A group of different sweeteners

New Year’s Resolution: Cut Out All “Bad” Sugar

By Shane Power, President of Watertree Health 

For 2019, I have set the goal of cutting out all unhealthy sugar from my dietnamely refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup. If you’ve ever had a meal with me previously, it was most likely followed by dessert. Most of my friends and family know my weakness for sweets. When my sweet tooth kicks in, I’d find myself reaching for the closest snack, which was often jammed with unhealthy sweeteners.

I decided to make this my New Year’s resolution because consuming “bad” sugars can be detrimental to your health. They can cause health conditions like weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, increased risk of cancer, and much more. Refined sugars can also dramatically affect your energy levels because they cause your insulin levels to spike. I think we’ve all experienced thisthe crashes after eating foods full of refined sugar.

This month, I’ve been researching “bad” sugars, as well as replacements. In the process, I slowly started using less refined sugars. I’ve had a chance to try raw coconut sugar in my coffee and was pleasantly surprised by its taste—it’s very similar to brown sugar. And, now if I shop for already prepared foods, I check the ingredient list to make sure that cane sugar or corn fructose syrup are not included. I’ve learned that refined sugar is not always listed as “sugar.” Here are a few sneaky names that might be used: dextran, maltose, sucrose, lactose, galactose, and dextrose. I also found this list of “good” sweeteners that was published by Farm Cut:

  • Maple Syrup
  • Wild Honey
  • Agave
  • Raw Coconut Sugar

Whatever goal you set as your New Year’s resolution, be committed to yourself. Change will only occur through determination and persistence. Take me for example; I’ve already tried some delicious food with “good” sweeteners, and I’m excited to have my cake and eat it, too. Just remember, the key to living a healthier life starts with you.