American adults consume a jaw dropping 77 grams of sugar per day.1 This actually adds up to 60 pounds of sugar every year and may lead to detrimental health conditions and unnecessary weight gain. Now more than ever it is simple to swap to nutritious sugar substitutes without all the calories and still eat delicious foods. Read on to learn about the impacts of sugar and what you can change them too starting today.
The Role Of Sugar In The Diet
Its important to understand not all sugar is created equal and the phrase itself is too broad. Sugar is a term that includes sweet carbohydrates but in the traditional western sense it means sucrose or “table sugar”. This carbohydrate is used by the body and turned into glucose which can be used for energy in our daily lives and bodily functions. The problem is however the highly refined versions actually contribute to inflammation and easy weight gain which can disrupt the health of your body.
Too Much Of The Wrong Sugar
For those with a sweet tooth or simply unaware of the sugar in foods it can quickly add unnecessary calories to a diet. Now sugar is not the sole reason for weight gain and obesity in the modern world but it can play a significant role. For older adults its crucial to avoid excess sugar as it has been linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and mood swings leading to depression and mental health. During the holiday season it is very easy to overdo sugary foods but thankfully it can be reversed quickly with the right knowledge.
How Much Is Too Much?
The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion has stated the average American consumes roughly 17 teaspoons of added sugar everyday.2 This equates to roughly 270 calories a day that is totally unnecessary and contributing to poor health.
Sugar Leads To Inflammation
Inflammation is a key contributor to many diseases in the body including arthritis, diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Now inflammation itself is not a bad process as it helps the body to heal in injuries but chronic inflammation is the problem. High blood sugar in the body contributes to weight gain which leads to excess inflammation in the body.3
Using Sugar Substitutes For Seniors
Cutting back on high sugar foods and drinks is a simple way to reduce long term health risks and lose weight easily.4 Swapping processed foods or using sugar substitutes can help you to eat a very similar diet without the additional calories from sucrose (table sugar). In fact using natural sweeteners can actually provide additional nutrients like antioxidants as well as sweetening our foods.
The Healthiest Sugar Substitutes To Use Right Now
Honey is a little known super food that is slowly gaining the recognition it deserves. Packed with enzymes, nutrients, antioxidants and vitamins like zinc, calcium and iron its truly one of the best sweeteners to use. One tablespoon of honey has only 64 calories and is considered a multivitamin too. Its important when using honey to look for raw varieties as the heating process can damage the nutrients inside.
A native plant to South America, stevia has been used for centuries in cooking. It helps to support blood sugar and can actually cause weight loss in people. This amazing plant actually contains zero calories per serve and its natural sweetness comes from its unique structure. The American Diabetes Association has put stevia on its recommended list for sweetener substitutes for diabetics. Unlike raw honey you can add stevia to food and cook with it too as it is heat stable. Its a cheap and very simple sugar substitute that virtually tastes the same without all the nasty calories.
This delicious dark syrup comes from drilling a hole in a maple tree and letting a bucket catch the sap. Maple trees contain a syrup that is naturally very sweet in taste and has been a favorite of North Americans for centuries. It is a source for potassium, calcium, zinc and rich in antioxidants which can help the body to recover and support healthy immune function. Maple syrup is also a heat stable sugar substitute and you can cook with this or simply drizzle it on your food.
Coconut sugar is simply sap found inside the coconut shell and then is heated and evaporated to make sugar crystals. Also packed with a range of nutrients like iron, zinc, potassium and phosphorous its not only a great sweetener but nutritious too. It is a popular choice as it tastes very similar to traditional table sugar and is found cheap in grocery stores.
Stay Away From Aspartame
Now another thing to be aware of is not all sugar substitutes are healthy options. Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that has been added to “diet” versions of drinks and is 200x sweeter then sugar. Its found in over 6000 foods and beverages but it can cause a big range of health disorders.
These Substitutes Can Help To Lose Weight And Taste Great
If you’re a senior who is looking to get their health back on track in the new year changing to sugar substitutes is an effortless method. Helping to ease inflammation in the body and add extra nutrients to the diet these substitutes taste great too. For the cheapest places to find them locally start with a simple online search.