If you scroll through the archives here on The Hot Mess Press, you’ll find numerous posts that discuss health. You’ll also find no shortage of sentiments (especially from the writer who’s post you’re reading right now) stating how detrimental white processed sugar is to human health. This, as well as high fructose corn syrup are at the core of many chronic and serious health problems in America. In fact, when someone tells me that they are interested in making diet and lifestyle changes to boost good health, my first piece of advice is always to cut out processed sugar. The good news is that there are several natural sweeteners you can use to replace the bad stuff.
For people who enjoy sweet flavors, breaking a processed sugar habit can be quite challenging. In fact, scientific data shows that addiction to processed sugar is as strong or stronger than addiction to cocaine. Alarming, isn’t it? That’s all the more reason to not let yourself become dependent on it for satisfying your appetite. Choosing one or more of the four natural sweeteners mentioned in this post enables you to still have sweet foods, without the toxic consequences.
Disclaimer: The Hot Mess Press is not responsible for any outcome or consequence that occurs regarding anyone who chooses to try an idea mentioned in this post.
Stevia natural sweeteners are not harmful
Many people who try to break the processed sugar habit, switch to sugar free foods. The problem with that, is that aspartame is often a main ingredient in such foods. Aspartame is known to wreak havoc on the central nervous system. It is terrible for your health! People throughout the country think they’re doing a good thing by drinking sugar free drinks and eating sugar free foods. In many cases, they have merely swapped one toxic product for another.
Stevia, on the other hand, is among natural sweeteners that you can use as a safer option. What’s the difference, you might ask? Stevia is a natural sweetening agent that comes from the stevia plant. It is actually a couple hundred times sweeter than processed sugar. Studies show that stevia helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels in the body. Stevia also has zero calories. You should exercise caution before using any product for the first time, however. For instance, quality varies, and some stevia products are highly processed and mixed with other sweetening ingredients, which may not be as healthy to use.
Natural sweeteners that alleviate allergies
Honey is another excellent option for exchanging natural sweeteners with processed sugars. Especially if you have an apiary in your community, using local honey is believed to be beneficial to health. Many people have found that their allergies are less severe when they ingest a daily dose of local honey. Babies one year of age or less should NEVER have honey. As with all natural products and remedies, you must do your own due diligence to research before providing such products to your family, especially children.
If you plan on buying honey and aren’t educated on the different types, it’s advisable to learn more about it before you choose a product. Quality varies greatly, and, sadly, a lot of honey products on store shelves are poor quality. If you can purchase honey locally from a beekeeper, that’s the best way to go. If not, then try to learn more about the different types and how to identify quality honey when you see it.
Have you ever tried coconut sugar?
Another way to eliminate white, processed sugar and high fructose corn syrup from your diet is to use coconut sugar, instead. This sweetener is a prebiotic (like apple cider vinegar), which feeds the good bacteria in your gut. It also contains properties known to help control blood sugar, inflammation and cholesterol. Finally, coconut sugar is rich in vitamins and minerals.
Use pure maple syrup to sweeten your food
Pure maple syrup contains antioxidants, which help rid the body of free radical cells. This, in turn, helps prevent and fight cancer. Pure maple syrup may also reduce inflammation. Check with your local extension service or community events organization to see whether there is a maple syrup festival in your area. Where I happen to live, there is a festival less than two hours away. We visit there every year to stock up on maple syrup.
If you have the right kind of trees on your property, you might consider learning to tap them to provide your own maple syrup. It typically takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of pure maple syrup.
Each time you make a good choice, you are boosting your health
The four natural sweeteners mentioned in this post are healthy alternatives to white, processed sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Using natural products doesn’t mean you should go hog wild. All things in moderation! The bottom line is that, using natural sweetening agents instead of toxic, processed ones is beneficial to your overall health and well-being. Each good choice you make is laying the groundwork for a stronger immune system, improved cognitive ability and more energy to do the things you need and want to do each day.