Sugar and Its Alternatives

Sugar and Its Alternatives

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

Recently I gave up sugar. Now, this was not done easily because I love sugar, preferably raw sugar used as a sweetener. So, the challenge became what to use instead of sugar. Some of you know that after graduate school I worked in research for a short period of time before I went to National. During that time I was the necropsy supervisor for the original Aspartame (NutraSweet) study. As you might guess, if you haven’t heard one of my lectures, I refuse to even smell aspartame let alone use it. Since that time numerous studies have been done linking it to MS, weight gain, cancer, and the list go on.

Somewhat new on the scene is Splenda (sucralose) which is synthesized in the laboratory using selective chlorination of sucrose in which three of the hydroxyl groups are replaced with chlorine atoms to produce sucralose – something akin to a pesticide. So, it isn’t really that “natural” is it? Studies conducted at Duke University found that sucralose reduces the amount of beneficial bacteria in the gut by acidifying the colon. Since chronic conditions are facilitated by acidifying the body many of our therapies are directed at alkalinizing the body.

So, here is what I found – Iced tea and other liquids are easily sweetened with Agave which is nectar from a cactus. Xylitol appears very much like common table sugar and it is derived from birch bark. You may have already noticed that xylitol is frequently used in toothpaste as it reduces the risk of cavities. Xylitol has no after taste and is very effective in sweetening that cup or two of coffee in the morning.

Stevia is a common sweetener and books have been written on its use. Stevia is derived from a leaf and is much sweeter than sugar, but it has an after taste. Honey is a good alternative but it should be used sparingly as it can throw off your insulin levels. Also, for best results, honey should be purchased from a local farmer who tends their own bee hives as honey derived from local flowers will help minimize your reaction to local antigens.

Besides being better for me I have also lost approximately thirty pounds. Agave and stevia can usually be found in your local grocery store and xylitol can be found in your local health food store. There are some things for which I will continue to use sugar – like my homemade elderberry wine and I will continue to use local honey for making an elderberry cough syrup.

About The Author

Frank Strehl, DC, DABCI

Dr. Frank Strehl passed away on October 21, 2011, after a courageous battle with cancer. Dr. Strehl graduated from Taylor University in Upland, Ind., and received his doctorate in chiropractic medicine from National College of Chiropractic in Lombard, Ill. He completed the diplomate program through the American Chiropractic Association’s Council on Diagnosis and Internal Disorders and expanded the scope of his practice into natural internal medicine. He served as president of the American Chiropractic Association’s Council on Diagnosis and Internal Disorders and was an adjunct faculty member at the Department of Diagnosis at the National University of Health Sciences. From 2003 until his passing, Strehl was the Northern Illinois delegate to the American Chiropractic Association and was a member of the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors for the National University of Health Sciences. He was also a member of several American Chiropractic Association committees.

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