I tweeted recently about the latest Pepsi product and that it was soda made worse. You can read HERE about the latest soda product which proudly advertises that is has half the sugar. Read between the lines and sort through the hype, it does this by adding artificial sweeteners (see HERE). There are no fewer than three artificial sweeteners filling up this drink which is supposed to fill a gap in the market left by those who crave sweetness, dislike artificial sweet flavors but still feel guilty drinking high fructose corn syrup. I had a couple of questions about sugar and HFCS and what is a healthy sweetener.
Here is the thing: sweeteners are not healthy. There are those that are less bad for you and some have some benefit like that of raw honey but in the end they are still problematic for the body and your delicate balance of insulin and blood sugar. If your eyes glaze over when the complex chemistry of carbs and the role in the body, see my post HERE, it is the easiest explanation of carbs and metabolism out there. The best thing for your body is to get the highly refined sugars out of your diet (so that there are at least more benefits like high mineral content) as well as reduce the overall sugar content in your diet.
This does not mean that you need to start using artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners have been linked to a myriad of negative health conditions (see HERE) and switching out one set of illnesses for another is a poor choice. The best choice is to limit sweeteners to the bare minimum and to use only those which are unrefined. What are better choices when selecting a sweetener?
Better choices include:
- Evaporated cane juice crystals (sugar cane with the molasses removed)
- Cane sugar
- Filtered, pasteurized honey
Best choices include:
- Rapadura or sucanat (minimally processed sugar cane)
- Raw, unfiltered honey
- Coconut sugar
- Palm sugar
- Date sugar
While you can clearly make better choices in the food that your prepare yourself, you are very unlikely to find the best choices in any prepared drinks. This can mean making water kefir (tutorial HERE) or kombucha (tutorial HERE) and bringing this out with you as well as remembering to bring a bottle of water. These drinks are lower in sugar as the probiotic cultures consume the available sugar and transform it into a bubbly and probiotic drink.
It can be hard to reduce the sweetener in your diet, but it can be done. How have you been doing it?
Linking up with Monday Mania!