Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Great Sugar Debate

I am not against allowing my children the pleasure of eating sweet treats as some may believe.  The difference is that I prefer my children eat homemade sweet treats that are made of whole wheat and natural sweeteners. Here's why...


Most of the sugar we eat in America comes from sugar cane.  This type of sugar is called sucrose.  Sucrose is a carbohydrate that is stored in the leaves of a plant and later used as an energy source.  Sucrose is good for you  if you're a plant.  Not so much if you consider yourself of the human variety.  

Sucrose cannot be used or digested properly in our bodies.  Because of this, our bodies metabolize sucrose into glucose.  and glucose requires hormone insulin to convert it into energy.  Insulin is created in the pancreas.  Too little insulin, or the body's inability to use it correctly, results in diabetes.  {Diabetes is only one of the many conditions that sugar causes.}

Sugar Diabetes
There are 2 kinds of diabetes.  Type 1 is a total {or practically} lack of insulin due to the pancreas not producing enough.  This type is usually caused my the immune-system attacking the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas.

Type 2 is more common and is caused by insufficient insulin being produced in the pancreas.  Type 2 diabetes is linked with weight gain and a host of other problems.  

Both types of diabetes are caused by too much glucose in the blood.  Remember your body turns the sucrose into glucose.  The more sucrose, or sugar you eat, the higher your chances of developing diabetes....and that's just the beginning! 

Artificial Sugars
I don't allow my children to eat anything that says "sugar free", "lite", or "diet" on it {I'd rather feed them spoonfuls of processed sugar!} and here's why:

These  Artificial  sweeteners or sugars are actually just that - artificial.  They are fake.  Would you offer your children fake food for dinner?  Not only are they fake and offer NO nutrition at all, they are literally synthetic, man made chemicals.  They are dangerous.  They were made in science labs and one, at least, was found by accident when the young man that accidentally made it happened to lick his finger and taste a sweet taste.  Ummm, hellooo...??     Just because something tastes sweet doesn't make it food!   

Not only that, but these synthetic sugars are impossible for your body to digest.  In fact, your body doesn't know what to do with them. They don't get digested.  They don't get removed from your body.  They just get stored up and...can you say chemical overload??  

On top of this, these artificial sugars have been linked to cancer, Alzheimers and plenty of other diseases I don't care to participate in.  

Natural Sugars & Sweeteners
SO! Then... If processed sugar is bad, and artificial sweeteners are deadly, what do we use to sweeten our food?  Here are several sweet options for you:
photo credit
  • Sucanat/Rapadura - Simply unrefined white sugar.  The water is the only thing that has been removed.  The nutritional value of the cane plant is still there. 
  • Raw Honey!!  Yum!
  • Turbinado sugar  {brown sugar}
  • Pure Maple Syrup
  • Stevia - great for diabetics
  • Xylitol - great for diabetics
These are all natural sugar sweeteners and sugar substitutes that are found naturally and still contain all of their nutritional value.  Do your research and be sure you've chosen the right sweeter or sugar substitute for your family.  You can eat sweet treats and still be healthy!  You can have fun eating the things God intended! 

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  1. I use stevia, xylitol, and maple syrup alot in my baking... and have come up with some really yummy treats for our family to enjoy. I should post them sometime... when I get half a second. It has been alot of trial and error, and I've actually thrown out everything a time or two:) Do you have any recipes to share?

  2. Replies
    1. Honestly, I've never used agave before. I like stevia, honey, and maple syrup. Those are my personal favorite so far.