WIAW – Orange Sunbutter Truffles with NuNaturals Stevia

WIAW – Orange Sunbutter Truffles with NuNaturals Stevia

Good morning and happy Humpday!  I’m pretty sure I say that almost every Wednesday but who doesn’t get excited when Wednesday rolls around and the weekend is within reach!?!

Yesterday was a fairly busy day for us but a fun one with some yummy eats so I’m linking up with the lovely Jen and her new little peanut for What I Ate Wednesday!

Peas and Crayons

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Flavoring your coffee

In the past I used to start by day by adding coffee creamer to my cup of joe.  You know, the really yummy ones like Creme Brulee, Cinnamon Bun, White Chocolate Raspberry.  Mmm… they were good!  I always knew it wasn’t all that healthy but I figured since it was just a little bit and it was non-dairy it wasn’t doing much harm.  Then I began to learn a little more about the creamy coffee addition I used daily.

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Good and Bad Sugar Substitutes

Good morning!

This has been a topic I’ve wanted to discuss for quite some time and am just now finally getting around to it.  It’s definitely a hot topic and one that I receive a lot of questions about it.

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Sugar!

Actually, I’m not going to spend much time on sugar in itself but more on sugar substitutes.  Most of us are aware that sugar is addicting and extremely unhealthy for us.  Basically when you eat sugar or foods high in sugar (which is TONS of processed foods), it upsets the body’s blood sugar balance.  Our insulin levels spike then quickly crash which leaves you sleepy, hungry, depressed and often looking to snack.  This is just one way sugar is effecting your body and eating habits but there are many more.

Here’s just a few articles on why sugar is so horrible for us and some issues it can cause,

146 Reasons Why sugar is ruining your health

Why is refined sugar bad for you?

The Truth About Sugar

Now let’s talk about Sugar substitutes.  There’s quite a few out there these days and unfortunately, none are that great for you.  Sugar substitutes may actually cause you to overeat, gain weight and slow down your metabolism.  Luckily there are some that we’ll talk about later that taste great and aren’t as dangerous as these I’m about to list.

Sucralose – also known as Splenda, Sukrana, SucraPlus, Candys, Cuken, or Nevella.  Sucralose has been the subject of many studies one of which done at Duke University that shows Sucralose decreased good, healthy gut bacteria by 50%.  Good backteria is essential for healthy digestive system and your overall health.  while it’s not linked to causing cancer or other major health issues as some sweeteners are, it’s definitely one you should still use in moderation if at all.

Acesulfame Potassium –  also known as Sweet one and Acesulfame K.  It contains the carcinogen methylene chloride which with long-term exposure can cause headaches, depression, nausea, mental confusion, and even cancer.  It is found in many of our foods as well as other products like toothpaste and mouthwash.  So check your labels!

Aspartame – also known as NutraSweet, Equal, AminoSweet, Spoonful, and Canderel.  Aspartame is one of the most used artificial sweetener found in over 6,000 foods.  It has been reported to cause neurological issues like seizures, depression, weight gain and breathing difficulties.  It’s also linked to major health issues like cancer, Alzheimers and multiple sclerosis.

Neotame – also known as Apartame with a new (neo) name but worse for you!  This version of Asparame has been updated to be even sweeter but doesn’t’ require special warnings on the label.  By jumping through a few loopholes with ingredients, Monsanto gets away with selling this product to companies willing to put it in their foods.

Saccharrin – also known as Sweet ‘N Low.  This sugar substitute was removed from products in the past because it was linked to cancer.  However, 20 years later, saccharin is being put back in our foods due to relaxed vigilance by the government and Americans.  It is still just as dangerous as it once was before and can cause inflammation, hormonal imbalances, and chronic disease, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer according to researchers.

So now that we know a little more about some dangerous sugar substitutes, let’s talk about some better choices.

Stevia – this little plant has been used in South Africa for hundreds of years and is a safe, natural sweetener.   Stevia is now found in many grocery stores and is slightly sweeter than your normal table sugar so you don’t have to use as much.  Careful when choosing your stevia though as some companies are adding things to it such as xyltitol or erythritol which are sugar alcohols.  One of my favorite stevia’s is the Trader Joe packets.  I always have a few in my purse and it’s not too overly sweet.  I also really like NuNaturals Liquid Stevia and SweetLeaf Liquid Stevia.  We planted a stevia plant last year and I used the leaves to make simple syrups for summertime cocktails!   I also sweetened iced teas and iced coffees with it but you can definitely do a ton more!

Organic Coconut Sugar – This is a minimally processed cane sugar substitute that has a fairly low glycemic score. Which means it won’t raise your blood pressure as others will do.  As it gains in popularity, it can be found in many grocery stores or specialty markets.  I’ve only tried the Navitas Naturals Coconut sugar and love it!

Organic Raw Honey – Raw honey is a great choice to use when baking or sweetening your food.  However, since it is still a form of sugar it’s best to use it in moderation.

Xylitol and sugar alcohols – Sugar alcohols aren’t absorbed into the body the way that sugar is and have a smaller effect on blood sugar.  While it’s being used in a lot more foods and is a pretty safe sugar alternative, it can cause some stomach discomfort and bloating after eating so beware of these side effects.  It is also metabolized through the liver and overuse could lead to some damage.

I hope that was helpful to you all.  It’s unfortunate that we have to be so cautious about the food items we purchase containing dangerous forms of sugar.  By learning the names under which they are listed and how they affect us, hopefully we can decipher which products are just a little healthier for us 🙂

 QUESTIONS –

  • What type of sugar substitute do you use? 
  • Did you know you can grow your own Stevia plant? 

 

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