Help – I am ADDICTED TO SUGAR!!!  Is There Any Type of Sweeteners I Can Use?

Ohh sugar it is just so yummy and delicious how could anything that tastes so good be so bad for us? Do you have a sweet tooth? Do you need to have something sweet each day?

Sugar is considered to be as addictive as cocaine which is why so many of us find it so hard to resist. The problems with sugar is that it linked to numerous health problems from diabetes, heart disease, and obesity to depressed immune systems, cancer and tooth decay (i). 

While it is best to keep sugar to a minimum in your diets, when that sweet craving does hit, you will be happy to know that there is some sweeteners that can be better choices for you to help minimize calories and blood sugar spikes. These are Swerve, Erythitol, Monk fruit and Stevia. 

 

Swerve:
One tablespoon of Swerve

  • Glycemic Index of 0
  • O Calories 
  • 0 grams of carbohydrates
  • 0 grams of sugar

Swerve is a natural sweetener made from non GMO ingredients. It contains 2 natural sweeteners, erythitol and oligosaccharides. Oligosaccharides (Inulin) is a type of prebiotic fiber which naturally occurs in various plants and has 0 calories. Randomized controlled trials show that inulin reduces inflammation, and improves intestinal permeability and overall gut health (ii). 

The oligosaccharide, Inulin may also hold promise for reducing insulin levels. In a double-blind, randomized controlled trial, participants supplementing inulin at 10g per day had significantly reduced fasting insulin levels. Another study also shows that inulin had a significant effect on decreasing fasting glucose levels in forty-four subjects with pre-diabetes. 

Swerve works well as an all-purpose sugar substitute in baking because it measures cup for cup and it doesn’t have the bitter after taste that stevia has. 

 

Erythitol (alcohol sugar):
One tablespoon of Erythitol

  • Glycemic index of 0
  • 0 calories
  • 0 grams of carbohydrates
  • 0 grams of sugar

Despite their name there is no alcohol in sugar alcohols. Sugar alcohols can however cause stomach upset and have a laxative effect (which might be helpful for some of you) so use with caution.

The reason why it doesn’t provide calories  to its consumer is because the body actually can’t break it down! That’s right — even though erythritol travels through your body, it doesn’t get metabolized.  

Erythritol can cause side effects such as diarrhea, headache, and stomach ache in some people and/or when consumed in large doses. Erythitol naturally occurs in some fruits and fermented foods, but the variety being added to food and beverages today is typically man-made from GMO cornstarch, resulting in an ultra-processed food — very far from a natural sweetening agent. So if you chose this product please chose NON GMO and start with smaller doses to monitor for side effects.   

Additionally, unlike natural sugars, erythritol appears to have a positive impact on dental health. Studies show that it inhibits harmful bacteria and reduces plaque – even more so than xylitol does (iii).

Stevia:
One tablespoon of Stevia

  • Glycemic Index of 0
  • 12 Calories
  • 0.8 grams of carbohydrates
  • 0.8 grams of sugar

Stevia is an extract from a plant which is approximately 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar. Stevia has gained popularity in the last few years and is becoming more widely available at local stores across North America.

Stevia has a glycemic index of zero, which means it does not affect your blood sugar (insulin) at all.  

One thing to be wary when purchasing stevia is that the product may be mixed with other forms of sweeteners or bulking agents such as maltodextrin (which has a whopping glycemic index of 110!) which will definitely have an impact on your blood sugar levels. 

We recommend purchasing Stevia in either it’s powdered form (rather than granular) or as liquid drops to reduce the chances of having it mixed with other ingredients. The only downside, with Stevia, is that it tends to carry an after taste, but this can be mitigated with the liquid drops.

 

Monk Fruit:
One tablespoon of Monk fruit

  • Glycemic Index of 0
  • 6 Calories
  • 1.2 grams of carbohydrates
  • 1.2 grams of sugar

Monk fruit (also known as Luo Han Guo) is a fruit from Southeast Asia and looks almost like a lime or melon combination. The fruit is usually dried and then used to make medicinal drinks (Liang Cha).

The extract is about 150 to 200 times sweeter than sugar and contains minimal calories as well. You can purchase the dried fruit at Chinese herbal stores, but if you want to put it in your coffee, you’ll probably want an extract powder or liquid form. Monk fruit’s mogrosides, the compounds that give it its intense sweetness, are also powerful antioxidants. Using monk fruit sweetener can help those already suffering from obesity and diabetes from furthering their condition because it works as a natural obesity treatment.

Using monk fruit is a natural way to fight inflammation (iv). Many studies prove its anti-inflammatory powers are most likely the reason it’s able to positively affect so many other diseases and disorders. Aside from being a proven antihyperglycemic (which helps bring down the blood glucose levels in the body), studies have also shown targeted antioxidant abilities toward pancreatic cells, allowing better insulin secretion in the body. Thus, monk fruit works well as a natural diabetes treatment.

FUDGE FAT BOMBS
Next time when that sugar craving hits try this healthy sweet treat with out the blood sugar spike and loaded with good fats for energy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup almond butter or, for nut-free, no-sugar-added sunflower butter
  • 1 cup coconut oil, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp powdered stevia OR 1-2 tbsp monk fruit sweetener, depending on sweetness preference
  • 1/16 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut to roll balls in

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Over medium heat in a small pot, melt and combine almond butter and coconut oil. To the same pot, add dried ingredients and stir until well-combined.
  2. Allow mixture to cool slightly and taste test to determine if additional sweetener is needed. Add more as necessary depending on your preferences.
  3. Pour mixture into bowl and transfer to freezer to solidify, approximately 60-90 minutes, depending on the temperature of your freezer 
  4. Once solidified, remove bowl from freezer and form into balls. Tip: regularly wash hands under cold water and wipe with dry paper towel to avoid coconut oil melting in hands. Roll in unsweetened shredded coconut. Place formed balls on a flat tray or plate and return to freezer for 15-20 minutes. Enjoy!

Recipe from www.realbalanced.com

References:
i. Mokdad AH, Bowman BA, Ford ES, Vinicor F, Marks JS, Koplan JP: The continuing epidemics of obesity and diabetes in the United States. Jama. 2001, 286: 1195-1200.
ii. Belorkar SA, Gupta AK. Oligosaccharides: a boon from nature’s desk. AMB Express. 2016;6:82. doi:10.1186/s13568-016-0253-5.
iii. De Cock P, Mäkinen K, Honkala E, Saag M, Kennepohl E, Eapen A. Erythritol Is More Effective Than Xylitol and Sorbitol in Managing Oral Health Endpoints. International Journal of Dentistry. 2016;2016:9868421. doi:10.1155/2016/9868421.
iv. Anti-inflammatory Activities of Mogrosides from Momordica grosvenori in Murine Macrophages and a Murine Ear Edema Model, Rong Di, Mou-Tuan Huang, and Chi-Tang Ho
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2011 59 (13), 7474-7481
DOI: 10.1021/jf201207m
v. Identification and Quantification of Antioxidant Components of Honeys from Various Floral Sources, Nele Gheldof,Xiao-Hong Wang, and, and Nicki J. Engeseth*
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2002 50 (21), 5870-5877
DOI: 10.1021/jf0256135

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© 2019 Koru Nutrition Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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© 2019 Koru Nutrition Inc. All Rights Reserved.