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Sugar, it's not so sweet

The love, hate relationship with sugar!! We all love the taste of sugar right. When we have it there is a temporary satisfaction right!?!? Then we feel the low, the lethargic, overwhelming feeling of "why did I eat that". Did you know that when we consume sugar we want more of it? Sugar is an actual addiction. I know crazy right. Our bodies need certain nutrients every day, we all need carbs, we all need fats, proteins, even salt, but sugar is not needed at all for us to survive. Sugar has so many negative impacts on our health. A study I came across years ago that I wish I could reference, showed that someone’s brain on sugar affected the same area of the brain as someone high on cocaine. Craziness!! So, what about sugars that are naturally found in fruit or other foods? Ok, yes fruit in smaller amounts is good for us but if someone were eating a ‘fruit diet” they are lacking adequate nutrients for sure.

Other negative effects of sugar are impairing our cognitive skills our self-control, our memory is affected. Sugar also affects our mood, feelings of anxiety, sadness are increased. Along with increased risk for obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Even our immune systems are compromised with too much sugar, we can’t fight off infections as easily. Sugar ages us, yep, you eat too much you're going to look old ha…. So, what’s the daily recommended amount of sugar?

My recommendation, whether someone wants to lean out, lose unwanted body fat or feel amazing is 25-35 grams a day. Women staying closer to 25 grams. Foods like sweet potatoes and carrots, even though good for you, their sugar grams do add up. So keep an eye on what you consume daily and just see how much sugar you're eating!!

Ok so what about all this other hype about alternative sugars, like stevia, xylitol, saccharin, aspartame.

There is a ton of them but the top 5 worst artificial sweeteners are:

Aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet, NatraTaste Blue) Aspartame may impair memory performance and increase oxidative stress in the brain. Also, if you are pregnant or nursing, avoid this dangerous artificial sweetener at all costs. A recent study points to alarming news for women who consume artificial sweeteners during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. It appears that aspartame, in particular, can predispose babies to metabolic syndrome disorders, and obesity, later in life.

Sucralose (Splenda) Sucralose, even though derived from sugar. It was originally introduced as a natural sugar substitute. However, it’s a chlorinated sucrose derivative. Yes, chlorine, one of the most toxic chemicals on the planet! Sucralose was originally found through the development of a new insecticide compound and wasn’t originally intended to be consumed. Acesulfame K (ACE, ACE K, Sunette, Sweet One, Sweet ‘N Safe) Composed of a potassium salt that contains methylene chloride, Acesulfame K is routinely found in sugar-free chewing gum, alcoholic beverages, candies, and even sweetened yogurts. It’s often used in combination with aspartame and other noncaloric sweeteners. ACE K has undergone the least amount of scientific scrutiny even though long-term exposure to methylene chloride, the main chemical component, has been shown to cause nausea, mood problems, possibly some types of cancer, impaired liver and kidney function, problems with eyesight, and perhaps even autism. 

Saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low) In the 1970s, saccharin and other sulfa-based sweeteners were believed to possibly cause bladder cancer, and it was required to carry the following warning label: “Use of this product may be hazardous to your health. This product contains saccharin, which has been determined to cause cancer in laboratory animals.” 

Xylitol (Erythritol, Maltitol, Mannitol, Sorbitol and other sugar alcohols that end in –itol)Sugar alcohols aren’t absorbed well by the body and cause an allergic reaction for those who have a sensitivity to it. Also, it has gastrointestinal side effects that include bloating, gas, cramping, and diarrhea. Its laxative effect is so pronounced that it's part of the chemical makeup for many over-the-counter laxatives.

What’s a good alternative? The truth, real sugar (less processed the better) in MODERATION. Here are a few alternatives to use in MODERATION keeping in mind 25-35 grams daily. Raw honey, Stevia, Dates, Coconut Sugar, Maple syrup, Blackstrap molasses, Real fruit jam, Monk fruit.


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