If you are given a choice to live your life to the absolute fullest or just continue to exist, what would you do?
As someone who loves my active lifestyle, my answer continues to be living life to the fullest!
But this is a choice I’ve had to make for myself, my health, my family, and my future. It is a commitment I wake up to every day. While it doesn’t always feel like work, it’s important to remind myself that I am taking the necessary steps for bone health.
And guess what? I am proud of myself every day that I continue on this path to maintain strength and healing.
About 20 years ago, when I was 50, I was diagnosed with Osteopenia. It was shocking to learn that I had anything less than strong and healthy bones. I led a fairly healthy and active lifestyle. As a result, I assumed test results would do nothing more but prove how healthy I was feeling. Instead, it opened me up to a whole new chapter of true wellness.
One of the things I may have been the most naive about in my younger days was thinking that moderate drinking and smoking habits wouldn’t affect me. It was just social and fun here and there, but luckily, it was easy to quit.
As I meet with clients to discuss their own wellness journeys, it always seems to be the seemingly small habits that most people find hardest to break. A big one that comes up time and time again is sugar.
The Truth Behind A Bone Breaking Sweet Tooth
Unfortunately, so much of the sugar used in common foods are refined. Refined sugar is basic white sugar that has been stripped of its nutrients. When consumed, these empty calories deplete the bones’ mineral banks – leaving the body weaker.
If that last bit just made you do a double-take, then you might want to look through my previous blogs. The Truths And Myths Around Bone Building Foods is a good place to start!
Our bodies don’t want more than a teaspoon of sugar at any one time. If we consume more than that, the pancreas goes into overdrive getting the sugar out of the bloodstream. This extra pancreatic work happens by stealing nutrients from the mineral banks in the bones. So ultimately, that extra scoop of sugar is leaving the bones more fragile and susceptible to breaks.
Are your bone-breaking habits more than just a sweet tooth? If so, we should talk. Together we can walk down your path towards restoring your bones and overall wellness. I will be in your corner to support and guide you. Contact me today to schedule a free 30-minute consultation by texting me at 360-317-4614 or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sweet Alternatives To Refined Sugar
It may take some trial and error, so please explore a few different options to find what works best for your morning coffee or favorite dessert.
Xylitol is processed from trees like birch or from a plant fiber called xylan. Xylitol is categorized as a “sugar alcohol” and is a natural sweetener typically found in fruits and vegetables. Because the carbs in xylitol only slightly raise blood sugar or insulin levels the way sugar does, they don’t count towards the total amount of net carbs. It also tastes similar to sugar but contains about 40% fewer calories.
2. Monk Fruit
Monk fruit is in the vine and gourd family and has a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval with zero calories per serving. First used by Buddhist monks in the 13th century, monk fruit extract is about 150 to 200 times sweeter than sugar. In addition to being a zero-calorie sweetener, the extract contains zero carbohydrates, zero sodium, and zero fat. Monk fruit has no impact on blood sugar levels and is a great alternative for those who are watching their weight.
Another low-calorie sweetener is known as allulose. It’s a low-calorie sugar and is found in small amounts in certain fruits like jackfruit and figs. Allulose is considered a monosaccharide – also known as psicose, a rare sugar. Scientists can produce allulose in the laboratory, but it is also found naturally in some foods, such as dried fruits, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Allulose is also GMO-free and FDA-approved.
A naturally occurring sugar alcohol, erythritol typically comes from fruits like watermelons, pears, and grapes. Although it contains almost zero calories, its taste is most similar to the refined sugar most of us are accustomed to. It is a popular choice to sweeten drinks and sauces. Moreover, it typically doesn’t raise blood sugar or insulin in healthy people.
Derived from the stevia plant, stevia is a very popular calorie-free sweetener. It’s important to note that several brands sell partial stevia that contains artificial sweeteners, so please avoid those for your health’s sake. Natural stevia, on the other hand, may even be able to lower blood pressure and insulin levels. It is by far one of the healthier sugar alternatives on the market.
How To Utilize Sugar Alternatives
To best utilize sugar alternatives, look at the moments you’re reaching for white sugar. A scoop or two in your coffee? Maybe you like to sweeten up your morning yogurt? Are you a fan of making fresh fruits even sweeter?
There are so many (yummy) instances that call for sugar. Here’s the good thing… You don’t have to be using refined sugar. Instead, supplement the sweetness with something that still has its nutrients.
Of course, the taste is the most important factor when deciding what sugar alternative to use. So get a few options and experiment a little!
Allulose syrup may be great to sweeten tea, yogurt, and grapefruit, but it may not do the trick for your morning coffee. Stevia is a really popular coffee sweetener, but a little goes a long way and it might be a little much for your fruity breakfast.
Do you need help figuring out which foods to eat and which to avoid? I know it can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to do this alone. Schedule a free 30-minute consultation by texting me at 360-317-4614 or emailing me at email@example.com.
Sweet Recipe Replacements
Swapping out refined sugar with replacements may be one of the most intimidating parts of cutting sugar. But don’t worry! I’m outlining some options, plus you can find loads of sugar alternative baking replacements online.
Allulose can be used as a replacement for white table sugar. It has a comparable taste and no odd aftertaste. Try a 1:1 ratio with any recipe that calls for refined white sugar. It does brown a bit faster than other sugars but is still great for low-carb, keto, and all other baking recipes.
Allulose tends to soften rather than crisp when used in certain recipes such as meringues and cookies. Decide ahead what you want the texture to be and choose the best sweetener for your recipe.
While it doesn’t have the same properties as refined sugar, erythritol is still a good replacement for other sweet-calling foods and drinks. Because it’s about 70% as sweet as sugar, you may want to use about ⅓ teaspoon more to get that same level of sweetness. It is very dependable for baking.
You can absolutely use xylitol in baking recipes. However, keep in mind that it’s not possible for it to break down, caramelize, or turn into a liquid. Similar to allulose, you can use it in a 1:1 ratio for recipes that ask for regular white sugar.
Monk fruit can be used in both cooking and baking. Simply keep in mind that it’s about twice as sweet as sugar and should be used at a 1:½ ratio when baking or cooking. Using too much monk fruit could cause your sweets to crystallize.
WakeUp To Sugar Alternatives For A Healthier & More Active Lifestyle
Now that you are very aware of the harmful effects white sugar has on our entire bodies, it’s time to move out of your comfort zone and add these sugar alternatives to your grocery list.
While changes in flavor might take a little getting used to, your stronger bones and more active life are 100% worth it. But the truth is, the choice is yours. Will you continue on the same path of processed foods or will you decide right now to put yourself and your health first?
If you choose the latter, I am right here to help you on this new journey. I know it seems daunting and it may not always be easy, but I will be here to cheer you on as you cross each milestone. And I will be here to encourage you if there are setbacks. Once you start on this wellness journey towards stronger bones and a healthier life, you will wonder what took you so long.
Ready to transform your life for the better? Set up a free 30-minute consultation by texting me at 360-317-4614 or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.