimal health.
Given that a high sugar diet may harm your physical and mental health, its best to minimize your added sugar intake. However, dont be afraid to occasionally enjoy treats that contain added sugar as part of a well-rounded diet.
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Stevia Vs Splenda: Whats The Difference
Stevia and Splenda are popular sweeteners that many people use as sugar alternatives.
They offer a sweet taste without providing added calories or affecting your blood sugar levels.
Both are sold as stand-alone products and ingredients in many calorie-free, light, and diet products.
This article examines the difference between stevia and Splenda, including how theyre used and whether one is healthier.
To make Splenda, digestible sweeteners like maltodextrin are added to sucralose. Splenda comes in powdered, granulated, and liquid form and is often offered in packets alongside other artificial sweeteners and regular sugar at restaurants.
Many prefer it over other artificial sweeteners, as it doesnt have a bitter aftertaste .
One alternative to Splenda is stevia, which is a naturally derived, calorie-free sweetener. It comes from the leaves of the stevia plant, which are harvested, dried, and steeped in hot water. The leaves are then processed and sold in powder, liquid, or dried forms.
Stevia is also sold in stevia blends. These are highly processed and made with a refined stevia extract called rebaudioside A. Other sweeteners like maltodextrin and erythritol are added, too. Popular stevia blends include Truvia and Stevia in the Raw.
Applesauce And Other Fruit Pures
Replacing sugar with applesauce or purées of other fruits like bananas is an excellent way to reduce your refined sugar intake. Consider this swap in recipes for cakes, cookies, muffins, and breads.
All fruits offer health benefits due to their nutrients. For example, mashed bananas are high in folate, manganese, magnesium, and vitamins B6 and C .
Unlike refined sugar, fruit is generally linked to a variety of health benefits, including a reduced risk of chronic disease and a lower risk of death from all causes .
If you buy applesauce or other fruit purées from the store, be sure to select unsweetened products with no added sugar.
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Artificial Sweeteners And Cancer
Since the 1970s, debate about whether there is a link between artificial sweeteners and cancer risk has raged.
It was ignited when animal studies found an increased risk of bladder cancer in mice fed extremely high amounts of saccharin and cyclamate .
However, mice metabolize saccharin differently than humans.
Since then, more than 30 human studies have found no link between artificial sweeteners and the risk of developing cancer .
One such study followed 9,000 participants for 13 years and analyzed their artificial sweetener intake. After accounting for other factors, the researchers found no link between artificial sweeteners and the risk of developing various types of cancer .
Furthermore, a recent review of studies published over an 11-year period did not find a link between cancer risk and artificial sweetener consumption .
This topic was also evaluated by U.S. and European regulatory authorities. Both agreed that artificial sweeteners, when consumed in recommended amounts, do not increase cancer risk .
One exception is cyclamate, which was banned for use in the United States after the original mouse-bladder-cancer study was published in 1970.
Since then, extensive studies in animals have failed to show a cancer link. However, cyclamate was never re-approved for use in the United States .
Based on the current evidence, artificial sweeteners are unlikely to increase the risk of cancer in humans.
Sugar Alternatives To Try
Is sugar your dietary weakness? Many people crave it. But even if you dont necessarily have a sweet tooth, it can be tough to avoid sugar altogether. Nearly everything contains added sugar from soda and other sweetened drinks to almost all processed foods.
Fortunately, a wide range of sugar substitutes and sweeteners both natural and artificial are available to help reduce the amount of table sugar in your diet. Limiting sugar intake is especially important for older adults.
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Healthy Sugar Substitute In Baking
Our altered lifestyle demands to alter the way we have been eating food. It demands us to reduce the number of calories and sugar we are eating in our food. This calls for finding the substitute for sugar. Today we shall talk about 20 healthy sugar substitute in baking.
In baking, sugar does a lot more than just adding sweetness to baked goodies. Sugar is the food for yeast and I have written more on this in taming the yeast. Sugar is also used in caramelization which is a type of non-enzymatic browning reaction.
Tips To Substituting Sugar In Your Baking
Looking for alternate ways to add sweetness to your desserts? These substitutions are virtually as good as the real thing.
It can be tricky to mess with a baking recipetoo much flour or not enough baking soda, and your favorite chocolate chip cookies become crumbly or fall flat. So its a little daunting to even consider swapping out that most basic baking building blocksugarfor something else sweet. But actually, its OK to give your sugar canister a rest from time to time. Substituting in another sweetener is easier than you might think, and you can do it without compromising texture or flavor in the cookies, cakes and desserts you love to make.
Whether youve run out of sugar or youre looking to mix things up, these smart baking substitutions will help ensure your baking stays delicious.
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Maple Syrup Or Coconut Sugar
Maple syrup is a pure sugar from the sap of maple trees, while coconut sugar is dehydrated coconut sap. Both maple syrup and coconut sugar are whole food sweeteners with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Coconut sugar can be used as a 1:1 replacement with processed sugar but it contains more fiber and nutrients. Maple syrup is high in vitamins and antioxidants. Both contain a significant amount of calories, carbohydrates, and sugar, so keto dieters and diabetics may want to be careful with these options.
Benefits Of Reducing Your Sugar Intake
When looking to eat clean, it comes with a reduction of sugar. This is a good thing, folks, and I can tell you that you will never regret cutting back on sugar! There are so many benefits, and if you are looking to lose weight, getting rid of sugar is a step in the right direction. What are the other benefits? Take a look at this list!
- Reduced chance of heart disease
- Better dental check-ups because sugar is terrible for the teeth
- Fewer problems with inflammation
- Reduced chance of fatty liver disease
- Reduction in high blood pressure
- Less chance of obesity
- You will eat more whole foods
- Reduced risk of cancer
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The 5 Best Sugar Substitutes
Wouldnt it be sweet if you could eat sugar without worrying about health consequences? Well, you can. You just have to choose the right sugar.
Heres the deal: processed sugars can be toxic to the body. Beyond providing nothing but empty calories, refined sugar is highly addictive, causes blood sugar levels to spike, interferes with nutrient absorption, and even has been linked to contributing to heart disease, weight gain and other degenerative disease. But theres no need to live a sugar celibate life.
Swapping out the white stuff for another minimally processed, more natural sugars could be better for your bodyand your recipes. There are alternatives to the processed regular sugar that provide some surprising benefits. While still sugar, these alternatives sweetners are much easier for the process and boast a range of other nutrients and health benefits.
Tips For Reducing Sugar In Your Diet
Follow these steps to help reduce sugar in your diet on a daily basis:
- Choose to drink water, calorie-free beverages, or low-fat milk instead of sugary sodas and drinks.
- Choose whole fruits instead of processed desserts and fruit juices. When you do drink fruit juice, make sure its 100% juice with no added sugar.
- Add fruit to cereal instead of buying sweetened cereal or adding table sugar.
- Use sugar-free preserves or fresh fruit to sweeten plain yogurt instead of eating sweetened yogurt with fruit in it.
- Choose lower-calorie, sugar-free hot chocolate drinks instead of candy.
- Snack on vegetables, fruit, low-fat cheese, or whole-wheat crackers.
- Choose unsweetened products, such as unsweetened applesauce, nut milks, or nut butters.
- Add flavors like vanilla, spices, or citrus to flavor foods and drinks.
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How Can I Tell If A Food Or Drink Contains A Sugar Substitute
Sugar substitutes are used in many processed foods and drinks, including baked goods, soft drinks, powdered drink mixes, candy, puddings, canned foods, jellies, and dairy products. Check the ingredient list on the nutrition facts label for the names of the sugar substitutes. This list gives ingredients in descending order by weight. Unless you add a sugar substitute yourself, it is often hard to know exactly how much of it a food or drink contains.
The Best Sweeteners Fruits
Its likely that you already have at least one or two of these healthy sweeteners in your kitchen. Fresh or frozen fruits without added sugar are the ideal choice as a sweetener, because they dont contain any empty calories.
Its true that fruits contain the same fructose that table sugar contributes to the diet, but in substantially lower amounts than, for example, diet soda. And the water and fiber in most fruits, plus the fact that it usually takes a while to chew and digest them, means that their fructose is metabolized much more slowly by the body, lowering any negative health impact.
Then, theres the fact that most fruits provide antioxidant benefits and contain a wealth of vitamins and minerals and the fact that the generous amounts of fiber they contain can help to lower cholesterol levels, promote cardiovascular and gastrointestinal health, aid in weight management, and help in all of the other ways they kept preaching in health class. Needless to say, they were right. Fruit is good for you.
Cooking or baking with fresh or frozen fruit is a great way to go, but of course, you cant easily add most fruits to your morning coffee or tea. If you could, the taste would beodd, to put it mildly.
So fruit may be the best sweetener for your health, but its often not the most practical.
Lets keep going.
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Erythritol A Sugar Alcohol With Fewer Side Effects Than Other Options
Erythritol is also a sugar alcohol sweetener, but unlike the others just mentioned, it has less than 1 calorie per gram, notes the International Food Information Council Foundation, and doesnt have a big effect on blood sugar levels, per the American Diabetes Association. Its an ingredient in the stevia-derived sweetener Truvia and is marketed under the brand-name Swerve. Swerve measures cup-for-cup like sugar, and you can use it like table sugar, or in cooking and baking recipes that call for sugar.
If other sugar alcohol sweeteners give you tummy trouble, this may be a better option for you. It is less likely to produce the gas, bloating, and diarrhea that happen from fermentation by gut bacteria because only about 10 percent of the erythritol you consume enters the colon, per past research. The rest leaves the body through your urine.
Theres no ADI for erythritol, but the FDA hasn’t questioned notices submitted by erythritol makers that the sweetener is generally recognized as safe.