The health dangers which ingesting sugar on an habitual basis creates are certain. Simple sugars have been observed to aggravate asthma, move mood swings, provoke personality changes, muster mental illness, nourish nervous disorders, deliver diabetes, hurry heart disease, grow gallstones, hasten hypertension, and add arthritis….among others.
Sugar is definitely the poster child of all things wrong with our health. Our over consumption of the sweet white stuff has shouldered the blame for a rise in diabetes, obesity, attention problems, arthritis, cancer and several other diseases. So is ALL sugar bad, and what ‘sweet’ alternatives are our best choices?
In my opinion, Stevia is by far the best choice. Stevia is a naturally sweet herb that has no negative consequences on your health…as a matter of fact…it is actually GOOD for you! Wow…a sweetener that is healthy! Stevia contains no calories and will not spike blood sugars. Maintaining healthy, stable blood sugar levels alone will set many people down a path to optimal health.
Look for pure Stevia without additives. I use the NuNaturals pure liquid Clear NuStevia and the Sweet Leaf organic Stevia extract in powder form. Be careful when using the single serving packets. I have noticed that they contain some additives.
My second choice for a natural sweetener would have to be raw honey. Raw honey, when consumed in moderation, also has many health benefits. When we look at the word “raw”, we associate it with the preservation of important vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Raw honey is honey that has not been heated, pasteurized or processed in any way. The differences between raw and pasteurized honey are substantial. Raw honey is an alkaline-forming food that contains natural vitamins, enzymes, powerful antioxidants and other important natural nutrients. Pasteurized honey is equivalent to and just as unhealthy as eating refined sugar. Raw honey has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties and can help with eliminating allergies.
When choosing sweeteners, look to stevia and raw honey. In contrast, avoid artificial sweeteners, corn sugars, refined white sugar, maltodextrin and dextrose like the plague, as they are toxic, spike blood sugar and contain little to no nutrients. Finally, use molasses, maple syrup and raw cane sugar (Sucanat) in moderation. Although they do contain beneficial nutrients, they are higher on the glycemic index.