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Why should you replace sugar?

all the sugar

Why should you replace sugar?
Sugar has permeated many food products and average consumers in the United States, and other countries are consuming up to 130 pounds annually.

This over consumption has led to epidemic proportions of obesity, diabetes, and has led to many other disease states.

We’ve all heard how ‘processed foods’ are bad for us but what does that mean exactly?

The ‘processing’ of foods can mean sugar has been added. From a manufacturing viewpoint, sugar has many benefits. Sugar adds flavor to foods, it is a natural preservative, it typically adds weight to a food therefore reducing the price per ounce making it more inexpensive. This makes sugar ideal from a manufacturing and profit viewpoint. Sugar is hiding in many foods we wouldn’t normally expect to see it in. This includes spaghetti sauce, ketchup, BBQ sauce and many other foods. Additionally, there are as many as 25 teaspoons of sugar in some of the most popular beverages from leading food service chains.

Sugar also comes by many names such as: sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, syrup, maple syrup, molasses, brown sugar, powdered sugar. Even things like maltodextrin and dextrose can be considered sweeteners as they have a glycemic index higher than sugar. (Maltodextrin is about 155 versus sugar at 65.) Unfortunately, many low-calorie sweeteners including Splenda™ use maltodextrin as a carrier for their high intensity sweetener sucralose. The carrier is higher on the glycemic index than sugar! To be fair, the carrier is a small portion of the total weight of the product but this brings up another problem. This lack of weight or bulk is why many sweeteners like Splenda™ and Stevia in the Raw™ do not work in baking applications. They provide little structure during the baking process. To try and remedy this problem, some companies have products called ‘baking blends’ that are actually sugar with a high intensity sweetener added like sucralose or stevia. The directions then instruct you to use ‘half as much’ in your recipes. This flaw results in continued sugar consumption and about half of the proper structure during the baking process. Sola solves both of those problems…

All this added sugar has led to epidemic proportions of obesity and diabetes. As many as 70% of the U.S. population is considered pre-diabetic and currently this is an annual cost to the healthcare system of over $245 billion.

Our goal is to help people enjoy the foods they love during some of life’s happiest moments without the harm that sugar causes. We are trying to stop and reverse the trends of obesity and diabetes in the United States through sugar replacement. Sola is the easiest way to replace sugar. Taste the difference you can’t taste!

Clinical studies were conducted on Sola versus sugar and the resulting impact on glucose, fructose, and insulin. The results of the studies are quite impressive and the difference between sugar and Sola are graphically depicted below:

©Splenda is a registered trademark of Heartland Consumer Products.
©Stevia in the Raw is a trademark of the Cumberland Packaging Corporation.

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Sugar, Carbs & You

Sugar and Carbs

Most Americans consume an average of 22 teaspoons of sugar each day. That’s exceedingly high, considering the American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugars to no more than 100 calories per day (or about 6 teaspoons) for women and no more than 150 calories per day (or about 9 teaspoons) for men. The World Health Organization agrees, and encourages people to stay below 10% of total calories coming from added sugars and better to be under 5% in order to improve overall health. And this includes fruit juice!

We know that an increase in consumption of sugar has been identified as an important contributor to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes worldwide. Sugar has also been implicated as a precipitating risk factor for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

More recent data is also implicating excessive added sugar in the diet as a risk factor for cancer and worse outcomes for those with cancer. Our own animal research demonstrated that added sugar in the diet of mice prone to get breast cancer or have their disease spread led to faster onset of cancer and more metastatic disease. This was the case even when the quantities of sugar were below the average consumed in Western diets. We found that sugar activated inflammatory processes, and inflammation plays a role in the development of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and dementia and Alzheimer’s.

We also know from extensive research that it is ideal to consume a diet that reduces large spikes in blood sugar (glucose levels). Evidence shows that refined carbohydrates and excessive carbohydrates in general, both abundant in the Western diet, lead to spikes in blood sugar. Repeated spikes in blood sugar activate inflammatory processes and multiple studies have linked a high glycemic load diet to increased risk of cancer and other diseases.

 

So what does this mean for you? What type of sugar is okay and which type of sugar do we need to cut out?

Ideally, you should limit added sugar intake in general (table sugar, high fructose corn syrup, sugary drinks – including fruit juice, and all other forms of refined sugars). Also, try to eat a diet that decreases major swings in glucose levels. Mounting evidence shows that eating a primarily plant-based diet reduces cancer risk and is recommended for cancer survivors. By consuming more plants, specifically fresh, non-starchy green vegetables, less animal protein, less refined carbohydrates, and less added sugars, we can decrease our risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and more. For more information on healthy diets for cancer prevention and control visit the American Institute for Cancer research.

Boundless, by Ryan Turner, is a unique cookbook designed to help people eat gourmet, exquisite food that does not deplete our health. Plentiful provides recipes and cooking strategies that will have you convinced that you are not depriving yourself, as often happens on low-carb diets. That is because Ryan provides the education, knowledge, tools, and healthful substitutes to continue to lead a gourmet lifestyle. Plentiful will help you maintain a balanced glycemic load with no deprivation. Buon appetito.


Note from Dr. Lorenzo Cohen, Ph.D.

Dr. Lorenzo Cohen, Ph.D., Integrative Medicine Program MD Anderson Cancer Center

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