It is important to remember that not all sugars behave the same in the body.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup is the most damaging sugar substance we can consume and the most popular sweetener on the market today.
- It is said that American kids and teens consume between 45 to 60 pounds of the syrup a year!
- It is extremely cheap to manufacture, therefore we find it everywhere!
- Genetically modified enzymes and chemicals are used to process genetically modified corn starch into a concentrated high-fructose compound.
- Our cells are not equipped to handle this chemical cocktail.
- In rats, it was shown to cause heart hypertrophy, cancer and liver toxicity.
- Scientists and food activists have long thought that high-fructose corn syrup metabolizes differently in the body than regular sugar, thus damaging the body. Studies have now proved this fact.
- Fructose must be metabolized in the liver and can not be used by every cell in the body like glucose can. High concentrations of fructose, therefore, can be damaging to the body.
- Fructose in the liver also keeps the body from burning fat normally and can actually damage human metabolism.
- It actually increases the amount of blood triglycerides.
- Over 10 weeks, volunteers were given high amounts of high-fructose corn syrup along with a controlled diet. After 10 weeks, the volunteers given the fructose produced new fat cells around their heart, liver and other digestive organs. They also showed signs of food-processing abnormalities linked to diabetes and heart disease.
High-fructose corn syrup is found in products such as soda, energy drinks, Gatorade, yogurt, cereal, fruit snacks, cookies, pastries, candy, ketchup, barbecue sauce, chocolate milk. No wonder American children are suffering from obesity!
Try these sweeteners in moderation: Raw honey, raw coconut nectar, yacon syrup, real maple syrup.
- It also matters how and when you consume sweeteners. If you consume a sweetener with protein, fat and fiber, it actually slows digestion and absorption of the sugar, thus decreasing the effects of the sugar.
Breakfast for my children: One of my kid’s favorite breakfasts is organic buckwheat, coconut pancakes. Buckwheat pancakes are loaded with protein and fiber. Furthermore, I spread raw almond butter on the top of each pancake, therefore increasing the protein and fat content. I then pour a small amount of real maple syrup over the pancakes. This is a great, filling breakfast and gives my children long-lasting energy, without risking a sugar-low.
Stevia Root: I want to touch on stevia root. We use quite a bit of stevia in our house.
- Stevia is of the Composite family, related to lettuce, marigold and chicory. It was “officially” discovered in the late 19th century, but has been used since pre-Colombian times with no reports of ill side affects.
- It is sugarless with no calories (will not alter blood sugar levels like sugar does
- It is 250-300 times sweeter than sugar.
- It is heat stable up to 200 degrees celsius (392 degrees farenheit).
- It is non-fermentable.
- You can grow stevia organically in your own garden!
My children love it in oatmeal and on their sweet potatoes. I also put it in their smoothies when I’m trying to hide flax oil, hemp protein and greens. They never know with the sweet taste of stevia!
So what about chemical sweeteners?
- Found in diet products, sugar-free products, gum and other processed foods.
- In the United States, five sweet sugar substitutes have been approved for use.
- These are saccharin, aspartame, sucralose, neotame and acesulfame potassium.
- These sweeteners are chemicals and should be avoided at all times.
Aspartame is found in many diet products, such as diet sodas, energy drinks, desserts, gum, yogurt and pudding. They are even found in pharmaceuticals and some commercial vitamins. A few of the 90 different documented symptoms listed that can be caused by aspartame include:
- Dizziness, seizures
- Nausea, numbness, muscle spasms
- Weight gain, rashes, depression
- Fatigue irritability, tachycardia, insomnia
- Vision problems, hearing loss
- Heart palpitations, breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks
- Slurred speech, loss of taste, tinnitus, vertigo, memory loss and joint pain.
No wonder it’s called the SILENT KILLER.
2. Sucralose (splenda):
Sucralose has been touted as the “healthier” sweetener, but please read on. Sucralose is produced by chlorinating sugar, or sucrose. Possible side-effects include:
- Shrunken thymus glands (up to 40% shrinkage)
- Enlarged liver and kidneys
- Atrophy of lymph follicles in the spleen and thymus
- Decreased red blood cell count
- Studies have also showed lessening of control of diabetes
- Some even report trouble breathing after consuming splenda.
When we consume food, we do so with the intention of feeding our cells. Our cells don’t know what to do with the convenience chemicals that the food industry puts in many of our foods. Please choose natural foods with a short ingredient list. The apple fresh from the tree, the sweet potato from the ground or the fresh almond from the tree. Good health begins when we take advantage of the treasures nature can give us.
Check out our other sugar post, where we talk about how sugar is absorbed in your body