Raw cane sugar, evaporated cane juice, agave nectar, honey, maple syrup, beet sugar, date sugar, Xylitol, Stevia, which do you use??
I believe that the one thing that should be used and eaten in extreme moderation is sugar. I say, if you can avoid it, please avoid it but at the same time, trying to be realistic so Extreme Moderation is Key!
Sucrose, evaporated cane juice, beet, raw and date sugar, maple syrup and even HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP contain about the same number of carbohydrates–4 grams per teaspoon. That equates to 12 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon. There are 16 tablespoons in a cup so that means 192 carbs in a cup! Yes, that is right!! Now let's get into how these carbs affect your blood sugar and insulin levels by looking into their glycemic index, which is a reference for how it affects your blood sugar. The higher the number the higher the index and more it makes your blood sugar sky rocket.
SWEETENER GLYCEMIC INDEX
Sucrose (white sugar) 64
Brown sugar 64
Barley malt syrup 42
Brown rice syrup 25
Raw honey 30
Agave nectar 15
HF corn syrup 62
Stevia less than 1
Sugar cane juice 43
Evaporated cane juice 55
Maple syrup 54
Black strap molasses 55
If you are going to go for a low glycemic, no calorie sweetener, this doesn't mean that you can consume it freely! If you are going to consume a no calorie sweetener, for the natural form of Stevia. My favorite is Stevia in the Raw!
Please Please refrain or really monitor your consumption of "Sugar Free Products containing:
Splenda, Equal, NurtiSweet, etc. So often I hear and see people consuming these products by the spoonful because they are calorie free. Don't forget, if it has to be processed and manipulated in anyway shape or form, it is not natural and can cause digestion and health issues. When our bodies CANNOT digest these foreign chemical substances, they tend to pass right through us, in not such a favorable way, causing GI issues and discomfort! This is no excuse to eat them like they are going out of style. The biggest misconception is Zero Calories, Zero Carbs, Zero Sugars are FREE foods. Think again! It means that our bodies CANNOT digest these foreign chemical substances and they pass directly through us. I hear you, it is so tempting to want to use that no calorie alternative and use it freely, right?! I know, I have been there! Especially when you are following a strict nutritional program and are looking for that little bit of sweetness, I know! I have been there. The thing is, you have to think long term and not short term. Just like the nutritional program you are following today should be a lifestyle approach and not short term fix, so should your decisions. Allow your decisions to guide you into what is going to serve you for life, not for right now! Because I have been there and understand, that is why I am so passionate about making meals, dishes, snacks that will Suffice that Sweet tooth without going overboard with Natural Sweeteners. There are creative ways you can use natural sweeteners, such as Stevia--in moderation, and foods that on their own add sweetness, to "have your cake and eat it too". You will find many of these Gina Approved Creations and ideas in Gina Aliott's Fitness Network where I want to help you learn how to fight and satisfy those cravings the right way and not the Right Now Way!
-If you do one thing, avoid SUGAR!
-If you use it, use it very moderately!
-Use a natural form of a no calories/no sugar substitute over Stevia for added sweetness.
-Sugar Free doesn't equate to a Gina Approved Free Food!
-Moderation is key and anything out of moderation needs to be addressed, sugar free or not!
-Go for Stevia as it is not only has the lowest rating on the glycemic Index but is a natural form!
If you take anything from this, keep sugar to a bare minimum and eliminate if at all possible!