Over the last several decades, sugar has become a villain in the modern American diet. A general fear of sugar has led to a sugarphobia, which can lead to a dependency on chemical sweetener substitutes.
This then creates a craving for “replacement foods.”
Sugar is blamed for causing many health problems including heart disease, diabetes, anxiety, fatigue, depression, hyperactivity, and even criminal behavior.
* Is this accurate information?
* Are we blaming the “right” form of sugar for our health problems?
* Has dis-information over time created a fear of sugar?
What To Do
Don’t panic – I’m not advocating eating refined processed, “white” sugar. The key is consuming normal or moderate quantities of UNPROCESSED sugar, and avoiding an even more dangerous issue – turning to artificial sweeteners as a solution for avoiding refined sugars!
People want to avoid sugar and weight gain, but where do you turn? Don’t go to the diet sweeteners because they are an even more harmful solution. Artificial sweeteners are not the solution to avoiding refined sugars.
What does the FDA say? According to a FDA Report from the Sugars Task Force, added sugar at current levels is not detrimental to health. They state, “when normal or moderate quantities (of sugar) are consumed, sugar cannot be linked to any disease, nor does it create a dependency.”
My point: “normal or moderate quantities of natural sugar is better than diet chemical sweeteners.”
Use Natural Sugar As Opposed To Artificial Sugars
According to Consumer’s Research Magazine: “refined sugars and chemical sugar substitutes benefit the corporations manufacturing and marketing them, but they do do not benefit the consumers.”
Are such foods truly beneficial and desirable? Diabetics, weight watchers, and the general public might make better food choices by selecting basic, rather than highly processed foods; for example, apples rather than turnovers; or plain dairy foods rather than sweetened.
By 1990, Americans were consuming an average of twenty pounds of artificial sweeteners. Yet interestingly, as the consumption of sugar-substitutes continued to rise, so too had the consumption of refined sugar.
“Sugar, averaging fifteen calories per teaspoon,” states Andy Briscoe of the National Sugar Association, “is blamed for America’s obesity epidemic, a perception perpetuated by the artificial sweetener market.”
What do the artificial sweetener manufacturers say?
“A moderate coffee drinker who chooses sugar, consumes an additional 20,000 calories a year, and a heavy coffee drinker adds 80,000,” says Lael Edelstein, Manager of Nutrition Communication for Chicago’s Merisant Corp., manufacturers of Equal®.
So the debate continues. Sugar or diet sweeteners?
Sugar-free And Obesity
Research shows that sugar-free foods play a role in the nation’s obesity epidemic. Corporate scientists, however, dismiss this conclusion. But for every advocate touting the health advantages of the artificial sweeteners, there are at least as many cautioning against their use.
What Are Safe Natural Sweeteners To Choose?
* Raw, unprocessed sugar (Sucanat®)
* Brown Rice Syrup
* Barley Malt
* Date Sugar
* Maple Syrup
* Agave Nectar
*Safe for diabetics. Stevia is similar to saccharin – use it sparingly or it is bitter – otherwise, it’s “naturally” delicious and a much healthier choice!
Secondary Natural Sweetener Choices (Use With Discretion)
* Fruit Juice Concentrate
* Juice Concentrate
* Sugar alcohols (Polyols)
* Turbinado® Sugar