Alternative Ways To Sweeten Your Food That Won’t Harm You
Widespread love for sugary foods is one of the top causes of obesity and several other deadly diseases. And unfortunately, if you have a sweet tooth, avoiding sweet treats can be challenging. Moreover, sugar is found in many of our favorite foods, from soda drinks, cakes, ice cream, and many other delectable condiments and deserts.
However, many alternatives have been identified to replace sugar, at least healthier versions of it that do way less harm to your body, throughout the years. These include honey, sweeteners, molasses, maple syrup, among others.
Of course, too much of these might still have you end up with the same problems but just at a much slower rate.
How Regular Sugar Harms Your Health
Your body responds terribly to an excess of sugar, the first being the inception of scary diseases which will be very stressful to manage and, in some cases, can be fatal. The list you are looking at here is obesity, diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver, depression, and increased cancer risk. Most of these result from the domino effect that obesity and weight gain have on your health.
Your skin is also at risk as the high sugar levels start to affect your collagen levels, increasing skin and cellular aging, not to mention some crazy hormonal imbalances.
Some of the hormonal imbalances will affect your skin and cause acne as well as leptin resistance, messing with your body’s ability to acknowledge that it has had enough food. Too much sugar will also have you constantly feeling tired and lethargic.
On the other hand, diabetes is a serious medical problem. This chronic disease lasts a lifetime. Once you have diabetes, you’ll need lifelong treatment. Furthermore, diabetes can lead to a wide range of complications, including gangrene, blindness, renal failure, and heart problems. For this reason, many health-conscious people check their blood sugar glucose, especially those with a hereditary predisposition and a high risk of acquiring diabetes.
It’s good blood sugar testing is now easier than ever with the development of A1C home test kits. An A1C home test kit can measure a person’s average blood glucose over the past two to three months. Because glucose adheres to red blood cells, this tool can accurately measure the red blood cell percentage with glucose-coated hemoglobin. This modern way of testing blood sugar eliminates the need to wait for hours or days to obtain laboratory results.
If you haven’t had the chance to undergo blood glucose testing, you can visit a doctor to obtain a diagnostic laboratory procedure. Obtaining a doctor’s advice is always good if it’s your first time testing your blood sugar. That way, you have baseline data to compare when you conduct at-home testing.
Consulting with a doctor that can evaluate your overall health status and recommend at-home testing measures for long-term care, such as using an A1C home test kit, is a must.
Monk Fruit Sweetener
You can never go wrong with anything medicinal, herbal, or dietary from the Far East. This fruit has been used for decades in China, to be more specific, and is way sweeter than regular sugar, and it’s perfect for homemade coffee drinks and virtually anything else you want to sweeten.
But fear not, as, despite this, it’s even more harmless and has proven to have more health benefits because of its antioxidant nature above other qualities. Monk fruit was initially used for health problems like the gut and the flu, but over the last while, it has been deferred to being a sugar substitute; finding the best monk fruit sweetener products is pretty straightforward.
Because of the intensity of its sweetness, it has longevity. You also start to cut back on calories drastically, and there are zero cavity concerns to worry about, which is good news for your teeth.
The sweetener also has anti-inflammatory properties, and with that said, it helps prevent cancer. Last but not least, it will also help stabilize blood sugar levels, making sure you are not dealing with uncomfortable highs and lows.
Its calorie reduction is one of the key benefits it offers when trying to lose weight. It has also been found to have the opposite effect sugar has on your health, improving renal health and lessening pancreatic cancer cell development by 23 percent. There has been no medical evidence so far of it causing allergic reactions, which in turn makes it also safe for children’s diets.
You will find Stevia used as an alternative ingredient to sugar in ice cream, yogurt, sauces, chewing gum, and candy, to name a few.
Because it’s rich in antioxidants and potassium, this is one alternative you would want to try. Originating from South America, it could easily be mistaken to fall under the potato family. Although once you try it out, your taste buds are in for a shake-up. As you bite into it, you will experience a fresh, thirst-quenching sweet taste that will leave you pleasantly surprised.
Not only does your gut bacteria improve, but your blood pressure, mineral absorption, liver, cholesterol, and bone well-being are given a much-needed health boost when switching to Stevia as a sweetener.
With your blood sugar regulated, you will also find yourself going through the day with much more ease than before. On the other hand, regular sugar has negative impacts on blood sugar levels, providing a burst of energy before your blood sugar levels suddenly plummet.
Xylitol has become increasingly popular. While it stimulates your immune system, your digestion is also improved. Furthermore, lipid resistance improves, and bone metabolism is off the charts. Like the other sweeteners, it has medicinal qualities that affect your well-being positively.
Your teeth will also be on the receiving end of its benefit as it strengthens them. Though still under investigation, it has been said that due to the antibacterial plus anti-inflammatory nature, it helps with some respiratory diseases.
But like most things, moderation is key, so one needs to avoid indulging in copious amounts to prevent side effects like diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome.
You will find Erythritol as an active ingredient in chewing gum, tablets, lozenges, granulated powders, syrups, and toothpaste, to name a few. It is very similar to Xylitol in its beneficial health properties, just a little less popular. It originally is found in fruit and veggies, but it is complicated to retrieve it from them as they contain remnants of it, which are difficult to pull out directly.
The side effects of this sugar alternative are similar to those of Xylitol if consumed incorrectly, although they also include bloatedness, nausea, and excessive urination.
Harmful Sugar Alternatives To Avoid
Agave sugar is natural and does not need to be processed that much, but unfortunately, the amount of research done on this was minimal and, for most people, has caused dire problems.
Because the metabolic capability for this is in your body non-existent, it means as you consume it, it becomes just as harmful if not more than regular sugar. Artificial sweeteners offer no nutritional value, and when being made, they have been found to contain chemicals that are pretty harmful in the long run.
The best way forward with all alternatives to sugar is to always thoroughly research them and make sure that they do not have the counter effect of what you need them to do.