Sugar and Sugar Substitutes

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The average American eats about 135 pounds of sugar each year.

Dangers Of SugarThis is in the form of refined or natural sugar and corn syrup. The national average is that each person now drinks about 40 gallons of soft drinks per year. The year 1984 was the first year that Americans drank more soft drinks than water and the statistic is gaining annually. Soft drinks contain a lot of sugar approximately 8 teaspoons per 12 oz. Bottle. According to Dr. Mary Swope in her book Green Leaves of Barley. “Research has shown that 24 teaspoons of sugar eaten in one day reduces the number of bacteria that our white blood cells will destroy by 92 percent.” That is the amount contained in 3 cans of cola. This will deprive ones immune system of the ability to ward of disease. Children by proportion whose small body’s immune systems have been deprived by the intake of sugar in the form of soft drinks, candy, cereals and desserts are more susceptible to disease and infection from foreign pathogens.

Carbohydrates = Energy Foods

Carbohydrates are the cheapest, most readily available source of energy in the world, since they are the main constituents of the foods that are the easiest to produce and that can be obtained throughout the world, namely, grains, legumes and potatoes.

Carbohydrates vary in their structure, from simple sugars such as glucose to complex carbohydrates such as starch, which contains thousands of simple sugars all, joined together. Glucose is the only form of sugar that the body can use for energy. It is vital for the brain and nervous system.

  • Glucose is found in most fruits, some vegetables, honey and in a nearly pure form of corn syrup.
  • Sucrose (table sugar) is present in sugar cane, sugar beets, maple syrup, fruits and some vegetables.
  • Granulated table sugar is 99.5% carbohydrates and, if eaten in large amounts, it will cause fermentation in the intestines.
  • Sucrose consists of a combination of glucose and fructose. The same as honey.
  • Fructose (fruit sugar)
  • Lactose (milk sugar)
  • Maltose ( malt sugar)
  • Starch (whole grains, nuts, potatoes, and legumes)

 

Carbohydrates can be divided into three groups, simple sugars or monosaccharides such as glucose, fructose, and galactose; disaccharide’s, which are made from two simple sugars linked together such as sucrose, lactose, and maltose; and complex carbohydrates, which are made up of thousands of simple sugars connected together. Some examples of complex carbohydrates are starch, dextrin, glycogen, and fiber.

Carbohydrates in themselves are not unhealthy. We should increase the amounts of carbohydrates and decrease the amounts of fat. The carbohydrates that we eat should nutritionally enhance our diet rather than devitalizing it with refined sugars and devitalized grains.

Several health problems are prone to people eating devitalized carbohydrates. These are obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

Saccharin, Sucaryl (cyclamate), and NutraSweet (aspartame)

These artificial sweeteners are marketed by clever advertising agencies that surmise that if we use them we can enjoy the foods we want and still lose weight. By using artificial sweeteners the reduction of calories in the form of sugar will be reduced and perhaps a slight degree of weight loss will take place. To lose weight and stay healthy though one should reduce their intake of high fat foods, eat a balanced diet and exercise. Artificial sweeteners certainly have a market. It has been estimated the average American consumes about 5 pounds of additives per year. The history of additive use includes a number of products that were once deemed safe but later were banned or allowed to be used only if accompanied by warnings. Saccharin and Sucaryl are 2 of such products.

Is Aspartame a Safe Sugar Substitute?

NutraSweet, Equal, etc. (aspartame) is commonly used as a sugar substitute.
Aspartame consists of three components; the amino acid phenylalanine and aspartic acid, and methanol, which is known as methyl alcohol or wood alcohol.

Aspartame is 200 times sweeter than sugar. The amount used in a 12 ounce can of soda is less than 1 calorie. Aspartame cannot be used in bakery products, as it is not stable at high temperatures.

People with phenylketonia (PKU) should avoid aspartame. People with PKU lack the enzyme needed to convert the amino acid phenylalanine into tyrosine another amino acid. The result is a high accumulation of phenylalanine in the brain causing brain damage.

Methanol the third ingredient in aspartame is known to be poisonous even if consumed in small quantities. Disorders caused by toxic levels of methanol include blindness, brain swelling, and inflammation of the pancreas and heart muscle. Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that consumption is not of “sufficient quantity to be of toxicological concern,” the cumulative effects of high doses of aspartame are unknown.

Is it okay to eat Sucralose?

Sucralose is 600 times sweeter than sugar! Sucralose, available under the brand name Splenda, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April 1998 for use in the United States. It’s currently in use in 35 countries worldwide.

How is Sucralose Made?

Sucralose is based on a sugar molecule, so it tastes like sugar. Three chlorine atoms are substituted for three hydrogen-oxygen groups on the sugar molecule, which makes Sucralose unable to be metabolized by the human body. That means it can’t be digested, and therefore does not contribute any calories to our diet.

Is Sucralose Safe?

Over 110 studies on both animals and humans have shown that Sucralose is safe. It’s even been declared safe for use by pregnant or breast feeding women, unlike many other sugar substitutes.

Where will I find Sucralose in foods?

Sucralose has been approved for use in:

  • baked goods
  • baking mixes
  • non-alcoholic beverages
  • chewing gum
  • coffee and tea products
  • confections and frostings
  • fats and oils
  • frozen dairy desserts and mixes
  • fruit and water ices
  • gelatins, puddings and fillings
  • jams and jellies
  • milk products
  • processed fruits and fruit juices
  • sweet sauces, toppings and syrups

It can also be used as a “table-top sweetener,” added directly to foods just like you would sugar. Since Sucralose is based on sugar, it can be heated to very high temperatures and remain stable, unlike many other sugar substitutes. If this sounds like the latest miracle food, then you may just be right!

Agave – Nature’s Perfect Sweetener

Agave nectar (also called agave syrup) is a sweetener commercially produced from several species of agave, including Agave tequilana (blue agave) and Agave salmiana.Agave nectar is sweeter than honey and tends to be thinner and flow more freely than it.agave as an alternative sweetener

Agave nectar is also 1.4 to 1.6 times sweeter than sugar and is often substituted for sugar or honey in recipes. In cooking, it is commonly used as a vegan alternative to honey for those who choose to exclude animal products from their diets.Agave nectar dissolves quickly and so it can be used as a sweetener for cold beverages such as iced tea.

Agave nectar’s are sold in light, amber, dark, and raw varieties. Light agave nectar has a mild, almost neutral flavor, and is therefore sometimes used in delicate-tasting dishes and beverages. Amber agave nectar has a medium-intensity caramel flavor and is therefore used in dishes and drinks with stronger flavors. Dark agave nectar has stronger caramel notes and imparts a distinct flavor to dishes, such as some desserts, poultry, meat, and seafood dishes. Both amber and dark agave nectar are sometimes used “straight out of the bottle” as a topping for pancakes, waffles, and French toast. The dark version is unfiltered and therefore contains a higher concentration of the agave plant’s minerals.

Why should I use a sugar substitute?

A national survey commissioned by the Calorie Control Council shows that 144 million Americans use low-calorie, sugar-free products on a regular basis. The primary reason? If you guessed to “stay in overall better health,” you’re right! (But, although many people use sugar substitutes to reduce the amount of calories in their diet, this one change alone doesn’t result in long-term weight control.)
People with diabetes who want to reduce the overall amount of carbohydrate in their diet, to control blood sugar levels, also have good reason to use sugar substitutes. And sugar substitutes can lower anyone’s risk of tooth decay.

The Choice is yours

Both saccharin and cyclamate were discovered years ago and used by millions of people. During the 70’s several research programs showed that they caused bladder cancer in mice and were banned by the FDA.

Artificial, sounds to me as “not natural.” So why put these unnatural substances into your body? For in the future they too may be revealed unsafe.

There are several natural sweeteners such as stevia. Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar and comes from the leaves of a small shrub grown in Paraguay. An African plant called katemfe is the world’s sweetest product. On a weight basis it is 3000 times sweeter than sugar.

My recommendation is Agave which is a fantastic and delicious natural sweetener and is available in a variety of sweetness levels.

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