Hello Everybody! Thanks you Lauren for asking to do a guest post while you are gone!
My name is Alex, and my blog is called Spoonful of Sugar Free. Just a quick note about myself before I continue onto the topic. I am very sensitive/allergic to sugars. I can’t eat sweets, but I can handle a bit of fruit sugar. I get a massive headache, a rash, and plain sick after eating sugar.
All right, now that you know where I’m coming from, I am going to talk to you about the different kinds of sugar replacements out there. When you walk down the aisle and see tons of new sweeteners, you probably don’t exactly know what to think. I believe that natural sugars are completely fine to eat in moderation. Our bodies were designed to digest natural foods, so natural sugars are great (I just can’t handle them) for the majority of the population.
A bad sugar that we hear a lot about these days is High Fructose Corn Syrup. It is a sugar derived from corn that is made by treating it with an enzyme. It is aprocessed food! Some recent studies have reported that “Rats normally live for a good two years,” explains Meira Fields, Ph.D., research chemist at the USDA in Beltsville, Maryland. “But the rats in my study fed a high-fructose, low copper diets are dying after 5 weeks.” High Fructose Corn Syrup is not meant to enter the human body, and our bodies don’t know how to digest it. Therefore, our bodies will either store it as fat, or the mutant high fructose molecule will travel to our cells and block off nutrients from getting into the cells. This, therefore, causes many problems in the body.
Bad Sugars Substitutes:
- Aspartame: Steer clear! It is also unnatural, and it is known to cause cancer, and possibly interfere with the nervous system.
- Sucralose (Splenda): Splenda is a chlorinated artificial sweetener. According to a study at Duke University, Splenda “suppresses beneficial bacteria and directly affects the expression of the transporter P-gp and cytochrome P-450 isozymes that are known to interfere with the bioavailability of drugs and nutrients. Furthermore, these effects occur at Splenda doses that contain sucralose levels that are approved by the FDA for use in the food supply.” Doesn’t sound good to me.
- Sugar Alcohols: Xylitol, sorbitol, and maltitol are popping up everywhere. They are not completely absorbed by the body; but because they are not completely absorbed, they can ferment in the intestines and cause bloating, gas, or diarrhea. Personally, I don’t use them. But if you decide to try it, don’t use too much, it can cause stomach-issues.
Good Sugar Substitutes:
- Honey: This natural bee delicacy even contains antioxidants! And small amounts of proteins, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals.
- Agave: This nectar comes from a desert plant. It is getting a lot of attention these days because it has a rather low Glycemic Index.
- Maple Syrup: Must be PURE maple syrup. If so, it is minimally processed and contains antioxidants.
- Molasses: Same as Maple syrup. The darker the molasses, the more antioxidants it contains!
- Stevia: I have actually started using this, and have not had an problems. It contains zero calories, and is naturally derived from a herb. It comes in liquid or granule form.
And now, a sugar-free recipe! From Lauren’s request 🙂
Healthy Vegan Chocolate Milkshake
~This milkshake is dairy-free, sugar-free, vegan, and is a wonderful treat for summer!
- 1/3 cup raw cashews
- 1 heaping Tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 frozen banana
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
First, blend the cashews with equal parts water until it is smooth and makes a sort-of nut milk. Then, add banana, cocoa powder, and vanilla (if using), and blend until smooth. Add more water to create desired consistency. (I like my milkshakes nice and thick, so I don’t usually add much more water.)
You can even add some of the good sugars we talked about if you want the milkshake sweeter. I suggest using honey, stevia drops, or agave for this particular recipe.
Hope you enjoyed my post! My blog is here if you ever want to check it out.
Thanks again, Lauren, for allowing me to do this guest post!