I recently wrote a blog post about some better sugar alternatives, and talked a little about why sugar is so bad for our health!
More and more people are focusing on making healthier choices, and food companies have noticed. However, things that are advertised as "healthy" because they have no calories or don't raise your blood sugar can still be downright terrible for you. Here are a few examples:
Sucralose (like in Splenda): Sucralose has no calories and doesn't raise your blood sugar levels. It also doesn't have a bitter aftertaste like some other manufactured sweeteners. However, it has been shown that sucralose might be harmful to the good bacteria in our gastrointestinal system. This can cause issues with digestion and overall health, since our gut health is so critical. When baking with sucralose, it has been shown to react with other ingredients and release chemicals called chloropropanols which are carcinogens. Scary!!
Aspartame: Aspartame is one of the most controversial sweeteners out there. There are no calories or carbs in aspartame, which can make food and drinks look super healthy from the label. Most diet sodas contain aspartame. The reason aspartame is so controversial is that many people believe that it can have very harmful effects and even cause cancer, headaches, mood disorders, ADHD, MS, Lupus, and others. Many argue against these studies, but it can still be scary enough to avoid this stuff!
High Fructose Corn Syrup: This is an especially mischevious ingredient because it gets thrown into EVERYTHING. It's in bread, snacks, barbecue sauce... you name it. Even the name sends off warning signals. When we say that sugar is bad for us, we're actually talking about the Fructose IN sugar, and High Fructose Corn Syrup has even more fructose than regular sugar! High amounts of fructose in the body can cause weight gain, fatty liver disease, risk for diabetes, inflammation, heart disease, and more. Many food labels these days will list specifically "No High Fructose Corn Syrup", and these are the products that you'll want to take a closer look at!
It's important to remember that just because something is lower in calories or sugar content, doesn't mean that it's healthier. We don't want to be ingesting harmful chemicals in order to cut calories. If you're trying to lose weight or control blood sugar, these sweeteners are not the way to go!
I teach my clients to listen to their bodies, find what works best for them, and focus on whole, organic foods. It might be a little scary at first to let go of foods that you're used to eating, but I'll be here every step of the way to help you discover what your body needs most. Our physical, emotional, and mental health are so connected. When our body feels better, everything feels better.
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