Sugar..... The Bad and The Ugly
Sugar ....How can something that tastes so good be so bad for us? S
ugar promotes inflammation! What do all chronic diseases (cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc) have in common? Inflammation! This is why we must either eliminate bad sugars (advanced plan) or minimize them (core plan). Do you know which type of cell thrives off of sugar? Cancerous cells! So please think about that next time you want to eat that cupcake.
Refined sugars: glucose, fructose, dextrose, maltose, corn syrup, brown sugar - these are examples of bad sugars! Now that you are reading labels before you buy foods, you will realize how many of these varieties of sugars are used in food products . These promote inflammation which increases risk for chronic disease. You need to eliminate these from your diet.
Artificial sweeteners - say no. You can search the disadvantages of any of these types of artificial sweeteners and you will find that it is a neurotoxin. It actually has the potential to cross the blood brain barrier and therefore affect your brain functioning. This is bad. Immediately stop using these.
Honey/Agave syrup/cane juice - yes, this is a “natural” sugar but it is still pure sugar at the molecular level. This still causes a surge in your blood sugar level which causes a spike of insulin which gives you a “sugar high” until your body is able to regulate it and it is stored in cells. Because so many Canadians have high carb diets, this surge in sugar and insulin happens throughout most of the day and people tend to develop insulin resistance which can lead to illness such as diabetes. Having a truly organic source of this type of sugar is better than refined sugars, however, it should still be limited. Make sure you read the ingredients - it is hard to find the pure forms of these alternatives.
Maple syrup - this is actually sweeter than other forms of sugar therefore you can use less of this compared to the other sugars. The same applies for the spike in sugar levels in the body followed by the insulin. Again, always look for a natural source. You will notice the pure forms of maple syrup actually taste like they have less sugar than other store bought ones.
Stevia: winner! Stevia is amazing because it does not raise blood sugar and it is natural, as long as you check your source. Since stevia comes from a plant, the most natural way of using it is actually taking fresh leaves of it and steeping it in water in order to obtain a syrup. Most people just tend to buy the powder or liquid form of stevia. Make sure you read the labels because sometimes there are bad additives that you want to avoid.
Xylitol: 2nd place. Xylitol does not significantly increase blood sugar.. Most people prefer the taste of xylitol over stevia as xylitol tastes sweeter. Because xylitol is a sugar alcohol, it requires more processing than stevia. It can also irritate the digestive system (bloating, cramping, diarrhea).
The bottom line is that you want to try to use stevia as your sugar replacement. If you have tried using stevia and you do not like it, resort to the xylitol.