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  • Writer's picturecourtney

BYE Sugar & Artificial Sweetners

As a diabetic proudly in remission and off of medicine for over a year, I don't eat a lot of sugar. But the holidays, and baking, and parties, and treats, I let myself indulge a little.

During the other 11 months, if I have any sugar, it's coconut sugar and possibly a little LOCAL honey (the honey I use comes from hives 5 miles from my house). Here's what I rarely use:

+ caster sugar (white table sugar)

+ muscovado sugar (sugar in the raw)

I use these in very small amounts, because I am a baker and some bread recipes call for small amounts of sugar. I stick with these two + organic coconut sugar and local honey.

But the BIG thing. The BIG BIG BIG thing is to read nutritional labels to find added sugar (in all of its many varieties). The more whole foods you eat, the less packaged food you buy, the less sugar you use.

But what about "healthy" sugar. Agave, honey, STEVIA, even artificial sweetners.

First of all, I avoid added artificial sugars like the plague. I LOVE diet coke, so I occasionally will break and have a soda when I am out (in part also because I don't drink). But I stopped using splenda and its sisters years ago when a chiro of mine gave me a number of studies showing the effect splenda had on my skin. Within a few months off of the stuff, I had the best skin of my life, and as I've continued to clean my diet, it's gotten better and better. And the reality is, once you go a week without artificial sweetners, they taste really gross.

Stevia is a food criminal in my books, because it has all of the bad effects of sugar (including the boost and crash on the blood sugar) without any of the taste. It's also processed beyond belief. But most of all? I think it tastes terrible and can spike actual sugar cravings.

And that's the BIG problem with stevia and other artificial sweeteners. The "trick" your body into believing you are having sugar, and once you have it, your body will continue to ASK for sugar, so it's easy to fall into a sugar landslide. If you struggle with sugar cravings, kick these baddies out of the pantry for a few months.

Same with agave and honey. The other challenge with these sweeteners is that they aren't processed in your stomach and turned into energy like table sugar. They are processed in the intestines (and can create some gut health problems) and the liver, which adds to your toxic load on your body.

Of course, all things in balance. There will be times and places where sweets are wonderful. But for diabetics, pre-diabetics, and diabetics in remission, sugar is truly poison. While different kinds of sugar have different glycemic impacts on our blood sugar -- organic coconut sugar is fairly low and I can use small amounts without it affecting me -- at the end of the day, there is no healthy sweetener or sugar.

So for the next month, I am detoxing for sugar to restore balance in my body after the holidays. But I promise, at some point in February or March, I will enjoy a macroon and a cup of tea.

Because while I eat very LITTLE sugar, when I eat it, I eat what I TRULY enjoy.

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