White sugar should be avoided, its health risks are now proven. But how to choose a natural substitute that is good for both the body and the palate? Follow the guide.
We are too sweet. Slow, fast, hidden, sugar is present everywhere in our diet and is often added without our knowledge in most food products. If it only caused cavities, we wouldn’t give it much importance. The problem is even more worrying. There are countless scientific publications on the subject, as well as recipe books that help us replace it at all costs.
It must be said that our arteries pay dearly for sweets on the palate! And if diabetes and obesity are just the examples known to the general public, there are many others. A high consumption increases the risks of cardiovascular diseases and cancer, and also affects our mental health: a study recently highlighted that the excess of sugary drinks accentuates depression problems; others, that added sugar would promote the development of Alzheimer’s disease3. Others have highlighted the link between heavy drinking and memory problems, hyperactivity, and learning disabilities in children. And we are only at the beginning. Because, under the microscope, this abundance literally “caramelizes” our cells, accelerating their aging process. Scientists call this phenomenon “glycation.” It is no coincidence that the world of cosmetics is now very interested in it (some cosmetic manufacturers, such as Yves Saint Laurent or Lierac, include anti-glycation complexes in their formulas).
Should we, therefore, give up all the desserts that bring a little sweetness to our lives? Certainly not: you don’t just get rid of your desire for sweet flavors. But to “get out of trouble a bit”, we can choose between the many natural alternatives that exist, and achieve, thanks to them, reduce the quantities, for our health.
From the most recent offers to the most classic products, prefer them as much as possible of organic quality. Here is our selection of natural “sugars”.
Yacon and lucuma powder : They are from Peru. The first, from a tuber of the same name, is rich in antioxidants and interesting for diabetics. The second comes from the fruit of a local tree nicknamed the “gold of the gods” for its contribution of vitamins, mineral salts, fibers, its low glycemic index (speed of entry into the blood) and its action on cholesterol.
Jerusalem artichoke syrup : Contrary to what its name suggests, it is native to North America. Made from Jerusalem artichoke, it is rich in iron, potassium and vitamin C, as well as inulin, a non-digestible fiber that acts on intestinal transit.
coconut sugar : Still unknown until recently, coconut blossom sugar now features prominently in organic stores. Originally from Southeast Asia, obtained from the evaporation of the nectar of the flowers of the coconut palm after cooking, it has everything to please: low glycemic index, great richness in antioxidants and minerals, ease of use. Its close flavor to brown sugar is more subtle than that of brown sugar, which is an advantage for certain recipes. However, there are some drawbacks to take into account: very rich in fructose (the name given to vegetable sugar), its consumption should be moderate and its price is still quite high. Unlike brown sugar, it cannot be flambéed with a torch for desserts.
birch sugar : This birch bark extract (not to be confused with birch syrup, another natural sugar obtained from the sap) is used as a substitute for conventional sugar in Scandinavian countries. Non-acidifying, it has a very low glycemic index which makes it an ally for diabetics. Twice as caloric as white sugar, its sweetening power is close to that of the latter when cold, but doubles when cooked. This requires learning how to dose it. Beyond fifty grams per day, its laxative effect has been observed. In pastry, it allows to succeed in bases of cakes and biscuits. It’s also the closest substitute to the crystalline, white appearance of powdered sugar, except it has an incredible fresh note in the mouth, which is why it’s used in the manufacture of chewing gum.
to go further
Sugar: are we addicted?
Sugar, as addictive as a hard drug? This is the -terrifying- message that begins to emerge from the various investigations carried out on the subject. The point with Serge Ahmed, research director of the Bordeaux CNRS and specialist in addictions.
agave syrup : extracted from the sap of the blue agave, a succulent plant from Mexico that is used in particular in the manufacture of tequila, it is slightly less caloric and less acidifying than white sugar (a dessert spoonful of agave syrup contains 323 calories, compared to 398 for white sugar). Its glycemic index is low, but do not overdo it, because it is rich in fructose, which favors the formation of fat cells over time. Its sweetening power is one to two times higher than that of white sugar thanks to its extraction process. It adds a lot of softness to cakes, but tends to soften cake and cookie doughs. Finally, don’t overcook it, it becomes more bitter.
stevia : with a glycemic index and a caloric content equal to zero, and endowed with a sweetening power two hundred and fifty times greater than that of white sugar, the leaves of this South American plant are on their way to dethroning aspartame. The problem: In addition to its not-always-pleasant licorice aftertaste, a little bit of everything and everything is sold under the name “stevia.” In France, the purified extract of stevia based on one of its derivatives (rebaudioside A) is commonly found; but it is sometimes associated with maltodextrins which raise its glycemic index to one hundred and five! In the form of a pure extract, with or without the addition of preservatives, often in highly refined powder, in liquid extract… You have to learn to decipher the labels. The ideal is to grow it in a pot and use fresh leaves, bearing in mind that the sweetness varies depending on the origin of the plants.
Maple syrup : native to North America, it is the first sap collected in early spring. This is then concentrated by evaporation to become this brown, translucent syrup that is so tasty. Rich in calcium, potassium, and iron, maple syrup is fairly well assimilated by the body despite having a fairly high glycemic index. It has the particularity of containing a very wide variety of antioxidants, particularly polyphenols, and would have a beneficial effect on type 2 diabetes by inhibiting certain enzymes. In confectionery, it is used to coat pancakes, waffles and other pancakes.
raw honey : healing, antioxidant, softening and natural antibiotic, honey has many benefits. Since its sweetening power is much higher than that of white sugar – three sugar cubes are equivalent to a teaspoon of honey – it is necessary to limit the quantities, especially since it has a high glycemic index (with the exception of acacia honey). The heat causes it to lose vitamins, it is better to add it at the end of cooking. Prefer organic honey, unpasteurized (otherwise it loses its properties) and those whose producer and collection method you know. The product will surely be more expensive, but of better quality and more respectful of bees.
brown sugar : found in stores under the names rapture, muscovado Where will degrade according to their geographical origin. It is a cane sugar that has not been completely stripped of its molasses. Its richness in minerals (iron, magnesium, calcium) is proportional to its color: the darker, the higher the content. Remineralizing, it would also prevent cavities. It is one of the best sugars for children (and adults). It is used like egg white in confectionery, with the difference that it stains preparations brown and gives off aromas of liquorice, caramel and spices.
to go further
to go further
The pleasure of sugar against the risk of diabetes by Reginald Allouche. The author explains how to go against the grain (prediabetes is reversible) and get the most out of sugar (Odile Jacob, 2013).
My good desserts with natural sugars by Marie Chioca and Delphine Paslin (Living Earth, 2013).
too much sugar by Mark Hyman (Marabout, 2013).
Stevia and other natural sugars by Laurence Lévy-Dutel and Claire Pinson (Eyrolles, 2012).
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener discovered in 1965 and marketed in France in the early 1980s. With a sweetening power two hundred times greater than that of sucrose for a low caloric intake, it is commonly used in industrial products – candies, soft drinks, medicines , etc. The use of this sweetener has been the subject of much criticism after the publication of conflicting studies on its safety. One of them, carried out in Denmark, raised the suspicion of a risk of premature delivery. Others have shown a link to increased cancers. Currently, the daily dose authorized by the European Food Safety Authority (Efsa) is forty milligrams per kilo of body weight per day (that is, 2.4 grams for a person weighing sixty kilos). An extensive investigation has been launched since January and Efsa is due to deliver its long-awaited findings in November.
How much should not be exceeded per day to lose weight?
The low carbohydrate (sugar) diet has been the subject of much controversy. However, one of the reasons cutting carbs is so popular is because it’s a fast way to lose weight.
Sugars are the body’s main source of energy, as well as fuel for vital organs such as the kidneys, central nervous system, and brain. Healthy carbohydrates, such as so-called complex carbohydrates, are necessary for the optimal functioning of the body. Carbohydrates are broken down into a simple form of energy called glucose. The body uses insulin to transport glucose into cells. When too many carbohydrates are consumed, blood sugar levels spike, insulin levels rise, and weight gain is often the result. In this article, we look at how much carbohydrate a person needs to eat to lose weight and whether a low-carb diet is good for your health. We also take a look at the best and worst sources of carbs to consume.
What is a low sugar diet?
Low-carb diets can lead to rapid weight loss, but they can have side effects. Low-carb diets restrict the number of calories a person gets by limiting their food sources of carbohydrates. This includes good and bad carbs. To compensate, low-carb diets tend to be higher in protein and fat.
Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy. If this intake is reduced, the body burns its protein and fat reserves to feed itself. Low-carb diets, such as the Atkins diet and the Dukan diet, provide rapid weight loss. However, these diets are extreme and can have unwanted side effects.
For most people, it may be healthier to take a more moderate approach by reducing carbohydrate intake to aid weight loss.
How many carbs and calories should you eat to lose weight?
Although many studies indicate that low-carb diets promote rapid weight loss, this weight reduction is often short-lived. Recent research supports the idea that a quality diet is not just about controlling calories from carbohydrates. Instead, dieters should pay attention to the number of calories eaten from all food sources, including carbohydrates, protein, and fat, and strike a healthy balance.
In a recent study, dieters were looked at to compare the different weight losses resulting from a low-fat diet (LFD) and a low-carbohydrate diet (LCD). The researchers found that after six months of the low-calorie diet, weight changes were similar in the LFD and LCD groups.
On average, an adult’s total daily calories come from the following sources:
Some nutritionists recommend a ratio of 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 30% fat as a goal for healthy weight loss. A 1,500 calorie diet with 40% carbohydrates translates to 600 calories per day from carbohydrates. Using a ratio of 4 calories per gram (g) of carbohydrates, a person on this diet should eat 150 g of carbohydrates per day.
This 1,500 calorie diet would also include 450 calories or 112 g of protein and 450 calories or 50 g of fat per day.
Carbohydrates 600 calories 150 g
Protein 450 calories 112g
Fat 450 calories 50 g
The exact distribution of carbohydrates, proteins and fats in grams can be calculated using websites dedicated to this calculation. You should also know that each person has slightly different needs when it comes to nutrients like carbohydrates. The specific needs of people vary depending on their height, weight, and activity level. A diet that works for one person will not necessarily work for another. Therefore, it is important to discuss any weight loss or calorie restriction diet with a doctor before beginning.
Good carbs and bad carbs
Carbohydrates are important for health, as is maintaining a healthy weight. However, it is important to note that not all carbohydrates are created equal. Carbohydrates are commonly known as “good carbs” or “bad carbs.” When it comes to following a healthy diet, and especially when trying to lose weight, your carb intake should prioritize good carbs over bad carbs.
Fiber-rich vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, are an example of good carbohydrates.
Good carbs are complex carbs, which means they are high in fiber and nutrients and take longer to break down. Because they take longer to break down, they don’t cause blood sugar spikes or spikes that are too high.
Here are some examples of good carbs:
– whole fruits with skin
– whole grains
– high-fiber vegetables, such as sweet potatoes
– beans and legumes rich in fiber
Bad carbs are simple carbs that break down easily and cause your blood sugar to spike quickly.
Here are some examples of bad carbs:
– white sugar, bread, pasta and flour
– sugary drinks and juices
– cakes, sweets and cookies
– other processed foods
Eating carbohydrates in their natural fiber-rich form is good for your health. Processed foods high in white sugar and refined carbohydrates can lead to weight gain. By counting calories from carbohydrates, ideal weight management can be achieved by observing a healthy ratio of complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. The best way to lose weight is to combine diet, exercise, and behavior or lifestyle changes. Dietitians can provide advice to anyone who wants to make changes to help them lose weight.
Anyone considering reducing their carbohydrate intake and eating more protein and fat should watch their saturated fat intake. Too many of these can increase cholesterol levels, as well as the risk of heart disease.
discover its hidden secrets and how to choose it
Vanilla is a flavoring that can be used in many different dishes. It is sweet and slightly nutty, making it perfect for sweet and savory recipes. But with all the types of vanilla available on the market, how do you choose the right one for your recipe? Here are some tips to help you choose the vanilla that best suits your needs.
Vanilla: This is a scent with barely-revealed secrets.
Vanilla is a scent derived from the seeds of a tropical orchid. It is the second most expensive spice after saffron, due to the long and laborious process of cultivation and harvesting. Vanilla originated in Mexico, where it was first cultivated by the Aztecs. After the Spanish conquest of Mexico, vanilla was introduced to Europe, where it quickly became a popular ingredient in both sweet and savory dishes. Today, vanilla is widely used in a variety of cuisines throughout the world. In addition to its flavor, vanilla is also known for its calming aroma, which has been shown to reduce stress and promote relaxation. Vanilla is also a popular choice for aromatherapy and perfumery.
The benefits of vanilla.
Vanilla has antioxidant properties:
One of the compounds in vanilla, vanillin, is an antioxidant. Antioxidants scavenge harmful molecules called free radicals that can damage cells and cause inflammation. Some studies have shown that vanillin may help protect against certain types of cancer and improve heart health. Vanillin may also help improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Although more research is needed to confirm these potential health benefits, vanilla appears to be a delicious way to promote good health.
Vanilla Improves Blood Sugar Control:
Some research suggests that consuming vanilla may help improve blood sugar control. One study found that participants who took a vanilla extract supplement experienced a significantly greater reduction in their blood sugar levels than those who did not. Vanilla seems to work by stimulating insulin production and improving the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Therefore, vanilla could be an effective natural remedy to control blood sugar. If you’re interested in trying vanilla for blood sugar control, talk to your health care professional to see if it’s right for you.
Vanilla relaxes the body and relieves stress:
Vanilla can relax the body and relieve stress in many ways. For example, it can help calm nerves and reduce anxiety. The vanilla scent is also known to be a natural sleep aid. This makes it an ideal product to use before bed.
Additionally, vanilla has calming properties that can help lower blood pressure and heart rate. Therefore, it is a great option for people who are looking to reduce their stress levels and promote relaxation. There are many ways to enjoy the benefits of vanilla. Including the use of essential oils, diffusers, candles or simply incorporating vanilla extract into your favorite recipes. Whichever method you choose, there is no doubt that vanilla can help you relax and de-stress.
4 tips for choosing the right vanilla.
Know your goal.
Knowing your goal can help you choose your vanilla because it gives you a better understanding of what you’re trying to achieve. For example, if you want to create a rich and creamy ice cream, using a vanilla bean from Madagascar would be a good choice. The pods from this region have a high vanillin content, which gives them their characteristic flavor. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more subtle flavor, Tahitian vanilla beans would be a better choice. These pods have a lower vanillin content, which gives them a more delicate flavor. By understanding the result you want to achieve, you can make better decisions when selecting your ingredients.
Consider the source.
There are three main types of vanilla: Tahitian vanilla, Mexican vanilla, and Madagascar vanilla. Tahitian vanilla is known for its fruity flavor. While Mexican vanilla has a deeper and more woody flavor. Madagascar vanilla is the most common type of vanilla used for baking and has a rich, sweet flavor. When choosing a vanilla, it’s important to consider what you’ll be using it for. Tahitian vanilla works well in savory dishes, Mexican vanilla is perfect for spicy dishes, and Madagascar vanilla is ideal for sweet desserts.
Check the quality.
While many people think that all vanillas are the same, there can be a big difference in quality. If you’re looking for the best possible vanilla, there are several ways to check its quality. First, look at the color of the vanilla. Good quality vanilla should be dark brown or black in color. If it’s lighter than that, it probably won’t have as much flavor. Then smell the vanilla. It should have a strong, sweet scent. If the smell isn’t very strong, it probably doesn’t taste very good either. Finally, try the vanilla. It should be smooth and creamy, with no bitterness or aftertaste. If you meet all of these criteria, you can be sure that the vanilla you are buying is of good quality.
Opt for vanilla beans.
First of all, the vanilla beans are more potent than the powder. This means you don’t need to use as much to get the same flavor. Then the vanilla beans have a richer and more complex flavor than the powder. This is because the beans are dried and processed before they are used to make the extract. This allows for deeper flavor development. Finally, the powder can sometimes be mixed with other ingredients, such as sugar or cornstarch. This means that you may not get a pure vanilla flavor when using it. For all of these reasons, it’s generally better to choose vanilla beans over baking powder.
What foods to better control blood sugar?
If you have diabetes, then you know how difficult it can be to control your diet and regulate your blood sugar. Some foods cause massive spikes while others actually lower blood sugar, but many people have to spend years of trial and error before finding what works for them. Fortunately, thanks to years of scientific discoveries, we have been able to determine which foods are better than others. In this article, we are going to discuss the best foods to control diabetes and lower blood sugar.
Non-starchy vegetables are among the healthiest foods a diabetic can eat. They not only fill you up, but are also packed with essential vitamins and minerals that help regulate blood sugar. Since it’s a whole food with small amounts of sugar and high levels of fiber, you can eat as many non-starchy vegetables as you want without worrying about blood sugar spikes. To get the most out of non-starchy vegetables, choose fresh, canned, or frozen vegetables without added salt or sauce.
Green leafy vegetables:
Many of the best leafy greens are considered non-starchy vegetables, but they deserve their own section. Spinach and kale are among the best leafy greens to include in your daily diet because they contain very high levels of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps control diabetes in people with type 2 diabetes and may help promote a general feeling of well-being. Leafy greens also contain specific antioxidants that help protect the eyes from the complications of diabetes.
Nuts and eggs:
Nuts and eggs are fatty foods that help control diabetes and control blood sugar. Nuts are high in fiber and most are low in digestible carbohydrates, so they won’t spike your blood sugar. However, it is important to differentiate between certain types of nuts, as some of them are very high in digestible carbohydrates. If you’re watching your weight, be sure to eat nuts in moderation.
Eggs are also a great source of healthy fats that help control diabetes. In fact, they can improve your insulin sensitivity and decrease inflammation while providing antioxidant benefits that help reduce the number of free radicals in your body and protect you against disease. If you incorporate eggs into your diet, be sure to include the yolk, as this is where most of the nutrients are found.
Extra virgin olive oil has always been famous for its countless health benefits. It is one of the most effective oils for reducing the risk of heart disease and contains a number of antioxidants that help reduce inflammation, protect cells and lower blood pressure. Choose pure extra virgin olive oil to reap all the health benefits and drizzle it on salads, use it in a marinade, or cook meats and vegetables with it.
Other natural fats that are helpful in managing diabetes are coconut oil, avocado oil, any type of nut oil, lard, tallow, chicken fat, duck fat, coconut milk and the sugar-free coconut cream.
Apple cider vinegar:
Not surprisingly, apple cider vinegar is popular among fans of healthy eating. Fermented acetic acid helps improve insulin sensitivity, lowers fasting blood sugar, and reduces glycemic response by up to 20% when combined with carbohydrate-rich meals. Due to the high acidity of apple cider vinegar, it is best taken with a tablespoon mixed with water to prevent damage to the teeth and esophagus. Start slowly, with about a teaspoon, and increase your intake based on how you feel.
If you’re craving something sweet, try eating a cup of strawberries. Strawberries are full of antioxidants and have been shown to lower cholesterol and insulin levels after a meal. If you’re not a big fan of strawberries and want to incorporate fresh fruit into your diet, opt for raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries, which tend to be lower in sugar than other fruits like apples and bananas.
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