Sugar is a simple carbohydrate occurring naturally in foods such as grains, beans, vegetables, and fruit. When consumed in this pure, unprocessed form it provides numerous vitamins, minerals, enzymes and proteins.
A processed form was created in the 17th century, with the construction of the first sugar refinery. The refining processed removed valuable vitamins, minerals and fiber, making it difficult for the body to digest. To properly digest refined sugar, the body must tap into its storage forms of enzymes and minerals creating a deficiency in the body. In addition, once the sugar reaches the bloodstream it generates an extreme rise and then dip in blood sugar. The effect of this change in blood sugar levels leaves the individual with numerous unfavorable symptoms, fatigue and irritability to name a few. Clearly, refined sugar does nothing but wreak havoc on your fabulous body. By cutting your sugar intake in half, you will notice a difference in your energy, cravings, and mood swings. Choose natural forms of sugar such as honey and maple syrup to curb your addiction. Your body will thank you!
- Raw Honey — One of the most popular sweeteners; It contains small amounts of enzymes, minerals, and vitamins.
- Maple Syrup — Made from boiled down sap of the Maple tree; This syrup is filled with minerals.
- Brown Rice Syrup — Product of brown rice; It is moderately sweet with a butterscotch flavor.
- Molasses — Derived from clarified and blended sugar beet juices. It is a great source of iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
- Rapadura (whole cane sugar) — Created from the extracted juice of the sugar cane plant. It is rich in vitamins and minerals.
- Stevia — Extracted from the Stevia herb; Stevia is known for having no effect on blood sugar levels. (Note: Green and brown liquids are the unprocessed form of Stevia so stay away from the white and clear forms.)
Best forms of sugar (least processed): Honey, Maple Sugar, Molasses, Rapadura, Stevia
Try to avoid: High fructose corn syrup, evaporated cane juice, sucanat, and turinado.
Note On Agave
Whats with agave? Two years ago the agave kick was huge. Now people are not so sure.
Agave — Liquid sweetener made from the agave cactus.
How its made– In order for agave to be transformed into a nectar form it must undergo processing similar to High Fructose Corn Syrup. In other words it becomes highly refined fructose.
Highly refined = loss in vitamins, minerals, & protein = Unrecognizable to the body = Harder for the body to digest.
Yes agave has a low glycemic index but that is only because it is not processed as a glucose molecule (glucose is what causes blood sugar levels to rise and fall). Rather the body digests the refined fructose (agave) in the liver by turning it into triglycerides and storing them as fat.
Steps To Put You On The Right Track
- Keep sugar OUT of the house; if its not accessible you will be less likely to eat it.
- Drink water when you feel a craving coming on; many times that sugar craving is a disguise for dehydration.
- Consume a greater variety of sweet fruits and vegetables to substitute.
- Consciously make it a point to avoid sugar; after a few days it will be out of your system thus decreasing your desire.