“It’s ok to eat some sugar because there is no fat in it.”
That’s what we have been told for years because we were convinced that FAT was the Enemy. I remember justifying grabbing a handful of jelly beans during the day because they had below 100 calories and no fat.
When food manufacturers removed fat from their foods, they had to load almost every food with sugar, which is nutrient-empty, to increase flavor.
Researching and discovering the truly toxin nature of sugar was the second hardest myth to dispel – partly because our human pallets are conditioned to eating sweets from birth. We simply didn’t want to give up our brownies, Starbucks coffees or bowls of ice cream. Secondly because research also shared that my three greatest flaws were all caused by my sugar consumption:
- Struggling to keep my weight down
- Fighting signs of wrinkles and aging skin
- More frequent forgetfulness and periods of brain fog
…And to make matters worse, sugar is found in almost every product in the store in the form of high fructose corn syrup, syrups, juices, sucralose, dextrose, (and anything ending in “ose”), malts, fructose (yep all fruits are here), and even organic cane sugar. What were we suppose to eat???
What does science say?
Research away! Here’s what we uncovered. Sugar is both good and bad.
The good part…
The good part is that our bodies can use sugar to provide energy to survive. The glucose produced by the breaking down of the polysaccharides can become a good energy source for our bodies…but it takes very little to go a long way.
The bad part…
Here’s where the problem arises. Who can stop at one brownie? Let’s make it even simpler – there’s sugar added to almost every product we buy and it’s also found naturally in the products we grow. It’s just way too easy to get more than we need and it’s this excess that causes a vast array of serious health damaging problems for body systems, our skin and our waistlines.
Glucose from sugars gets stored in our livers. When the liver storage gets full, the excess sugar is converted into fatty acids (that’s fat for short) and that gets returned to our blood stream to be stored as, you guessed it!
– fat deposits on our thighs, stomachs, hips and arms – wherever you are inclined to store your adipose fat cells.
When these storage places are full
-the fatty acids begin storing around your organs such as your heart, liver and kidneys.
Bad news for our blood pressure, heart rate, metabolism and immune system. No wonder you feel a reduction in energy, too! Your blood vessels need to somehow maneuver through all these new fat storage sites to keep your body working.
What Happens Next?
Bad news is not over yet. Insulin is the other major problem with excess sugar consumption. One that we are still learning about, but here’s what we have deduced thus far.
- Anytime you eat sugars, like candy, fruit juices and cakes and simple carbohydrates, like breads, white potatoes and pastas, insulin is released into our systems.
- This creates two reactions: first your body stops burning fat for energy and instead switches to burning glucose. First the glucose goes to muscles to be used as energy, but as those storage places quickly fill it is converted to fatty acids just like the previous sugars and stored as areas of adipose fat.
- Second the release of insulin causes your blood sugar levels to drop causing you to become increasingly hungry and wanting to eat more of the foods that made you fatter in the first place.
That’s not all…as if it isn’t bad enough already…
- The stress hormone cortisol is also released to signal the body to release some of the stored sugar (glucose) in the liver to get the low sugar levels back to normal.
- You guessed it – this releases more sugar, and starts the fat storage system all over again! A vicious cycle with seemingly no end!
The Sugar-Free Solution?
Drink sugar-free sodas? Eat sugar-free treats?
Not anymore because the news is even more fattening for them! Research has repeatedly shown that artificial no-or low-calorie sweeteners are anything but good news for weight loss.
Contrary to popular belief, studies have found that artificial and low calorie sweeteners:
- stimulate your appetite
- increase carbohydrate cravings
- stimulate fat storage and weight gain.
What We Are Doing Now…
We are conditioned from birth to like sugar and sweet things. To be completely honest even the thought of giving up our cookie and chocolate habits made us nervous.
Worse was going into grocery stores and reading labels. Almost every product had either some form of sugar (many conveniently masked by other names) or sugar-free sweeteners that were even more harmful to our health.
Here’s where stubborn determination, the vastness of the internet and a love of chocolate came in handy.
We poured over information
– first for a healthy sugary sweetener to substitute in recipes
– then for the recipes that would provide the guilt free healthfulness
– and still give us a sense of the unhealthy rich and creaminess we all craved.
- four sweeteners that taste great (taste and cook just like real sugars)
- do not increase insulin responses in the body (thus no fat storage!)
- are actually healthy for us
An extra benefit that we didn’t realize would occur is that without the over stimulation of the “sweet” center on our tongues we began to taste foods for the first time. No kidding – happened to everyone in our group! Foods just plain taste better, stronger and sweeter!
Bring on the brownies! Check out our recipes below to see what delicious things you can make with Xylitol and Stevia. If you have a good recipe you’ve tried, please send it to us or share it in a comment. We will test it in our kitchen and if it passes the “ooey-gooey-creamy-and-delicious” test we will feature it in your name on our website.
Need More Convincing – we did too!
If the desire arises to reach for that candy bar, cookie or piece of bread….does CANCER worry you at all?
Watch this video outlining how sugar harms your body and feeds cancer cells. Dr. David Jockers shares the latest facts on, “How Sugar Makes You Fat and Sick (And Can Even Lead To Cancer).
We will be covering the sugar/ cancer relationship in another post soon. The latest facts in that area will insure you never touch the sweet stuff again.
Cauliflower Moment…sugar is not just a harmless sweetener.