Innocent Alternatives to Sugar

Innocent Alternatives to Sugar

I recoiled when I heard the first time: Could it be possible that the main ingredient of those foods that we give loved ones as gift, those foods that we merrily accept, is so harmful? Besides the fact that known dangers of sugar constitute a long list – from gain weight and obesity to weakened immune system, from disrupted mineral balance to arthritis, from osteoporosis to fungus infection, from exacerbating the effects of MS disease to aggravating migraine pain –, it is now a widely communicated fact that sugar is

also the most important nutrient source for cancerous cells. The experts, however, say that it’s almost “impossible” for a person to quit this habit after accepting candies and chocolate from the hands of loved ones until 3 years of age. It is psychologically difficult to
do so because, after this age, the signals from these sweet treats and “love” are recognized as simultaneous and one in the brain. Even though you know how harmful sugar is, if you have nobody to say “I love you” when you return from work, if nobody pampers you after a hard day, a big jar of chocolate spread becomes the substitute! People substitute the lack of love in their life with extreme
amounts of sweet food. If you can’t give up sweet food too, the following healthy sugar alternatives are just for you:

STEVIA. It is a native plant of Paraguay and Brazil. While Paraguay natives have been using stevia as sweetener and calling it “sweet plant,” or “honey leaf,” two French chemists named Bridel and Lavieille began to work on stevia leaf in 1931, to discover the secret of this plant. As a result, they isolated from stevia leaves a white, crystallized extract named “Stevioside,” which was found to be 100 to 300 times sweeter than refined sugar. In 1971, stevia attracted the attention of a Chinese research scientist named Dr. Tei‐Fu‐Chen during his visit to Paraguay, and his studies on stevia gave successful results in producing stevia extract through non‐chemical, natural methods, and in eliminating the intense bitter tone of stevia’s taste. In Japan, millions of people have been using stevia extract as sweetener and food supplement since more than 30 years, and its regulatory effects on blood sugar are widely accepted. Stevia’s potential in diabetes treatment is supported by studies that show that stevia promotes insulin sensitivity, and even insulin secretion. The most essential characteristic of stevia extract as a natural sweetener and diet nutrition is that it is completely free of calories, oil, saccharine, and toxic substances. Its production is water‐based, without using alcohol or other chemicals. Stevia extract sweetens your food and drink, without spiking your blood sugar, gaining weight or calories. It has positive effects against diabetes, hypertension, constipation, depression, and nervosity. It helps protect stomach and intestine flora, as well as preserving the acid‐alkaline balance.

AGAVE. Agave syrup is a natural sweetener with very low glycemic index, and it is 3 to 4 times sweetethan sugar, while giving only 4 calories compared to 16 calories for the same amount of sugar. This syrup is derived from agave cactus, a native to North and South Americas. Agape syrup is the nectar of this cactus, and it tastes like honey. Agave cactus has about 50 varieties. It has a large rosette of green, green‐blue, or variegated leaves springing from the root. Leaves have a toothed, and sometimes spiny, margin. A tall stem grows from the center of the leaf rosette, reaching meters in some agave species. Green agave has matt or dark green leaves with white variegation along the margins. Agave azul (blue agave) provides the base ingredient of tequila, the national drink of Mexico. The agave landscape of Mexico is under the protection of UNESCO as a World Heritage site. As agave syrup is sweeter than sugar, it is used in lesser quantities. Its most important characteristic is that it increases the blood sugar slowly, as opposed to refined sugar, which helps pancreas to regulate blood sugar better, by releasing less insulin.

DATE. The studies on date show that people who consume date regularly have low levels of glycemic index (blood sugar). Date’s rich content of calcium, phosphor, iron, potassium, selenium, magnesium, niacin, vitamins A, B and E, and protein makes it a very special sugar alternative. It is the only natural food where protein, fat, and carbohydrate trio coexist without upsetting the digestion. After soaking date overnight and removing its kernel, its flesh can be used as a sugar alternative.

Gül Kaynak



Labels: detox, gulkaynak
October 16, 2019
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