Break up with Sugar…
by Dr. Anthony Cutting
We have discussed why sugar is bad for you (past blogs: “5 reasons why sugar is bad for you”) . We know it is hidden in many processed foods, which makes it highly addictive. Sugar consumption leads to weight gain, chronic inflammation, heart disease and cancer, mineral depletion and mood disorders such as depression.
So if we know that sugar causes this much stress on our bodies and emotions, why do we love it so much? Why does it have so much power over us?
Once sugar (aka glucose) is ingested – whether it’s in the form of a donut or a high-carb dinner – insulin is released. Your body also releases endorphins such as dopamine (the same response activated by addictive drugs) and serotonin to accompany this sugar rush, which is why, at first, you’ll feel happier, and perhaps even calmer.
However, these receptor sites slow production to regulate the same endorphins that had you feeling so good, causing a crash in mood and even depression — and so the cycle begins and we reach for more sugar.
We understand it isn’t easy to let go of something so desireable. Sugar is in almost everything in our culture. So we have come up with some tips to make your transition away from sugar easier…a replacement. Let’s talk about some safe alternatives to sugar, if needed:
Stevia is a natural sweetener and sugar substitute extracted from the leaves of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana. The body does not metabolize the glycosides in stevia and therefore it contains 0 calories like some artificial sweeteners. The after taste is a slightly bitter, but with the right amounts, you can achieve your desired sweetness.
If Stevia is not your preference, or you are hoping to achieve the perfect sugar replacement, Monk Fruit, or a combination of the two, is a great alternative to sugar. Monk fruit, also known as lo han guo, is a small round fruit native to southern China.
We’ve put together some tips and recipes for
Desserts that will treat you better:
Just keep in mind, when using these sugar replacements, taste as you go. These natural sweeteners are 100 times sweeter than processed sugar. Try a small amount, and then keep adjusting until you achieve the perfect balance!