The University of California, San Francisco showed recently that eliminating added sugar from the diet decreased triglycerides by 33 points on average, dropped LDL (bad) cholesterol as well as diastolic blood pressure in children. All children who participated in the study were shown to have drastically lowered their risk of type 2 diabetes in just 10 days.

This is a wonderful example of the body’s ability to maintain balance and health when the “obstacles to health” are removed.

Eliminating, or significantly reducing added sugar in the diet can be very challenging, especially when food labels try to manipulate ingredients to sound less like “sugar.”

Here is a short list of some of the alternative words used to denote sugar:

  • Glucose/fructose
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Corn syrup
  • Sucrose
  • Maltose
  • Dextrose
  • Beet sugar
  • Glucose solids
  • Cane sugar
  • Dehydrated cane juice
  • Dextrin
  • Maltodextrin

Suitable sugar substitutes include:

  • Xylitol
  • Honey
  • Maple Syrup
  • Apple sauce
  • Date or date paste

Once sugar is less of a prominent figure in a person’s diet, taste preferences tend to adjust, and less sweetness is required for something to actually “taste sweet.” Using alternative sweeteners (such as honey or applesauce) can be discouraging at first, but after a while (a month or so), most people notice that their enjoyment of more subtle sweetnesses increases. Also, keep in mind that most sugar substitutes are NOT sugar equivalents in recipes, and that you will want to find alternative sugar recipes to gain an idea of the ratios used. Here is a wonderful conversion chart byTrim Healthy Mama.

email-photoNode Smith, associate editor for NDNR, is a fifth year naturopathic medical student at NUNM, where he has been instrumental in maintaining a firm connection to the philosophy and heritage of naturopathic medicine amongst the next generation of docs. He helped found the first multi-generational experiential retreat, which brings elders, alumni, and students together for a weekend campout where naturopathic medicine and medical philosophy are experienced in nature. Three years ago he helped found the non-profit, Association for Naturopathic ReVitalization (ANR), for which he serves as the board chairman. ANR has a mission to inspire health practitioners to embody the naturopathic principles through experiential education. Node also has a firm belief that the next era of naturopathic medicine will see a resurgence of in-patient facilities which use fasting, earthing, hydrotherapy and homeopathy to bring people back from chronic diseases of modern living; he is involved in numerous conversations and projects to bring about this vision. 

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