It’s getting tougher every day to keep artificial foods out of your diet. You can read food labels which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration strictly regulates, but if you don’t know, the FDA does not require companies to list ingredients in layman’s terms that are easy to understand. If you are trying to reduce or even eliminate sugar and artificial sweeteners from your diet you’ll need to know what to look for. Check your food labels for the presence of: Saccharin, aspartame, sucralose, neotame, mannitol, acesfulfame k, sorbitol and cyclamate. These artificial sweeteners have been shown to cause health problems and increase weight gain over time.
Sugar – Its Many Names and Healthy Substitutes. A recent study at noted by the National Institute of Health showed that cancer cells can develop sugar cravings. (1) The American Heart Association recommends only about 24 grams of sugar for most women (about 100 calories) per day. Try to skip any product that has added sugar, or lists sugar (in any form) near the top of the list. Ingredients are listed in descending order so if you find sugar near the top, you’ll know that food contains a lot of sugar, not just a little bit. Sugars wide variety of names allows it to sneak into your food unless you know what other names to look for.
If you see any of the following listed on a food label, it is actually sugar in one of its many forms.
Agave nectar, Brown sugar, Cane crystals, Cane sugar, Corn sweetener, Corn syrup, Crystalline fructose, Dextrose, Evaporated cane juice, Fructose, Fruit juice concentrates, Glucose, High-fructose corn syrup, Honey, Invert sugar, Lactose, Maltose, Malt syrup, Molasses, Raw sugar, Sucrose, Sugar, Syrup. (2)
Natural sugar alternatives are generally lower on the glycemic index and are not chemically altered. Excellent for a variety of recipes, these foods help reduce the use of sugar and can help you maintain steady blood sugar levels, which may offer a variety of health benefits including improvements in mood.
Here are some great natural sweeteners to help you kick the sugar habit! Stevia, Raw Agave Nectar, Raw Honey, Fruit Juice, Apple Sauce and Molasses. Pick up your favorites, at our SkinnyMs. Amazon Store! Low-calorie sweeteners are tempting, but remember that with artificial sweeteners you may be negatively affecting your health and weight loss without even knowing it. The effects of these compounds are still unknown and as more research is completed, the debate will continue as to which sweeteners are healthy and which cause health problems.
- U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005. Chapter 7: Carbohydrates. Accessed on April 5, 2009.