Natural sweeteners are rich in minerals and other nutrients; they can be consumed in moderation, added to health drinks, smoothies, porridges, homemade desserts, or toping choice of foods. Natural sweeteners are more expensive; remember pay more-eat less.
Eat sweets in moderation, 1-2 times a week, not daily. Sweeteners can be added daily like honey in teas, on toast with cinnamon, or other foods. You should limit yourself to about 2 tsp. a day, less if possible. After a while you won’t even crave it. Your daily intake of natural fresh fruit can be eaten alone, as a snack, or desert.
Over consumption of sweets may lead to ill health, especially if those sugars are un-natural. Sugar can be addictive and it is very hard to eliminate it entirely from your diet. When you try to eliminate sugar, don’t be too hard on yourself if you eat it once in a while, as long as you have control.
One theory said by Sally Fallon, WAPF founder, is that when sugar is consumed with good fats (like butter and coconut oil), the rush of sugar to the blood is slowed down and the harmful effects are somewhat reduced.
Possible causes of sugar cravings
- Wrong fats in the diet
- Overgrowth of yeast in the body (Candida)
- Improper preparation of grains
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Neuro-toxic additives; MSG, yeast extract, maltodextrin, carrageenan, hydrolyzed vegetable protein
Diseases Associated with Consumption of Refined Sweeteners
- Chronic elevated insulin
- Coronary heart disease
- Infectious diseases
- Hyperacidity of the stomach
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Thyroid malfunction
- Adrenal malfunction
- Increased desire for alcohol
- Increased desire for coffee, tobacco
- Bone loss
- Dental decay
- Violent tendencies
Here is a short list of common harmful sugars to avoid and healthy alternatives.
- Corn syrup
- Anything ending in “ose.”
- Coconut palm sugar
- Raw-local honey
- Pure maple syrup and maple sugar
- Date sugar
Audry, This is such a great post. I’m always looking for alternatives to white refined sugar. I’ll be trying the ones you suggested. I also think it’s great that you listed the diseases that overconsumption of sugar can cause. What an eye opener! I noticed Agave Nectar is not on your list. I have read articles that completely diss Agave Nectar and I have read some that say its fine. What are your thoughts on Agave Nectar?
It is pretty controversial and I have read reports on both sides of the argument. I guess one of the main concerns is that most commercial agave is extracted with a chemical during processing, aside from being high in fructose. You can see here a company that claims they use traditional methods. They are on the pro agave side.
On the other hand, there is an article here that claims it’s not any healthier than white sugar or HF corn syrup.
One great article that shows both sides can be read here
Bottom line for me is, it’s difficult to distinguish honest and false manufacture claims. I didn’t want to add it to the list because of this and promote something that could possibly be harmful when I don’t feel right about it, or dis something that might be good (if traditionally processed). I personally use raw local honey the majority of the time and rapadura or fresh seasonal fruit. I’m trying to stay away from sweets (not easy).