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Posts Tagged ‘artificial sweeteners’

I decided this past Sunday that I was going to cut out sugar, artificial sweeteners, and salt from my diet.  I was noticing major swelling in my left ankle by about 4PM each day and it was starting to concern me.  I did some research about artificial sweeteners and ended up sick to my stomach at the thought of putting that crap in my body.  I’ve had enough health issues, I don’t need any more.  I’m also fully aware of what refined and added sugars can do to a person’s body so quitting that is a no-brainer, as is quitting added salt and high-sodium foods.  I switched to eating whole foods; fresh fruit, vegetables and lean meats.  No more processed junk.

Since making the switch, I have dropped 4 pounds.  I’m sure this is water-weight I had gained from eating too much sodium and added salt, but it’s a loss, and that’s good.  My ankle swells less, and I feel better in general.  I’ve been drinking a LOT of water each day, and my energy level has increased also.  So, all in all, the change to a more natural diet certainly does make a difference in how we feel on a day-to-day basis.  Honestly, this should be common sense, but we don’t always practice that now do we?  No, we don’t.  Especially not me.

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I’ve  been reading all about artificial sweeteners and how terrible they are for you.  One article actually said that artificial sweeteners still cause a spike in your blood sugar, with a crash afterward, and can trigger our bodies to store fat!  And that’s mild in comparison to the laundry list of other side effects, one of which includes cancer!   Sheesh!  So, no more diet sodas and artificial sweeteners for me.  I have found some sweet substitutes for sugar, and yesterday tried one that I really love;  Agave Nectar.

Agave Nectar absorbs very slowly into the blood stream, causing a minimal increase in blood sugar.  It comes from the Agave plant, the same plant used to make tequila (my favorite)!   It has the same consistency as honey, and actually tastes similar with a flavor closer to actual sugar.   The only drawback to Agave nectar is there are 60 calories in a tablespoon, but on the flip side, you only need a small amount to achieve a very sweet taste.  I use it in my coffee and tea,  and could probably find many more uses later on.  I had thought I would need to go to a health food store to find it, but I was very pleased to find it at my local grocery store, and it’s 100% organic. 

The other sweetener I’ve been researching, and have yet to try, is Stevia.  This comes from the Stevia herb, and is supposed to be very sweet in very small amounts.  It is non-caloric so that makes it desirable for those who are watching their weight!  I am going to give this a try next and will let you know what I find.  Like anything, I have found some negative things about Stevia, but so far none that are any worse or even come close to the bad side effects of artificial sweeteners!

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