Sugar Substitutes and Artificial Sweeteners aren’t Good Replacements

sugar The real name for the sugar used at home is sucrose and that’s about as far as I care to go with it. The raw sugar is extracted from sugar cane and sugar beets and then processed to purify it.

Some people try to cut down on the sugar they consume by replacing it with a sugar substitute or an artificial sweetener. The replacements tend to be just as unhealthy as what they replace.

Sugar is an Almost Pure Carbohydrate

As such, it can be readily used as energy when the body needs it. Unfortunately, it’s almost never needed.

I’ve tried various replacements, sometimes against my will. When I was young (under 13), my mother and older sisters replaced it with sodium saccharin when making iced tea. But only for a year or so. None of us could get used to the taste, especially the aftertaste.

Eventually, no one in my family used anything but the real thing. Of course, we used honey in some instances, but not really as a replacement.

Sugar and Dieting

Some people like the taste of diet soft drinks. They taste nasty to me. I never bother to see what’s used as the sweetener. At one time it was aspartame, but I don’t think it’s used anymore.

There are all kinds of plant sweeteners available in the United States. The only one I can remember offhand is stevia. I seem to remember “monk” something but I haven’t seen these things in years.

A teaspoon of sugar has 16 calories. I use two teaspoons in my coffee every morning. Since dining teaspoons aren’t exact, I can still be confident my coffee is less than 50 calories because I don’t add anything else (except water, of course).

Sugar and Age

Maybe it’s hereditary or something. When my father aged beyond 50, he didn’t like it in much of anything. He drank his coffee black. The only kind of breakfast cereal he liked was the regular, unsweetened corn flakes.

As I race to my sixties, I don’t like sweet things very much either. If I drink a soft drink, it has to be diluted with something else, like melting ice. I’ll drink a rum and coke cocktail at times, with more rum than coke (I mix my own).

I don’t like anything containing replacements and most soft drinks contain corn syrup. If I want to eat an oatmeal or chocolate chip cookie, it had better be made with the real thing.

The secret to getting healthier is to consume less sugar, not to replace it with something that could be worse.

March 10, 2018

Food and Drink, Health

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