In light of Diabetes Awareness Month, many people are showing increased interest in the topic of sugar and sugar alternatives. With the various forms of sugar available – table sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, agave, and honey – understanding the differences between sugars and their effects on the body is not all sweet. Dr. Isaac Eliaz has some insightful news about these effects, providing those who already suffer from diabetes, those who are at risk, and those who need to become better equipped with the tools to stay healthy this holiday season.
Any form of sugar in excess weakens the immune system, causes inflammation in the body, and increases the risk for serious health conditions such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. When American individuals consumed only 5 lbs of sugar per year, prior to the 1900s, incidences of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease were rare. Today it is estimated that the average American consumes more than 135 lbs of sugar per year! So what is the most healthful sweetener to use in moderation, and which ones should you avoid?
Natural SugarForms of sugar that are not processed are better choices than highly processed and refined sugars, for several reasons. Highly refined sugars tend to produce a much higher spike in blood glucose levels than do unprocessed or unrefined sugars. They are also lacking in the trace nutrients that can still be found in unrefined, more natural sugars. Highly refined sugars are very difficult for the body to process, and therefore deplete your nutrient reserves as your body struggles to re-balance itself after ingesting these chemicals.
Raw, unprocessed honey contains a variety of antioxidants, enzymes and trace amounts of vitamins such as thiamin and niacin. Studies have also shown it to have anti-tumor potential, and some research suggests that consuming local, raw honey prior to the spring can help blunt seasonal allergies. Raw honey contains an enzyme that makes it much easier to digest than regular sugar, therefore lowering its effects on blood glucose levels.
The stevia plant is native to South America and is extremely sweet in comparison to table sugar. Steviosides and rebaudiosides are the natural compounds in stevia that create its sweet taste, but contain much fewer calories than sugar. It is important to buy the actual dried herb or ground, green stevia, and not the white stevia, as this is a tell-tale sign of bleaching and processing.
Artificial sweeteners, such as sucralose, cyclamate, aspertame, and saccharin are highly controversial, and many, especially aspartame have been directly linked to neurological disorders and other serious problems. These chemicals have can wreak serious havoc on the body and should be avoided completely.
For those who are sensitive to certain types of sugars or sweeteners, have diabetes or metabolic syndrome, and need to maintain healthy insulin levels, Dr. Eliaz developed an integrative metabolic formula to support healthy blood sugar levels. Integrating the results of scientific research with the principles of Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, this supplement effectively supports a healthy metabolism and blood sugar response. It is combined with a unique alginate complex that also supports healthy sugar absorption, blood insulin levels, and cholesterol.