So many of you have been curious about my sugar substitutes. What kind of sugars can you use, and what kind of sugars you can’t use like so many dangerous sugars you find at the grocery stores today.
Let me first tell you a little about my background and the reason why I truly started this food blog.
I grew up in a family with four sisters and one brother. Like all families, we constantly bickered and got into silly arguments. Playtime would often end in someone getting hurt and nap time would always come with difficulty. We were a very normal, god-fearing family. But there is one thing not everyone notices at first. Two of my sisters are diabetic. One was diagnosed at just merely four years old and the other at twelve. At the time, it was the norm and neither I nor my family really made that change to eat healthy for the sake of my sisters.
It never occurred to me just how difficult it is for them at times. Then again, I never minded the illness, after all, I was used it. Completely oblivious to the chronic pain endured.
Though I am the oldest out of the whole gang, you can basically say that I grew up knowing of diabetes. I still remember my sister running away from my mom who was holding a syringe in her hand. I can only imagine the pain my mother felt in her heart when she knew that she had to do it to keep her daughter alive.
As I grew older and both of my sisters became very good at regulating their blood sugar levels, I never felt the need to know more about the disease. Until I met the love of my life and found out that he also has diabetes. But because it surrounded my entire life, I felt confident enough to marry him. And I soon discovered that I truly do need to understand this illness.
According to google, Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Insulin is a hormone that helps the glucose get into your cells to give them energy. With type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin.
In other words, the food that we eat has sugar, whether its fruits and veggies or meat and fish. In a normal healthy body, our pancreas breaks down those sugars in our food and produces glucose for our body to function and feed itself. In a diabetic body, the pancreas is broken or damaged, and can’t break down those sugars. So because there is way too much sugar in the blood stream, the body can’t regulate it and it starts attacking other organs until the body shuts down.
Luckily in the 1880’s and 1990’s, scientists discovered ways for patients to take control over their own health and invented new technologies like meters, pens and monitors to effectively determine blood sugar.
Before I got married, I always ate everything I wanted. Sugary desserts, chocolate, and I even put white table sugar in almost everything. I didn’t care for my health and honestly, it never really crossed my mind. But since I didn’t, I would always feel very tired and sleepy because I didn’t have self-control and ate those five chocolate bars, or a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts.
Having another person that I hold dear in my life, really opened my eyes as I saw their daily struggle. And it wasn’t until I had my own problems that I officially decided that something needs to change!
My husband has always been very calm and patient as I made this transition. In our earlier months of marriage, he literally had to drag me out of the bakery isle at the store! And for the longest time, I couldn’t understand why he was always telling me no.
It was a real struggle when I had to cook dinner or even bake some desserts, (the desserts were mainly for myself, lol.). Both Phillip and I enjoy eating Asian and Chinese food, and since eating out could often stress our bank account, I started looking for online recipes. And of course, almost every meal prep included white table sugar or the (fake) brown sugar!
One afternoon, I was scrolling through my instagram feed on the hunt for a new dinner idea, and as if by chance, I learned of FlavCity - Bobby Parrish.
In a joking way, I say that he saved my marriage! (Not literally.) He had so many meal ideas, and healthy alternatives, as well as amazing sugar substitutes! I spent a few weeks just doing some research and coming to my senses about all the different sugars out there!
Though I still crave sweets and desserts from time to time, and still occasionally sneak some in my mouth! (Cause what girl doesn’t when it’s that time of the month! Am I right?!) I definitely came a long way and my health slowly started to improve!
I definitely see that the food that we consume can truly have a ginormous impact on our health. Whether or not we notice it immediately, or later down the road.
In 1 Corinthians 3:16, it says, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”
I always like to refer to this bible verse because it speaks about so many things! If we are the temple of God, and the Holy of Holies lives inside of us, shouldn’t we take care of our body? If you trash your house, do you think you’d be inviting guests? What if Micheal Jorden, Oprah, Donald Trump, or even Tom Hanks decided to come unannounced? You’d definitely probably hire a maid or make your kids clean the entire house!
Below, I gave you two lists. To Buy & To Avoid. And I also included a short two minute explanation on the effects of these sugars.
[These are seven different sugars that I approve to be the healthiest and a more natural choice to consume. They’re the cleanest and some even benefit you’re body! You are more than welcome to check out the affiliate links to purchase them.]
Monk Fruit, it comes from a melon grown in china, it’s super sweet and is a 1:1 sugar replacement. It has zero sugars and zero calories. Perfect for keto desserts or meals. And its really good with blood sugar levels!
Maple Syrup, always get pure maple syrup, because it comes directly from the tree and doesn’t have any sugar additives like many other brands most of us grew up with. It’s all-natural and plant-based, it’s also low on the glycemic index which means it won’t spike your blood sugar!
Honey, honey should be used in moderation and rarely ever cooked or baked with. Even though honey is a natural sweetener and very high in vitamins, it’s not always a good idea to bake with it, (even though I still sometimes use it in baking and cooking). What it does is that when you put honey in very high temperatures, it kills all the good and bad enzymes. Stripping it from all the vitamins it provides. But overall, honey is great way to sweeten your drinks or food and it won’t raise your blood sugar levels!
Sukrin Gold, I recently started staying away from regular brown sugar since most of the time, it’s not as healthy and almost just as bad as white sugar. Most packages you see in stores is not brown sugar, but white sugar dyed to look brown. If you’re anything like me who loves chocolate chip cookies and are in need of brown sugar, I’d recommend using sukrin gold, it a brown sugar replacement and much softer than regular brown sugar! It does not affect blood sugar levels and I believe it’s also keto-friendly.
Stevia, this is a plant-based sweetener and is a lot sweeter than white sugar! It will not raise your blood sugar levels. It has zero calories and zero sugars. Also perfect for keto recipes.
Dates, it is a fruit, but it’s also very sweet! It can be used in many recipes like brownies and cookies. Has loads of great fibers and vitamins that your body needs. It actually slows down sugar absorption in your body.
Coconut Sugar, I’ve heard many different things about coconut sugar, but this is also another great healthier alternative! It needs to be organic and unrefined. Great for baking and is 1:1 ratio with sugar. It’s full of great potassium and electrolytes, meaning it helps your cells function, it generates electricity in your cells to make them stronger and to contract muscles to move water within your body. It also has great nutrients and is on a lower glycemic index, which means it will not spike your blood sugar.
[These are just a few I wanted to bring up. Affiliate link are provided in case you were curious and wanted to look into these as well.]
Cane Sugar, it leads to things like obesity, diabetes, and cancer. What it does is that it feeds the bad bacteria and leads to a lot of negative health factors. It’s also really bad for your gut and causes bloating and gas. It depresses your immune system and actually just sits in your stomach as the body slowly works at it. As surprising as it is, your body can’t process this sugar!
Xylitol, it’s used in sugar-free gum. But it’s honestly one of the worser ones as well. Your body can’t process it and it causes a lot of digestive issues. It’s terrible for your gut bacteria.
Agave Nectar, I know that there are a lot of people who use this, but even though it’s low on the glycemic index, it’s very high in fructose. Almost the same as Cane Sugar. Over time, it makes you insulin resistant and might lead to diabetes.
Splenda, it’s made with sucralose. Sucralose is a chemically made sugar. It’s really bad for your gut bacteria. You may experience a lot of nausea and digestive issues.
Equal, it’s also made with a chemically made sugar called aspartame. Basically, any thing that is chemically made is not healthy for you! It destroys your gut bacteria and causes bloating and digestive issues.
Raw Cane Sugar, you can easily be tricked just by the name. But just like regular cane sugar, you'r body can’t break this down and it takes a big toll on your body. Bad bacteria feeds on this sugar and overtime, your immune system will have a hard time to fighting off illnesses and diseases.
Xanthan Gum, I would not advice to use this one as well. It could give you flu-like symptoms. Eyes, nose, and throat irritation. Bloating, and intestinal gas. It’s super bad for your gut bacteria.
Honestly, just read the ingredients and you’ll learn a lot more in what to not purchase! Or follow these two simple rules.
1. If these’s a laundry load of ingredients, don’t buy it.
2. If there an ingredient that you can’t pronounce, put it back on the shelf.
Health is the most important thing you have. If you don’t learn to take care of it, it will bite you back in a few years. Whether it be a tooth ache, joint ache, or a much more severe chronic issue. And it’s not usually the big scary illnesses!
This is still an ongoing journey for me! And I definitely don’t see an end to it yet! But just to make myself clear, I’m not telling you to completely void yourself from all the desserts you’ve been eating, you can simple substitute it for the next healthier snack or meal. In this blog, I share a lot of healthier desserts that still tastes just as good and satisfies your sweet-tooth. So don’t worry about sacrificing the goodies! Just remember that health comes first!
Stay tuned for many more amazing sugar-free deliciousness!