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Posts Tagged ‘sugar substitutes’

I’m a heavy magazine reader (mostly nerdy stuff). This week, I polished-off a Women’s Health and a National Geographic:

  • The Women’s Health* May issue (page 112) has an article titled “Can you build a better sugar?” which basically concludes that sugar substitutes have their issues (they may actually cause blood sugar spikes) and that it might be best to just stick to the more natural sugar.
  • National Geographic included an excerpt of the book, Pandora’s Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong and highlighted how margarine and Crisco basically introduced trans fats to the American diet and cause up to 250,000 deaths per year in the U.S. We’d be better off sticking with the more natural butter.

So, both concluded that we’d be better off sticking to a food closer to it’s original form than one created through a highly lab-intensive process. SHOCKED, shocked I tell you! (sarcasm)

I’m definitely guilty of some processed foods, but whenever possible, we should try to avoid them, especially as hypoglycemics, as there can be serious blood sugar consequences.

Am I saying go to town and eat as much sugar and butter as you want? Nope. Moderation is the key, a combination of portion control and cutting-back on how much sugar, butter, salt, etc. we add to things. For example, our sweets in the U.S. are ridiculously sweet compared to sweets in other countries and they are HUGE. We could easily fix both.

 

 

*I’m in no way advocating that Women’s Health is a good source of actual health advice. Some of their articles are great and well-researched, but many are not, and contradict each other. Read with caution.

 

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If you haven’t seen Katie Couric and Stephanie Soechtig’s new food documentary, Fed Up, I highly urge you to go see it.  Is the documentary perfect? Heck no, but even as someone who has been a hypoglycemic for a very long time and has worked hard to educate herself on sugar, this documentary really showed me how much I really don’t know.

 

I didn’t know that my Bolthouse Farms Vanilla Protein shake had 21 grams of pure sugar in every serving and that sugar was one of the top 4 ingredients.

 

I didn’t know that Thomas Whole Grain Lite English muffins I eat have sugar added to them.

 

I didn’t know that consuming foods with sugar substitutes actually makes you crave sugar and leaves you feeling empty. No wonder I feel hungry after a Coke Zero or French toast with sugar-free syrup on it.

 

But the other thing that Fed Up did for me was to give me visuals to go with the knowledge I do know. For example I know that sugar turns almost instantaneously into fat, but the visual in the movie depicting that is now the visual that plays in my head every time I try to cheat and eat sugar.

 

We have a major problem with sugar in this country and we, as hypoglycemic, are especially susceptible to it, so please, go see Fed Up.

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