Sugar Substitutes

Oh sugar, how I adore thee. I could eat you on and in everything – I could eat you straight, no chaser. But sugar, you suck.

You make me feel like crap. You give me gas, cause me to bloat and never make me fully happy. You are added calories that I don’t need. You have found your way into some of my favorite “health foods” and drinks and above all – you have WAYYY too many alter egos!

4 grams of sugar = 1 sugar packet
4 grams of sugar = 1 sugar packet

I don’t even know what to call you anymore — dextrose, fructose, flucose, suclarose, gycerol, sorbitol??? Who are you?!

Have you ever thought about how much sugar you are consuming on a daily basis? Next time you’re eating a packaged good – look at the Sugar per serving on the Nutrition Facts label. The simple calculation goes like this:

For every 4 grams of sugar – think one mini package of sugar.

OY VEY packaged foods have a lot of sugar in them.. just to give you an idea, here’s a few common foods:

  • 20oz bottle of red gatorade – 34 grams of sugar = 8.5 sugar packets
  • 1 can of coke – 39 grams of sugar = 9.75 sugar packets
  • 1 Nutri-Grain cereal bar – 12 grams of sugar = 3 sugar packets
  • 1/2 cup of Newman’s Own Tomato & Basil pasta sauce – 12 grams of sugar = 3 sugar packets
  • 1 Skinny Cow Low-fat Fudge Ice Cream bar – 13 grams of sugar = 3.25 sugar packets 

So now that we’re all completely grossed out by how much sugar we may be consuming when we eat packaged foods or beverages — let’s get to what we can do to reduce our sugar intake.

Step 1) Stay AWAY from packaged foods & drinks — they may be tasty at the time, but you’ll pay for it later. They are empty calories, and will give you a stomach ache, an eventual sugar crash, or bad skin – let me promise you, your body will react. Just don’t do it!

Step 2) Eat clean, natural sources of sugar. Stay away from added sugar, and get your sugar from fruits, plants, veggies which contain natural sugar.

Step 3) If you realllllllly want to enjoy something sweet, use a sugar substitute. Some of my favorites are:  Agave Nectar, Stevia, Pure Raw Honey or Maple Syrup. 

Substitutions can be made in baking and cooking as well. I’ve found that powdered Stevia works great for baking – and my eyes have been opened to the power of Honey and the wonders it can work in dishes. You can’t even tell that its honey!

Let me be honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of sugar. I appreciate it every once in a while when I get a wicked craving, but I do not eat it everyday. MAYBE once a month around that time… I’ll reach for a handful of honey roasted almonds, or a gluten free cupcake – but I’m a one and done kind of gal.
It also helps that my boyfriend, Bryan, is anti-sugar with everything. He doesn’t like sweets (his birthday cakes are usually chips & salsa or homemade bean dips) and the only dessert he will eat is ice cream. Because — yea, who doesn’t love ice cream?!? (I must admit, ice cream is my weakness when it comes to sugar)

I encourage you to take a step back and examine the sugar amounts in the packaged foods & drinks you are consuming. Think about how your body reacts when its on a “sugar high” and if you find yourself seeking out sugar at a particular time of the day, or month. The more we learn about our bodies habits, the more we can do to correct them.

Are you addicted to sugar? If so, what do you find yourself munching on? Maybe we can find a healthier “sugar-less” alternative!

If not, what do you use as a substitute?

Until next time,

Be Healthy! 🙂