getty_rf_photo_of_processed_sugar_and_raw_sugar

Alternative Sweeteners

Eliminate sugar from your diet!  Sugar causes a person to gain weight, leaches calcium from to body, and destroys collagen.  It increases stress and impairs the adrenal glands’ functioning ability.  Sugar is addictive, toxic, and despicably snuck into almost everything we eat.  If you want to make an improvement in your health and loose weight, sugar has got to go!

The good news is, you don’t have to let go of sweetness all together!  Below are my favorite alternative sweeteners and using my guide will help you kick that sugar habit once and for all without sacrificing a little sweet-tooth!

Stevia. Stevia is derived from a South American plant leaf. It is 300 times as sweet as sugar, zero calories, and has no health drawbacks. It has a glycemic index rating of less than 1 and therefore does not feed candida (yeast) or cause any of the numerous other problems associated with sugar consumption.  Stevia works best as an alternative to sugar in hot beverages like coffee or tea.  If you’re interested in baking with stevia, look to specialty books or Web sites; since the herb’s sweetness and volume are drastically different from that of sugar, there’s no easy substitution formula.

Artichoke Syrup. I discovered artichoke syrup at Cafe Gratitude, where I run my cleanse, and fell in love instantly.  Artichoke syrup is rich in inulin, a type of fiber that feeds the friendly flora of the intestinal tract. It has an exceptional sweet taste and a very low glycemic index, making it a great sweetener for people with candida-conscious diets and diabetic blood sugar awareness. Research indicates that the inulin found in artichoke syrup may improve gastrointestinal health and calcium absorption.

Yacon Syrup. Yacon’s health benefits and taste have long been appreciated on its native soils in South America.  Yacon Syrup is an organic sweetener that tastes somewhat like molasses, and can be used to enhance the flavor of any food needing an extra sweet touch. It has half the calories of sugar, and also contains a high concentration of the inulin.  Yacon is not just sweet to the palate, but a friendly dietary addition for diabetics and those looking to cut calories.

Lucuma Powder. Lucuma has a uniquely sweet, fragrant and subtly maple-like taste that will bring your desserts to life without making your blood sugar levels skyrocket.  Plus, this naturally occurring sweetener actually gives your body healing goodness; lucuma is an excellent source of carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.  It boasts of plentiful concentrations of beta-carotene, which makes lucuma a powerful immune system booster, and it is rich in iron, B2 and B1. Lucuma has such a great taste that it’s flavor is sometimes preferred to vanilla or chocolate when used in ice-cream.  Its low sugar content makes it a healthy alternative to sugar for people who have diabetes and it is a great sweetener for women who are breastfeeding.

Raw Honey. Lastly, one of my favorite sweeteners is raw honey.  Raw honey is used by many cultures as a remedy for many health ailments including ulcers, digestion problems, and even seasonal allergies. Studies have shown raw honey to have antibiotic, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties. Many people use honey topically on cuts and scrapes to help fight infection. With antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, carbohydrates, and phytonutrients, raw, unprocessed honey is considered a superfood by many alternative health care practitioners and a remedy for many health ailments. Choose your honey wisely. There is nothing beneficial about processed honey.

As with all sweeteners,  use in moderation.  Any sweetening agent that gets overused can overwhelm the liver and get turned in bad fat.  Syrups like maple syrup and agave syrup have some plus sides, but they are both wrought with controversy in the health community and there are better options available.  By no means do natural sweeteners give us license to spoil a sweet tooth rotten, but they’re an improvement over sugar. So use the profiles above as guide to get you off of the nasty, toxic sugars, not as a liscence to binge on somethings else.

What has your expereince been with sugar and using an alternative sweetener? Post a comment below!