In our contemporary world, there is a very high demand for sugary products. Many sugar additives are commercially available. it looks like everyone has a sweet tooth. Is it really safe to consume so much sugar? A lot of hazards exist from excess sugar intake, from excess weight gain to diabetes, to chronic heart failures.
Are you thinking of shedding some weight and living healthy?
In our previous article, We considered CARBs as the major culprit to healthy eating and how they could have negative effects on our health and weight. The normal table sugar is a subclass of carbohydrate known as disaccharide (two simple sugars) and it is derived from sucrose (a combination of glucose and fructose). These are also called empty calories because they have little or no nutritional benefits. Carbohydrate, when consumed, stimulates the part of the brain associated with food hunger, cravings and rewards which causes people to overeat. Our bodies need insulin to process carbohydrate and regulate body sugars. Without insulin, sugar remains in the blood and can’t be used by our cells for energy. Insulin also regulates fat metabolism. Insulin levels are regulated by carbohydrate consumption, the more the carbohydrates the more insulin is released. Insulin has a fat-sparing effect. Not only does it drive most cells to preferentially oxidize carbohydrates instead of fatty acids for energy, insulin indirectly stimulates accumulation of fat in adipose tissue. Thus the more insulin we produce, the more fat is stored. It is established that excess weight gain occurs because of excess carbohydrate intake. In this case, excess sugar intake will make you gain more weight. Also when sugar (Carbohydrates) is in excess in the blood it leads to an increase in insulin level which leads to insulin resistance (a major precursor of diabetes). According to research insulin resistance is closely associated with heart disease conditions as well.
To Know More, Read: Carbs Not Fat are the real Problem
Are there other substitutes for the normal table sugar?
Yes, there are, for those people who have a sweet tooth and can’t do without tasting something sweet in their food, you can try some of these sweeteners.
These are food substitute that provides a sweet taste like that of sugar while containing significantly less food energy (calories). They are mostly produced by nature. Let’s look at some sugar substitute with low calories:
Xylitol: It is a natural substance found in fruits and vegetables, and also naturally occur in our bodies. With an equal sweetness, taste and volume of sugar, it can be used in many of the same ways. It also has fewer calories than sugar according to the Life Extension Foundation, while one teaspoon of sugar contains 16calories Xylitol has just 9.6calories.
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Stevia: It is actually a leaf that contains Stevioside which makes it more than 200 times as sweet as sugar, thus you might want to reduce your normal quantity when using this. It is available in liquid drops, packs, dissolvable tablets and baking blends. It has zero calories and zero carbohydrates and doesn’t spike up the blood glucose level in the body like other artificial sweeteners, making it an ideal natural sweetener. It is recommended for diabetics and for people looking to lose weight.
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Honey: It contains essential nutrients packed full of enzymes and minerals that help to neutralize free radicals in the body. But unlike the other natural sweeteners mentioned above, it has a higher calorie of 64 which is more than that of sugar. It is also important to note that these benefits mentioned above are only found in raw honey, once the honey has been pasteurized (a form of preservation using heat) it losses many of the health benefits. If you are looking to shed some weight, honey might not be your best choice of sweetener.
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There you have it friends, Sugars and Sweeteners. Healthy sweeteners that not only satisfy your sweet tooth but also nourishes your body and keeps you healthy.
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