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5 Genuinely Healthy Sugar Alternatives

Sweet treats are a gift.


God could have created us without an inclination for sweetness. But He didn't. And I believe wholeheartedly that sweet treats belong in the abundant life.


But like the rest of life's gifts, humans corrupted the gift of sweetness. We got greedy. We also lacked the discernment to foresee that advances in sweet technology and chemistry would cause harm to our health.


Significant harm.


 

Sugar, Corn Syrup, & Artificial Sweeteners


For thousands of years, humans and sweets lived symbiotically. But the story of sweets took a significant pivot as a result of the Industrial Revolution.


We discovered how to refine and granulize sugar cane. This process popularized sugar. What was once reserved for Dukes and Duchesses was made available to the whole world. Nobility tasted good.


But unfortunately, the refining process of sugar intensifies its sweetness (making it more addictive) and removes its nutritious qualities (making it metabolically harmful).


Fast forward to the invention of high fructose corn syrup in the 1950s. This was cool chemistry. It was also cheaper than regular sugar. But soon after its popularization within the food and beverage industries, we discovered that high fructose corn syrup was quite the metabolic sinister.


A few decades later, artificial sweeteners like sucralose (Spenda), aspartame, and acesulfame potassium joined the party.


Though these sugar substitutes promised extreme sweetness (600x sweeter than sugar!) and metabolic neutrality (no calories!), artificial sweeteners are arguably just as harmful as sugar and high fructose corn syrup. (We're talking about too-close-for-comfort correlations with cancer and dementia.)


 

The West's Agnosticism Towards Sugar


Despite the litany of research indicating the addictive nature and harmful effects of refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners, we live in a society that sees these substances as innocuous or "not that bad."


This agnosticism and apathy towards sugar's hold on the West is, ironically, perpetuated by our top health institutions.


For example, Tufts University, one of the nation's most influential nutritional institutions, recently ranked Lucky Charms and Reese's Puffs as healthier than eggs, whole milk, and red meat. Makes sense. Trust the science. (Oh, and ignore the fact that General Mills, Kelloggs, and Pepsi fund Tufts' research.)


 

Let us remember that prior to the Industrial Revolution and the fantastic nutritional science from institutions like Tufts, metabolic diseases that feed off sugarcancer, diabetes, heart diseasewere a rarity, if not nonexistent. Now, they are the leading causes of death in the U.S.


Also important to acknowledge is that our government and healthcare industry won't save us from this mess. Sickness sells too well.


It's up to you to choose healthto make the small, daily decisions that foster vitality and strength and joy.


If you're already on the journey or looking to join, you'll be glad to know that it doesn't exclude sweets. But it certainly makes no room for the sweets that have forged the degeneration of the West's health.


Below is a list of my favorite sugar alternatives that work excellently in baking or cooking.


 

Honey


From inhibiting cancer to improving insulin sensitivity and reducing triglycerides and blood glucose levels, honey is not just a healthy sweetener; it's one of the healthiest foods on earth.


It's been used as medicine for ages, and modern research (not from Tufts) reiterates its remarkable restorative, disease-fighting effects.


A 2021 systematic review published in the British Medical Journal found that honey was more effective than standard antibiotics in treating upper respiratory infections. Golden, delicious, (mRNA-free!) medicine.


As King Solomon wrote in Proverbs, "My son, eat honey, for it is good, and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste." Solomon also warned that "it is not good to eat much honey," alluding to the fact temperance, even with wholesome foods, is prudent.


As someone whose wisdom is slightly less than Solomon's, I recommend choosing local honey for optimal benefits, my son.


 

Date Sugar


Unlike cane or beet sugar, the refinement process of date sugar is pretty minimal. As a result, many of the beneficial nutrients found in dateslike their abundant antioxidant profileremain available.


Date sugar is a great substitute for conventional brown sugar.


 

Coconut Sugar


Coconut sugar contains vitamins C and E, zinc, iron, potassium, and phosphorus, and a variety of beneficial phytonutrients.


In comparison to standard table sugar, coconut sugar contains about half the amount of sugar. (E.g., 1 tablespoon of cane sugar contains 12g of sugar versus coconut sugar's 6g per tablespoon.)


Coconut sugar is one of my go-to's for baking. In fact, as I'm writing this, I'm eating one of the coconut sugar chocolate chunk cookies I just baked. (RECIPE COMING SOON!!!)




 

Maple Syrup


Unlike free expression and unethical end-of-life "care," maple syrup is something Canada does very well. It is a rich source of manganese and possesses polyphenols that may prevent liver damage.


Sadly, 70% of Americans prefer maple flavored corn syrup to nature-made maple syrup. I vote we disavow and remove Aunt Jemima's toxic energy from the Running On Butter family.


 

Blackstrap Molasses


Blackstrap molasses contains iron, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium as well as various antioxidant compounds. Blackstrap contains more nutrients than conventional molasses.


My brother Deter makes the most delicious gingersnaps utilizing blackstrap molasses. I will have to include the recipe here.

 

Moral of the Story


As you transition from conventional, industrial sugars to nature-made sugar alternatives, you may be disappointed.


What were always considered the sweetest and rarest of gifts for thousands of yearsfresh fruit, honeyare now uninteresting and insipid to those whose brains and tastebuds have been busted up by technology's effect on food.


But I believe with every part of my being that bypassing the cheap stuff renders the acquisition of the optimal life. It's no loss. We recalibrate our appetite for real, full, complex and genuinely satisfying foods.


Let's explore the technicolor world that comes with choosing real food.

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4 comentarios


vschebell
29 abr

If we could have fruit in it's intended form - vine ripened, then we would find it to be amazingly delicious in it's taste, nutrition and satisfying for it's natural sweetness as well. Nature's "candy"

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vancevoetberg
vancevoetberg
30 abr
Contestando a

Nature's candy, indeed! Love it.

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Staci Giroux
Staci Giroux
28 abr

My favorite part of this article is how effortlessly you throw shade while providing fantastic information. Shoutout to Canada for slaying the most glorious dichotomy a country could ever hope to slay.


Also, I’ve never been called someone’s son before this article and for some reason I now feel like healthier version of myself because of it…?!


Anyways, thanks, as usual Mr. Butter.

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vancevoetberg
vancevoetberg
28 abr
Contestando a

Staci,


Thank you for your thoughts. Though I don't aim to throw shade, sometimes the shade launches itself.

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