Okay, my fellow sweet tooth friends, this post is for you! I hear it all the time – “What sweeteners can I use on the 21 Day Fix?”. It’s a valid question, especially for those of us that love all things sweet. I’ve got some good news and some bad news. The good news is that you’re not completely left out to dry without sugar of any kind. The “bad” news is that your servings of sugar are going to be altered in quantity and the types of sugar you can consume.
Before I get in and explain the WHYs…let’s get the WHAT out of the way. What can you have? What can you not have?
(From page 15)
Pure Maple Syrup (the real stuff from the trees!) Ben’s sugar shack Dark Amber Pure Maple Syrup, 16 Fluid Ounce
Agave Nectar Now Foods Organic Light Agave Nectar, 23.28 Ounce
Sweeteners to Avoid:
High Fructose Corn Syrup
I don’t understand. Isn’t sugar….sugar? Why are some better than others?
That’s kind of a loaded question with no easy answers. You can do a lot of research out there, and as science progresses, research will continue and new discoveries will get made. I’ll try to simplify it as much as possible, and let Google be your guide for further exploration. The question is further complicated by those who struggle with diabetes, so in those cases I would recommend talking to your doctor.
Our bodies process different sugars differently. With the approved sugar list, those types of sugar are less refined, and therefore will be received differently into your body. The old phrase about “sugar highs” referred to your blood sugars spiking after consuming great amounts of sugar. Even if you are not diabetic, those spikes can affect your body, including your hunger and fullness levels. With the “approved” sugars list above, those sweeteners don’t provide as much of a spike than the unapproved list. However, there such a thing as having too much of a good thing, so that’s why even these quantities are limited. Sugar contains calories and will affect your weight loss. With the 21 Day Fix, you are allowed 1-2 teaspoons a DAY. That’s not a lot, but generous for those who need something sweet.
What about artificial sweeteners? Those don’t contain any calories! Why can’t I consume those in mass quantities?
With the except of stevia, calorie-free sweeteners were artificially made from chemicals. There have been many studies to show how artificial sweeteners can affect brain function, cause seizures, cancer, and other side affects. In other words, they are not good for your body. In addition, they can still affect your blood sugar spikes to cause hunger, even without the added calories. If that is not a valid enough of a reason, I’d ask you to think about it this way: Modern technology and scientific research is constantly evolving. Sacchrin (aka Sweet’n Low), was once considered to be a safe artificial sweetener. In the 1970s, lab tests revealed that it caused cancer in rats. In 2001, the FDA decided that since the findings weren’t found on humans and therefore was safe for humans. Also, research is starting to surface on aspartame (have you noticed how more companies like Pepsi are starting to move away from using the sweetener) and sucralose (I believe it’s only a matter of time before companies start moving away from that as well). 21 Day Fix urges you to consume REAL food in real proportions.
Okay, so how much can I have again?
1-2 teaspoons per day.
Oh the humanity! This coffee/pancake/whatever needs to be sweeter!!
Okay, my friend. (Since you’re responding the above, we MUST be friends because I’d be saying the same thing!). Here’s a time in your life to branch out and explore some new possibilities. Spices can not only add some flavor, but give the illusion of sweetness without the extra calories. Cinnamon is one of my favorite go-tos. In fact, I put cinnamon in my kids’ pancakes to help eliminate the need for syrup. Pure extracts are also a good way to go. (You’ll want pure/natural, as imitation extracts can contain sugars). Vanilla is my favorite, but these Bakto extracts always find a way into my coffees, shakes, and whatever else I might be baking!
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