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Sugar Substitutes just got Sweeter!

March 30th, 2010

sugar_substitute

Sugar Substitutes just got Sweeter!  When is the last time you checked out the label on the last thing you ate?  Did you know that a gram is the equivalent of about a quarter teaspoon of sugar?  So 15 grams of sugar is the equivalent of eating 3.75 teaspoons of sugar!  10 tablespoons of sugar is what you typically find in one can of soda, and will probably turn into 200 calories that won’t get burned off.  In my book this means 20 more minutes on the treadmill.

Now there is not sweet way to say this…too much sugar is not good for you!  Sugar is one cause of obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure in many Americans, not to mention the product that makes children turn into little rebels without a cause.  All you have to do is read on and we will fill you in on a few alternatives for your sweet tooth.

First you should know that your recommended daily allowance for added sugar is approximately 40 grams for a 2,000 calorie diet.  You need to keep an eye on what you add into your food each day since our foods already contain naturally occurring sugars like sucrose (fruit sugar) which is a combination of glucose and fructose, lactose (from dairy like milk), maltose and galactose.  If you digest too much sugar, whatever doesn’t get burned turns to fat.  This means keep an eye on the “-ose”, which is the chemical suffix for sugars. 

First let’s look at the sugar alternatives that are on the market – Agave, Brown Rice Syrup, Saccharin (like Sweet ‘n Low), Aspartame (like Equal) and Sucralose (like Splenda).  There is also now Calorie Free Stevia which is approved by the FDA as a dietary supplement.  All of these are very low in calories.  There are also Sugar Alcohols (polyols), which are found in “sugar-free” products and contain about half the calories of sugar and do not raise blood pressure like sugar.  You can tell something is a sugar alcohol because of the -ol suffix: Erythritol, Lactitol, Maltitol, Mannitol, Xylitol and Sorbitol. 

Now what does all of this mean?  It means go ahead and eat some sugar…but don’t over do it.  When you have the chance try an alternative sweetener in your coffee, oatmeal, protein shakes, cereal, baking recipes, cooking, or wherever you see fit.  With so many options it makes no sense to grab sugar every time.  Browse the list of sweeteners at All Star Health and keep your health in check!

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