I've written pages and pages, spoken word upon word, and read book after book and study after study on sugar. I've shot a campy video about it and I'm even going to a 3 day conference, only on SUGAR. This stuff is a real problem.
Today I'd like to share with you a general overview on sugar, it's alternatives, and what to do about it. Here are the things you need to know:
1. Sugar is addictive! Check out any Google Scholar search on sugar addiction and the book Sugar Blues for more. Once you cut sugar out you'll be amazed at the natural sweetness of foods like apples, bananas, peas, sweet potatoes and more.
2. Sugar is in all of your processed foods and even in some "natural" foods. It hides under fake names on labels like HFCS, corn syrup, rice syrup, cane sugar, glucose, fructose, beet sugar, etc. For a more complete list check out pg. 84-85 of The Eat-Clean Diet Stripped. Be a savvy consumer and always read the labels.
3. Sugar substitutes like honey, maple syrup, Sucanat, molasses, fruit syrup, rapadura, stevia, yacon and any others I've mentioned over the years are good options, BUT they too must be consumed in moderation. If I haven't listed a sugar substitute that you use and want me to comment on it, please share it below. While they may contain more nutrients than the powdery white stuff, they can be just as addictive. Use them carefully and cautiously. For more see pg. 216-221 in The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged.
4. Agave nectar is a sugar substitute that is hotly debated right now due to its processed nature. I initially recommended it in many of my early books. Now, I am a little more cautious about its use due to its controversial nature. My concern is, that the way to get the Agave Nectar into a edible format requires so much refining that the result is a high level of highly refined fructose - similar to High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). I encourage you to do the research, share what you learn with me here on the blog, on Facebook or on Twitter and make the decision for yourself as to whether or not you will use it. I am choosing not to and will keep it out of all future recipes.
5. Fake sugars (aspartame, acelsulfane, saccharin, sucralose, etc) work against you just as much as white sugar does. Keep it out of your mouth. There are tons of papers out there nowadays proving the sugar fakes do not help in your quest to lose weight or maintain a healthy body weight. Goodness knows what else these chemicals do to your body! For a more complete list of sugar substitutes check out pg. 84-85 of The Eat-Clean Diet Stripped.
The bottom line: Get sugar (in any form) off your shelves and out of your food. It is working against you!