Which Is Better, Sugar Or Artificial Sweeteners?By Lisa Greene
How much sugar do you eat each day? I bet it's more than you think. Try this little experiment. For 1 day, eat as you normally would, but add up the grams of sugar for everything you eat. Just look at the label if there is one, or do your best guess if there isn't. Don't count fruit - I personally believe that type of sugar is ok. Each 4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon. Once you realize how much sugar really is in your diet, you can understand why you may feel or look the way you do.
The average American eats about 145 pounds of sugar per year. That is about 2-3 pounds a week, which is almost a half a pound a day. No one would purposely eat a half a pound of sugar a day, but it really does add up. There is a lot of sugar hidden in our foods that we don't realize. That's why it's so important to read the labels. Sugar can have many names, such as sucrose, dextrose, fructose, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, and many more.
Some experts classify sugar as a drug. Studies show that sugar is as habit forming as any narcotic. Sugar gives you a high, then you crash, just as you would when taking a drug. If you cut out all sugar today, your body would probably go through withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, depression, low energy, cravings and more.
In one 12 ounce can of soda, there are about 10 teaspoons of sugar. Think about that next time your little one says, "I'm thirsty". Also, if you drink one can of soda, you need 32 ounces of pure water just to neutralize the acid that is formed in your body. Drink a cup of coffee, and you'll need half as much water. Can you see why, if you drink a lot of these drinks, your body is not full of energy and vitality.
Our bodies were not made to handle processed sugar. In trying to eliminate it, vitamins and minerals are leached from the body. As you continue to eat more sugar, an acid state is created. When your body is in an acid state, you gain weight. Keep gaining weight, and body functions begin to get sluggish, thus creating ill health. The demands sugar makes on our bodies in trying to get rid of it are too great and insulin levels rise, the immune system weakens, calcium is leached from our bones and teeth, signs of aging such as wrinkles and gray hair speed up, depression and memory loss occur, and much, much more. Would you agree that sugar is poison?
So what do most people do? They switch to diet drinks and sugar free foods. That is a disastrous choice for your health. Artificial sweeteners are even worse than sugar. They are not a food; they are chemicals. The diet food industry has played a sneaky little trick on us. They put artificial sweeteners in diet food items and drinks so that you think you will lose weight. Well, the artificial sweeteners are just as addictive as the real thing, they make you crave more, so you eat more. When you are addicted to a food, it makes it tough to lose weight. Stay away from diet foods and artificial sweeteners. It's better to eat real sugar than chemical sugar.
So what can you do?
A great substitute to sugar is Stevia. It is an herb, it's sweeter than sugar, has no calories, and rates 0 on the glycemic index, making it perfect for diabetics. It comes in packets, perfect for adding to tea or coffee, and in liquid form. Cook with Stevia instead of sugar and watch your health increase and your waistline decrease. (When cooking with it, look up measurement conversions on the web, a little goes a long way).
No time for cooking? Go to your local health food store and buy items with organic sugar or raw, evaporated cane juice. These foods are still made with sugar, but without all the processing, bleaching, and chemicals added, so they are a much healthier choice.
It's tough to stay away from sugar altogether. It's practically impossible. But it's not tough to make better choices about your sugar intake. It's a change you can make with a little effort.