In my first year of college the last thing I thought I would be doing as a dietitian all this time later was trying to get folks to eat REAL sugar.
Of course that was 20 years ago and I was still stuck in my own eating disorder - living off of just 3 cans of diet coke most of the day.
All these years later that message is still strong. I have to giggle every time a client defends using Equal, Sweet-n-Low, or Splenda instead of sugar in the interest of better health. Let’s be honest people. This choice ALWAYS has a weight component to it. Furthermore it’s common sense that chemicals made to be intensely sweeter than sugar au natural are NOT healthy. I realize this will be a trigger topic for many. There is so much to discuss from food politics to diet and health industry dynamics. So, I encourage you do be proactive and inform yourself by researching the dangers of aspartame, saccharine, sucralose and acesulfame k. Be sure to read more than the manufacturer’s info. Here are my top picks for natural, nutritive sweeteners.
Growing up you couldn’t get me to eat the stuff. I was raised on the fake high fructose corn syrup varieties. Now the real thing is my staple sweetener because:
- It’s a delicious, sustainable and local food.
- It’s an excellent source of manganese, which plays an important role in energy production and antioxidant defenses. Manganese is necessary for normal brain and nerve function. 2 tablespoons of maple syrup contains 60-70% of the Daily Value of manganese.
- It provides 37% of the Daily Value of riboflavin, which aids in the metabolic process.
- It contains 18% of the recommended Daily Value of zinc, which is essential for a healthy immune system.
- It provides some magnesium, calcium and potassium, decreasing the risk of hypertension or stroke.
* Once again…delicious, sustainable, local.
* Honey contains the micronutrients vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, magnesium, selenium, fluoride, choline and folate.
- It’s antibacterial and if you use a local source it can help alleviate allergy symptoms.
In both cases I highly recommend local and organic sources. Stay tuned next week for additional picks and further reasons to stick with mother nature’s sweet treats for better health.
Julie Norman, nicknamed "The Body Image Guru" by clients, guides women to live authentically healthy lives through peaceful body image, intuitive eating and mindful movement. She blends professional nutrition guidance with the wisdom of yoga to help women transform the ways in which they care for and experience their bodies. She is the creator of Body Karma Healing, a yoga-based program intended to help women transform their body image from painful to peaceful. Julie believes healing individual body image pain helps us heal the world! Check out Julie's exclusive offer for MOMTL Members HERE.