Thursday, September 17, 2015

Good and Bad forms of Sugar

After replacing nicotine with sugar to quit smoking, which works a treat by the way, I have now put on a little weight. Therefore it is time to come off the sugar. This post is a s little summary of how things have been going so far and what I have learned in the past couple of months about sugar.

Most alarmingly I learned that the cholesterol lowering drugs called statins may give you a 40% increased chance of diabetes. Search Google for exact stats, or start with this link from the Daily Express (not the most reputable new source but I don't have time to find the source now).

I learned this when  family member told me he is on the borderline of having diabetes. The next thing I looked at was Sweetex, which is takes a couple of times a day. It contains the artificial sweetener aspartame.

Aspartame
This is probably the most popular sweetener. Found in many diet drinks and foods, plus sweeteners. It has very controversial side effects according to some. Others don't take the accusations seriously. I have taken it as being OK once a day- everything in moderation.

Stevia
This was the next alternative to sugar that I tried. It is a herb which can also be bought as a white powder or sweetener tablets. It tastes awful to me in both forms. It seems to be fairly side effect free, but the taste ruined my drink and food.

Sucralose
This is my most recent try. It tasted fine on first inspection and I thought I was on to a winner. Then I realised the powder I was taking was half dextrose, which is a form of sugar with approx. 12 calories per teaspoon, compared to 15 in normal sugar:



Maltodextrin
I have been advised to look into this. I recommend you do too.

Coconut Sugar
This contains a fair amount of calories but as a natural product it does have small amounts of nutrients too. Worth a try.

Brown Sugar and Raw Sugar
I always choose these over white sugar but they are still sugar and for me - to be avoided when possible.

Real Honey
I mentoned the word "real" because most honey contains rubbish from countries other than your own. Be sure to buy locally made honey or organic honey. It contains lots of calories but also some health benefits e.g. apparently it can cure my hayfever.

For now there is no perfect substitute so I am going to use aspartame, sucralose and try the others sometimes too. Rather than taking too much of one (like my family member does with aspartame) I would rather have more of different things. I think that is a good philosophy for now until we have clinical trials about the benefits and dangers of each form of sugar and the alternatives.