Did you know that some sugar is actually good for you? Xylitol for example has been shown to prevent tooth decay, stabilize hormones and regulate insulin. Twenty-five years of research shows that chewing gum with xyitol reduces tooth decay by up to 40%. One brand I found is Spry and it comes in lots of flavors. More research shows that a solution of xylitol in a nasal spray greatly reduces sinus and ear infections when used regularly.Might be worth a try.
Another 'good' sugar is D-mannose which is found naturally in cranberry and pineapple juice. This sugar is particularly good at preventing harmful e-coli bacteria from sticking to the walls of the bladder. So that's why your mother told you to drink lots of cranberry juice when you get the pesky bladder infections.
So what about sucrose (table sugar) and fructose (fruit sugar)? Let's start with 'high-fructose corn syrup' (HFCS). Research done at Princeton confirmed that a diet including HFCS leads to more weight gain - especially in the form of abdominal fat - the most dangerous kind of fat. HFCS consumption has been shown to cause more weight gain than consuming a high fat diet. Please read labels and know that HFCS goes by other names like chicory, inulin, iso glucose, glucose-fructose syrup and fruit fructose and crystaline fructose.
Then there is good old table sugar or sucrose. Sugar can do several things when consumed in even moderate quantities.
- Increase blood acidity
- Decrease body's ability to fight disease
- Increase dental carries
- Increase triglycerides
- Increase hyperglycemia
- Increase visceral (internal organ) fat
- Increase insulin resistance
Dr. Jonathan Wright has done some interesting research on sugar. Read some of his articles here.
When you do make sweet treats for your family, try stevia - a natural sweetener with none of the ill effects of other sugars. It's easy to find in the grocery store or online.
It all comes down to eating real food, eating more of the good stuff (fruits, vegetables, grains, fish, beans and lentils) and finding joy in the incredible bounty of mother earth.
Be well and happy ~