Guide to Vegan Sweeteners

Agave, stevia, low calorie sugar! We are born to seek sweetness, it is in our DNA to appreciate the pleasant natural sugars.

However, the magic of chemistry and industrialization has turned our sugar cravings into a habit of over-consumption of sugar that has become something of a drug addiction.

While the USDA recommends no more than six percent of total calories come from added sugar, Americans now average 15 percent from sugar!

In general, sweeteners act in a very similar way when they enter the bloodstream. Whether you eat granulated or refined sugar, beetroot or concentrated sugarcane juice, high-fructose corn syrup, or agave nectar, they are all refined sugars that are free of fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.

Ultimately, sweeteners add unnecessary calories and promote weight gain. Even worse, they are associated with elevated triglyceride levels, blood sugar fluctuations, and adrenaline rushes. Many chronic diseases are directly linked to excessive sugar consumption, including insulin resistance and type XNUMX diabetes, cardiovascular disease, tooth decay, acne, anxiety, depression, and gastrointestinal disease.

One of the best arguments against the abuse of sweeteners is the narcotic nature of their effects. After consuming sugary foods and drinks, the body releases opiates and dopamine, which make you feel fabulous (temporarily).

Over time, the body adapts, much like long-term use of drugs, addiction develops, you need more and more to achieve the same blissful reaction. If you keep up with this craving, it can lead you into a vicious circle that is difficult to control. Luckily, most people find that after eliminating processed sugar from their diet for a short period of time, their sweet cravings can completely disappear! In fact, three weeks is usually enough to change a habit.

Many people turn to low-calorie or no-calorie sweeteners to limit the amount of calories that come from sweets. There are several reasons why this is not the optimal choice. First of all, artificial sweeteners are hundreds and thousands of times sweeter than table sugar. This extreme level of sweetness makes it difficult to transform taste preferences and, ironically, can increase sugar cravings and addiction.

Ideally, your diet should consist mostly of whole foods, even when it comes to sweeteners. You can overcome sugar cravings by choosing fruits. Or, if you feel like you want something baked or jam-packed, for example, date paste, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, or fruit purees are the best options. Of course, if you’re healthy and at your ideal weight, you can indulge in sweets once in a while (maybe a few times a week) without any harm.

Sweetener Consumption Guidelines

Everything is good in moderation. Small portions are safe, especially if you are healthy and active. Remember that the more healthy foods you eat (vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes) and the fewer unhealthy foods (processed foods, animal products, of course), the closer you will be to optimal health.

Choose natural, unprocessed sweet sources whenever possible. Eat fruits instead of cake for dessert, and also look for raw chemical sources for toppings in pastries. They will revolutionize your taste!  


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