Easy To Do - Reduce Refined Sugar Intake
Replace White Sugar and Get Healthier
White sugar and corn syrup are terrible for the human body. Neither product has nutritional value and causes all types of disease and trouble in the body when ingested regularly.
Limiting the use of white sugar is well-advised for getting healthy, dropping the weight and eating a more nutritionally sound diet. Staying away from artificial sugars is important as well.
Here's a Rule to Follow
Use this rule of thumb when consuming sugar: the more refined the sugar, the worse the sugar is for your body. Refined sugars provide no nutrition and break down quickly causing the body to be thrown into a panic trying to maintain blood sugar levels.
The less refined the sugar, the more vitamins, minerals and good stuff the sugar has that help lower the glycemic load when ingested. Less refined sugars do not metabolize as quickly in the body.
Unfortunately, brown sugar has been pushed as a good alternative to white sugar but in many cases it is just as bad for you. GO for the dark, dark brown sugar--think molasses--to get some nutritional benefit.
Here are four replacements for refined sugar. Use them while cooking, baking or when sweetening your drinks.
Photo courtesy of kiara982
Finding Hidden Sugar
Read labels for any processed foods you purchase on a regular basis to discover foods with sugar.
The biggest culprits are peanut butter, salad dressing and sauces like bar-b-que or dipping sauce. Resolve this issue by purchasing natural peanut butters without added sugar. Make your own salad dressing to avoid added sugar.
But there may be others. Check frozen or prepared food ingredients for references to sucrose, fructose, sugar or corn syrup.
REPLACE the REFINED SUGAR with alternatives or REMOVE the SUGAR completely from your diet.
Refined Sugar Replacement #1
Stevia is an herb with a powerfully sweet taste. It can be purchased as drops or powder.
The herb contains nutrition in the form of iron, protein, carbohydrates, fiber, phosphorus, calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin A and vitamin C. How much of that nutrition transfers when it is produced into what is sold to us is questionable. However, it is far more than what refined sugar provides.
Stevia has been identified as diabetic safe and calorie free. It can be used in baking, which is something artificial sweeteners fail at. It does not affect blood sugar levels in an adverse manner.
The herb has a licorice taste. Stevia is 50 to 400 times sweeter than refined sugar and does not require much to sweeten foods when baking or cooking.
Carry a small bottle of stevia with you to use when eating out. You rarely see stevia offered in restaurants or fast food diners. A few drops from your bottle of stevia and you will save your body from the damage the artificial sweeteners cause.
Refined Sugar Replacement #2
Real Fruit Juice
No, not the kind that is mass produced and sold in bottles or containers. Stay away from drinking prepared juices on a regular basis, they can be just as bad for your body as refined sugar.
I am talking about real fruit juice you squeeze your self. While not as sweet as stevia, orange, pear, mango and apple juice can add a sweetness to a glass of flat or carbonated water. It can also be sipped as pure juice.
Of course, eating the fruit whole is much better for you but on days when you need a bit of a lift, fruit juice on ice is ideal.
Refined Sugar Replacement #3
Carrot juice is an ideal sugar substitute when cooking. I use it in tomato sauces instead of the tablespoon of sugar that recipes often recommend.
Which reminds me, always check the label when you buy spaghetti, pizza and marinara sauces. Many of them contain added sugar.
You may need to experiment with the amount of carrot juice you prefer. I usually juice one carrot and use the liquid for a sauce but you may like the taste of two or three carrots juiced.
Carrot graphic courtesy of urbanbaby.
Refined Sugar Replacement #4
Be careful using maple syrup - depending upon what you purchase it could be just as bad as a refined sugar.
Go for the less refined maple syrups like Grade B or C when baking or cooking. Grade C maple syrup is equivalent to molasses and both are great sweeteners to use when baking.
WARNING: Grade A is a refined sugar similar to white sugar.
Maple syrup should not be eaten in large amounts. If you make a habit if ingesting large amounts, it can cause weight gain and an increase in blood sugar levels. However, the less refined the maple sugar is the more nutrition it contains--vitamins and minerals--to slow down its absorption into the body.
Find Grade B Maple Syrup
Use Grade B Maple Syrup to bake and cook with. It's sweet and not as refined as Grade A, which means it retains vitamins and minerals that Grade A doesn't have.
Refined Sugar Replacement #5 - Agave Syrup
Also called agave nectar, this natural sweetner's glycemic impact has been compared to fructose.
It has a light, sweet flavor -- nice, light taste for pancakes and waffles.