My health is fragile. I’m currently going for round two with my cancer. Sugar is a big no-no for cancer patients, or at least that’s what I’ve come to believe through research. Well, here’s the thing; sometimes I want a cup of coffee or a hot tea that’s sweet! Are there any sweeteners that aren’t bad for you?
Why Is Refined Sugar Bad? According to Mother Earth News, white refined sugar is 99.96 percent sucrose and when it is taken into the human body in such a form, it is dangerous. Apparently, white sugar has the ability to cause deterioration of the nervous system over time, rob the body of essential vitamins, and mess with calcium being metabolized correctly. Nancy Appleton, Ph.D.. lists 146 reasons why sugar isn’t good for you including, suppression of the immune system, premature aging, a factor in causing obesity, diabetes, and even says that sugar can damage the structure of our DNA! Yikes! So, are any sweeteners actually okay? How do we know which one to use?
Sugar in the Raw: Sugar in the Raw sounds healthy doesn’t it? The name suggests that it is in its natural form and it is a light brown color. Surely this is better for us than refined white sugar? Well, that’s what I thought until I read the article from Mother Earth News. It states, “There are three kinds of sugar which are not white: light brown, dark brown and Kleenraw. They are all made the same way-by adding back molasses to refined sugar.” Well, darn it! I thought I was making a healthier choice, but apparently it is illegal to sell any sugar that is not refined and all non-white sugar is made with a base of refined white sugar! Sugar in the Raw isn’t so raw folks! In fact, it looks like raw actually means partially refined.
Stevia: So what about Stevia? I do know that Stevia is considered an alkaline rich food, which is good if you are doing the high alkaline diet, but is it going to come out like Sugar in the Raw when all is said and done? According to The Institute of Natural Healing, Stevia has been used for hundreds of years in other countries but was only approved by the FDA in 2008. Brand names such as TruVia and PureVia are not Stevia in its natural form. There are studies that link Stevia to issues with fertility, liver mutations, and metabolism issues. Baby chicks that were fed Stevia had a decrease in their main thyroid hormone. Stevia seems to fall short as well.
Artificial Sweeteners: Most people are aware of the risks associated with artificial sweeteners like Equal, Sweet N Low, and Splenda. You are consuming products like aspartame and saccharin which are generally deemed as unsafe products although many people continue to consume them. In 1977, the FDA actually wanted to ban saccharin but Congress intervened and a warning label was used on products containing saccharin. In 2000, even the warning label was taken off of products.
Honey and Molasses: What about honey and molasses? Surely, honey is better for consumption than refined sugar? Well, according to the Mayo Clinic , not for diabetics! Apparently, there is no advantage for substituting honey in place of sugar if you are diabetic. What about people who aren’t diabetic?
The Institute of Natural Healing says that not all honey or molasses are equal. In fact, the honey and molasses that most people have in their kitchen cabinets right now is no better than eating the refined white sugar. 100 percent raw organic honey is honey that hasn’t been treated, processed, or pasteurized at all and the darker the color, the better it is for you. Raw honey is actually very good for you in moderate amounts. If you decide to go with molasses, you need to make sure it is organic blackstrap molasses. Apparently there is a big difference here. Blackstrap molasses is supposed to have actual health benefits, just as raw organic honey does. Honestly, this seems to be the only truly safe way to sweeten anything, since we don’t have access to any sugar that isn’t refined.
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