The sugar issue

I’ve been in two minds lately about the sugar issue.  Yes, sugar is bad for its got numerous negatives for you and makes you fat, but what if you consume it in moderation?  All the recipes I have are really low in sugar, but yet I’m still worried about it.  Going sweetener free is just ridiculous for me, if I don’t make any sweet treats the really bad packaged goods will find its way into the house (the boyfriends got a sweet tooth). 

Here is a list of all the sugar and sweetener options out there:

CANE SUGAR

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I’ve grown up on cane sugar, I use to live right across the road from a sugar cane farm.  Cane sugar is one of the most genetically modified foods on the market and already has a bad reputation for making kids hyperactive, but what is the truth about cane sugar?!

After reading this post with a whopping 141 reasons sugar sucks, it really starts scaring some sense into you.

Cane Sugar Positives :

  • Its cheap
  • It makes a mean facial scrub
  • unrefined cane sugar does have some valuable nutrients and minerals ( IN MODERATION)
  • It contains magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, potassium and iron. (unrefined)
  • Gives you energy.

Cane Sugar Negatives:

  • Its addictive
  • Causes sudden increase in glucose levels
  • Sugar increases the risk of obese, diabetes and heart diseases

  • Sugar causes aging

  • Can cause dental decay

Links

Sugar Positives

Sugar negatives

MAPLE SYRUP

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This delicious topping for pancakes is ridiculously expensive here! I only get it when I want to splurge.  Its not even worth it, the biggest size we get here is 500 ml. 

Maple syrup positives:

  • Its an antioxidant powerhouse
  • It settles digestion
  • It helps muscle recovery
  • Its filled with nutrients
  • A 1/4 cup serving of maple syrup contains more calcium than the same amount of milk and more potassium than a banana.

Maple Syrup Negatives:

  • Its not easy to get if your not living in America or Canada

Well I couldn’t find any other negatives and that’s just my negatives! 

Maple Syrup positives

AGAVE NECTAR

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This is slightly cheaper than Maple, but is still way to expensive and after reading that this was one of the worst things you can eat on facebook, i was more than upset!

Agave Nectar Positives:

  • Low glycemic sweetener
  • anti inflammatory benefits
  • Immune boosting
  • Aztecs used agave syrup to treat wounds because of its antibacterial properties.
  • Helps aid in weight loss

Agave Nectar Negatives:

  • Agave nectar has the highest fructose content of any commercial sweetener
  • Inulin, also a complex carbohydrate, makes up about 50% of the carbohydrate content of agave.
  • It is a highly processed

I can’t even continue 😦 you broke my hear agave!!

Positives

Negatives

More negatives

STEVIA

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This little plant is 300X sweeter than sugar, so only a small amount is needed.  This is found in most health stores.

Stevia Positives:

  • A no carb no calorie Substitute 

  • Aids in calcium formation

  • Lowers blood pressure

  • Lowers blood sugar

  • Has antibacterial properties

Stevia Negatives:

  • Gastrointestinal upset
  • Myalgia (muscle pain) and dizziness
  • Mutagenic activity
  • Numbness
  • Interferes with blood pressure

Pretty scary stuff!

Positives

Negatives

 

COCONUT PALM SUGAR

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I haven’t tried this one yet, but I’m anxious to try it.  Its got a brown sugar look to it.  Derived from the flowers of the coconut tree, is an organic, sustainable natural sweetener.Coconut sugar is minimally processed, unbleached and contains no preservatives.


Coconut Sugar Postives:

Coconut Sugar negatives:

  • Slightly high in fructose

Guess we will have to wait and find out more about coconut sugar, negatives always appear when you start getting happy with a sweetener.

Positives

Positives – negatives

Its scary to read some of these negatives.  I always worry about things like this, but that blows my mind is that people are still giving their kids candy with corn syrup or that’s loaded with sugar.  I do believe everything in moderation is fine, but that doesn’t mean I want to poison my body with moderation.

 

What sweetener do you prefer? Do you avoid all sweeteners?

 

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22 thoughts on “The sugar issue

  1. veggiedancer says:

    Great article! My favorite sweeteners are probably maple syrup and raw, unprocessed sugar such as Sucanat. I use agave nectar too, but have heard some negative things about it as well. Still, I think it is probably better than refined white sugar! In general, I try to avoid eating too much food with added sugar, simply because it tends to bother my stomach in large amounts. But I certainly don’t think there is anything wrong with occasionally consuming certain sweeteners:)

  2. Koko says:

    Sugar is one of the scariest foods out there. I have used coconut sugar, though, with much success. I really like it! I’ve also used a liquid coconut syrup or nectar which I loved as well.

  3. An Unrefined Vegan says:

    Oh my gosh. I battle with sugars, too! I’ve cut refined sugar out, but still sparingly use maple sugar and stevia. I guess if the options are NO sugar ever or a little bit of sugar now and again – – I’ll go with a little bit now and again! Happiness counts for a lot, don’t you think?

  4. kimthevegan says:

    I had a hard time with sugar when I started realising how evil it is. For most of the time (like 95%?) I avoid all refined and granulated sugars (normal white and brown are completely out 100% of the time and I occasionally have something with refined or unrefined cane sugar.
    I was using agave until I found out how scary it is… it used to be half decent, but since we’ve processed the heck out of it, it’s not good. I still use it occasionally. I haven’t tried coconut palm sugar either, but I just have a prejudice for any granulated sugar… I think because it is probably fairly processed.
    I avoid stevia, again, granulated thing I’m a bit of a weirdo…).
    I do not buy any sweetener substitutes and only occasionally buy products with sweeteners in them (like evaporated cane juice, agave, brown rice syrup, etc).
    My sweetener of choice is maple syrup. I feel terrible that it is not readily available to you… I’m Canadian and adore the stuff. I think it’s fairly unprocessed as long as it’s organic and well-sourced. I recently moved to the United States and it’s harder to find but not impossible.
    I also regularly use organic dates. Do you have access to dates at all? They are probably the best bet if you can find them.

  5. karenelated says:

    Great post Mel. Thanks for all the research. I’m constricted by cost, so although cane sugar is so bad, it’s the one I use, sparingly. Ok, I’m also addicted! Two negatives you forgot: it causes candida and inflammation.

  6. Sophie33 says:

    I loved reading this post! I use coconut sugar & powdered coconut sugar all the time. It caramelizes pretty well & is low-glycemic too. It has several minerals & good things in it. It is pretty expensive over here.

    I love agave too & use maple surup a lot. We can get the good male syrup over here in grade a, b & c! I love maple syrup a lot too. I also use sometimes dark cane sugar. It has a good taste! I never use normal beet sugar again! Too bad for me.

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