Monday, January 28, 2013

Whole Foods Challenge Link Up! Week 3: Sweeteners: The Good, The Bad, And the STAY AWAY FROM!!

For information on the challenge and how to link your blog go here!

This week has been a challenge. It must be "that time" because I've been craving bad stuff like CRAZY. These have been my saving graces this week:

Salt and Vinegar Almonds: Okay, they are NOT all natural - but when you're fighting the urge to bury your face in a bag of potato chips - just one or two of these bad boys have kept the carb monster at bay.

Picked Vegetables: My sister made this amazing pasta salad this week. I am one that is not a fan of things like olives or raw onions, but here - I ate things I don't like because they were GOOD - the marinade took the bite out of the onions and I discovered that I REALLY like kalamata olives! Whoda thunk?

My Crock Pot: I love my crock pot and make everything in it - soups, stews, roasted meats . . . It's the greatest invention ever and I use it multiple times a week. If you don't have one, you should invest in one!

Chi Tea - I have discovered my substitute for coffee! I drink WAY too much coffee - and it's not that coffee is bad for you, but 3-5 cups a day isn't the greatest on your gastro-intestinal system (TMI?) Chi is naturally sweet with a yummy spice to it. And my mom found this chocolate version that is to die for.

Now, on to this weeks topic! SWEETENERS (The Good, The Bad, and the STAY AWAY FROM!)

We all know the dangers of refined sugar (oh, just Google it if you don't know already!). But for some of us, even raw sugar or turbinado sugar has a negative effect. For many of us, honey, molasses, agave nectar  and other natural sweeteners don't have an adverse reaction, but for those that do, it's a challenge.

Enter "artificial sweeteners". Okay, if you've read my blog before (and I assume you have) then you know how I feel about sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose. Aspartame has been linked to so many issues from ADD to obesity, diabetes and so on that I can't even go into them all. Bad, bad BAD stuff. And sucralose isn't much better, to be honest. It is also now being linked to issues with everything from worsening diabetic symptoms to gastrointestinal issues as well. There are others on the market, but you have to watch to make sure you're getting the most natural product on the market.

Monk fruit is a brand new sweetener on the market. In its purest, natural form, it actually has great health benefits, and is so much sweeter than sugar that only a small amount is needed. But be careful, because some manufacturers are combining the fruit extract with chemicals and refined sugars. READ LABELS. The benefits of using monk fruit is that it doesn't loose its sweetness when heated, unlike stevia.

Stevia has been on the market for a couple of years now, and it's one that I love. I use it in just about everything. Again, read labels and make sure you are buying one that is pure stevia and not filled with chemicals. My brand of choice is Stevia in the Raw.

Sugar alcohol and xylitol are not beneficial for anyone. They are 99.9% of the time synthetic, chemical, and can wreck havok on your stomach and intestines.

What sweeteners have you found that you love? Link up . . . NOW!

Please remember I am not a doctor or nutritionist - I am a regular person just like you that likes to do her research. Don't take my word for it - go do your own research! I use Google - so can you!


Shirley Hill said...

You missed my favorite: Agave cactus!

Leslie said...

I’m wondering if winter is finally getting me down, with all the cravings I’ve had lately. I never understood how some people could substitute with Agave nectar or honey…they just don’t do it for me. I’ve been using Stevia a little bit, and find that I don’t need as much when compared to the Splenda I used to use…score! Never heard of monk fruit, so now I need to check that out. Thanks for the tips!