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Replace Sugar for Optimum Health

Wednesday, February 25, 2009 by: Sheryl Walters
Tags: sugar, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) The average American eats between 90 to 180 pounds of sugar each year. That is a quarter to a half pounds each day for children and adults! Besides the typical culprits of desserts, doughnuts, and soda, sugar is also found in unexpected items like condiments and bread. Our consumption of sugar is deteriorating our health and increasing the numbers of diabetes, obesity, and many other chronic illnesses.

The typical effects of sugar are taught to us as children. Sugar can cause tooth decay by being used as a food source for the bacteria found on our teeth which causes plaque. In fact, the bacteria can actually turn the sugar into a glue which makes it harder to be washed away by saliva. Sugar also causes hyperactivity, crankiness, and difficulty concentrating in children as any parent can attest to! In addition to these well-known effects, sugar can also contribute to a decrease in immune function, increased cholesterol, overgrowth of yeast, gastrointestinal problems, premature aging, cardiovascular disease, and more. There are many detrimental health effects of sugar but fortunately there are some healthier alternatives.

Sugar is often replaced in foods by products that are either lower in calories or cheaper to produce including aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal), sucralose (Splenda), and high fructose corn syrup. These products also have detrimental side effects. Replacing sugar as well as these sugar alternatives with natural sweeteners will have a beneficial effect on health.

Agave nectar is one alternative that is used by health conscious consumers. Agave nectar comes from the same plant that tequila is made from. It has recently become recognized as a healthy alternative to sugar and artificial sugar substitutes. It is about 90% fructose but is completely natural unlike the processed fructose found in high fructose corn syrup. Another benefit of agave is that it has a low glycemic value (less than 30, compared to sugar which is in the 60's.) A food that is low on the glycemic index is less likely to be converted to fat. Agave nectar is more calorie dense than sugar but because it is about forty times sweeter much less can be used to achieve the same level of sweetness.

Stevia is another natural alternative to sugar and sugar substitutes. It is an herb native to Paraguay that has been used for centuries as a sweetener. It contains no calories and no carbohydrates. In 2008 the FDA approved its use as a food additive, previously it was sold only as a dietary supplement. Stevia also does not raise blood sugar so is a good choice for diabetics.

Replacement of sugar in your diet can be difficult. Reducing intake of processed foods and replacing sugar with natural sweeteners will increase your well-being, health, and energy.


76 Ways Sugar Can Ruin Your Health, Nancy Appleton, Ph.D., http://www.mercola.com/article/sugar/dangers...

Questions and Answers About Stevia, David Richard, http://www.stevia.com/SteviaArticle.asp?Id=2...

All About Agave, http://www.allaboutagave.com/

About the author

Sheryl is a kinesiologist, nutritionist and holistic practitioner.
Her website www.younglivingguide.com provides the latest research on preventing disease, looking naturally gorgeous, and feeling emotionally and physically fabulous. You can also find some of the most powerful super foods on the planet including raw chocolate, purple corn, and many others.

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